L/Bdr. Eric William Henry Muir

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L/Bdr. Eric William Henry Muir

Also Known As: "Peter"
Birthplace: New Zealand
Death: May 15, 2004 (90)
Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand
Place of Burial: Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, North Island, New Zealand
Immediate Family:

Son of Frederick James Muir and Leah Muir
Husband of Mildred Ruby Muir
Father of Private
Brother of Frederick Ronald Muir; Beryl Ena Leslie; Leah Thelma Gardner; Catherine Elizabeth Revell; Mavis Tebbutt Harkness and 2 others

Occupation: Lance Bombardier
Find A Grave ID: 220516261
POW No: 4293
Service No: WWII 22788
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About L/Bdr. Eric William Henry Muir

Eric William Henry Muir was born on 6 May 1914 to Frederick James and Leah Muir (nee Tebbutt) who married in 1903 (reg. 1903/4071). He was one of eight children and was always known as Peter.

Peter had the misfortune to be captured in 1941 in Greece whilst a Lance Bombardier with the 7th New Zealand Anti-Tank Regiment (Army Number: 22788). According to his war record Muir was wounded on 24 April 1941, reported missing, then listed as recuperating at Kokkinia Hospital. On 12 September 1941 he is reported as a POW (No. 4293) in Stalag 18A.

Two years later he wrote this poem to his younger sister Mary from the prison camp: 26 - 9 - 1943, Dear Mary, Two years have gone by, they passed mighty slow, each year seems a century, with the last one to go. I’ve counted my footsteps, I’ve counted the stars, I’ve counted a million, through these prison bars. This is my story of, heart-aches and sighs, for I’m longing for home, and southern sky’s. Kia Ora, Pete.

Muir’s poem comprises three stanza’s consisting of four lines each and is written in an ABCB or iambic tetrameter rhyme scheme, the second line of which rhymes with the fourth line, but the first and third lines remaining unrhymed.

Muir was held as a POW for four years until the end of the war. He arrived in Italy after his release in May 1945. It is assumed that he was in poor shape as from his arrival in New Zealand on 5 September 1945 his war record notes that he was in New Plymouth Hospital until his discharge on 12 December 1945.

He married Mildred Ruby Garmonsway on 27 August 1953.

Many veterans never talked about the war years and Muir was no exception. In fact, the author was unaware of his 6 years 92 days of service overseas until they were related at his funeral in 2004.

My Great Uncle Peter was one of the nicest men that I have ever met. I'll always remember him pottering around his garage or in his huge vegetable garden at their red brick house at Argyle Road, not far from the racecourse in Greerton, Tauranga. The house has since been demolished.

Source: Biography by Debbie McCauley, his great niece http://tauranga.kete.net.nz/en/remembering_war/topics/show/1958

War Record

  • Full Name Eric William Henry Muir
  • Forename(s) Eric William Henry
  • Surname Muir
  • Also Known As Peter
  • War World War II, 1939-1945
  • Serial No. 22788
  • Gender Male
  • Date of Birth 6 May 1914
  • First Known Rank Gunner
  • Occupation before Enlistment Farm hand
  • Next of Kin Mrs Leah Muir (mother), 135 Seaview Road, Weston, New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
  • Marital Status Single
  • Enlistment Address Takapuna, North Shore, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Military District Auckland
  • Body on Embarkation Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF), 2nd Echelon
  • Embarkation Unit 7 Anti-Tank Regiment
  • Embarkation Date 1 May 1940
  • Nominal Roll Number WW2 2
  • Page on Nominal Roll WW2 134
  • Other Units Home Defence 13th Heavy Battery NMO

Military Awards

  • 1939-1945 Star
  • Africa Star
  • Defence Medal
  • War Medal 1939-1945
  • New Zealand War Service Medal

POW Information

  • POW Action prior to Capture Serving with 7 Anti-Tank Regiment, North Africa
  • POW Serial Number 4293
  • POW Date of Capture 1941
  • POW Place of Capture North Africa
  • Lustre Force
  • Greece
  • POW Camps Stalag 18 A (12 September 1941 -)
  • Place of Death New Zealand
  • Date of Death 15 May 2004
  • Year of Death 2004

Biographical Notes

  • Muir was captured in Greece whilst a Lance Bombardier serving with the 7th New Zealand Anti-Tank Regiment.
  • His Service Record reads: 1939, September 3, Home defence 13th Heavy Battery NMO
  • 1939, September 12, Filled in an attestation for service in time of war form
  • 1940, February 5, Filled in attestation for service in time of war, within and beyond New Zealand form. States address as 13th Battery Heavy group, Takapuna, 7 months
  • 1940, February 9, NZ - Entered Ngaruawahia camp
  • 1940, May 1, Embarked
  • 1940, June 16, Disembarked in England
  • 1940, December 16, Embarked from UK Rank as Gunner (GNR)
  • 1941, February 1, Promoted to Lance Bombardier at sea
  • 1941, February 16, Disembarked Egypt
  • 1941, March, Embarked to join Lustre Force Middle East (ME)
  • 1941, April 24, Wounded in action - Middle East (ME)
  • 1941, May 6, Notification sent to next of kin
  • 1941, May 18, Missing Middle East (ME)
  • 1941, May 18, Known POW hospital Kokinia
  • 1941, May 24, Notification sent to next of kin
  • 1941, June 24, Posted Missing
  • 1941, July 31, General reports POW in Hospital previously notified as wounded and missing
  • 1941, August 2, Notification sent to next of kin
  • 1941, September 12, In Kokinia Hospital, Athens
  • 1941, September 15, Notification sent to next of kin
  • 1941, September 12, POW (No. 4293) Stalag 18 A
  • 1941, September 18, Notification sent to next of kin
  • 1943, September 29, Wrote poem to sister Mary from POW Camp
  • 1944, December 4, Awarded Africa Star X(III) List
  • 1945, May 19, Safe in Italy
  • 1945, May 22, PW repatriated lenil September, now safe in Italy
  • 1945, May 22, Notification sent to next of kin
  • 1945, June 9, Safe in UK mefd in to Puttick Wing & s/o x(III) List tfd NZ Roll (ex PW). Cable CAW 495 of 12.6.45 Unit = Puttick
  • 1945, June 14, Address of next of kin changed
  • 1945, June 15, Marched out to Miles housing Unit = Pulliers
  • 1945, June 16, Notification sent to next of kin
  • 1945, June 22, Marched in from Pullick wing Unit = Miles
  • 1945, November 25, Certificate Delige 106781
  • 1945, August 8., Embarked for New Zealand
  • 1945, September 5, Arrived NZ Area 9
  • 1945, September 5, 91 days in Area 8 on fund. Dishcharge certificate NZ 480 No. 22522
  • 1945, October 2, Admitted as Out Patient, New Plymouth Hospital S/A continues
  • 1945, December 7, Discharged in Wellington Pd 1. 7 December 1945 [Delugd?]
  • 1945, December 8, CTBA & M/I 8 Pool ILWOP pending discharge
  • 1945, December 12, Discharged discharged as Out Patient, New Plymouth Hospital
  • 1945, December 13, Reb, ply 12-12-45. G. 4 Discharge approved, file to Pensions for retention, pensions to note Boards recommendation

See also:

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L/Bdr. Eric William Henry Muir's Timeline

May 6, 1914
New Zealand

Birth Registration Number: (reg. 1914/15989).