Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 25, 2013 9:49:11 GMT 12
I'd like to know a little more about this chap, cpl Jack Denver - how did he come to be leading a battaslion with Tito's army?
Evening Post, Volume CXXXVII, Issue 71, 24 March 1944, Page 6
NEW ZEALANDER'S MEDAL
LONDON, March 22.
Included among British Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel whom the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. has decorated "for outstanding military activities which ensured the success of operations of the British and Americans in North Africa and Italy, and for courage and gallantry displayed in these operations," is an Army Medal for Valour awarded to Corporal J. Denver, of the New Zealand forces.
Corporal Jack Denver was reported to be recovering in Cairo an arm wound received when fighting with General Tito's army in Yugoslavia, of which he became a battalion commander.
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 25, 2013 9:55:45 GMT 12
Aha, found some more:
Evening Post, Volume CXXXVII, Issue 23, 28 January 1944, Page 5
OFFICER UNDER TITO
FORMER N.Z. CORPORAL
CAIRO, January 25. The New Zealand infantryman Corporal Jack Denvir, who escaped from the Germans by jumping off a prisoner-of-war train when passing through Slovenia is now reported to be a battalion commander in Marshal Tito's army.
Denvir, who comes from Christchurch, left New Zealand with the first echelon, and it was during the fighting at Corinth in Greece, that he was taken prisoner, on April 28, 1941. From April to November of that year he was a prisoner, but he made a successful escape from the prison camp some time in November. After five days of freedom, he was recaptured, and his family received a card from him saying that he was enjoying a spell "behind bars" as a consequence.
According to cablegrams, Denvir died on February 4, 1942, and since then he had been 'officially classified as dead. In May, 1942, his parents received cabled advice that he had died in Germany in a prisoner-of-war camp. About the same date his wife received a cable that he had died in Italy, Denvir must have escaped again, this time permanently, and made his way to the mountains and gorges of Yugoslavia, where patriot bands continually harass the German and Italian occupation troops.
In January, 1943, a cabled message from London reported that Denvir had made a broadcast over a secret radio station operated by Yugoslav patriots. In this cabled message his name was spelt Denver, but the other particulars and his unit numbers were correct.
Book tells of my hero uncle April 23, 2012, midnight
I WISH to get hold of the book Partisan. The book is about my uncle, Jack Denvir, who rose from corporal in the New Zealand army to supreme commander of the partisan resistance forces in Yugoslavia during World War II.
His second lieutenant was Gunner Colin Cargill AIF.
These guys carried out raids on the Germans and Italian armies from camps in the Balkans alps.
Jack Denvir was captured and escaped three times from German prison camps.
The last time, he took control of a German supply train and killed eight German soldiers. He then used their uniforms as part of a disguise to get his men through Italian and German towns.
The book also says some of the best resistance fighters were the Yugoslav mountain women. Because these men were classified as missing in action and fighting behind the enemy lines, a lot was kept quiet about the fighting and my grandparents assumed their son was dead. The British Empire did not recognise a lot of their medals and awards from Europe but they were probably some of the most decorated soldiers of World War II.
Yugoslavia’s leader Marshal Tito bestowed the freedom of Yugoslavia and hero status on them but they were not allowed to accept their medals and the same for the other countries.
Every four years, Tito took them to Yugoslavia for a reunion and showered them with gifts — but nothing from the soldiers’ home countries or British governments.
This book reads like the classic movie The Great Escape and I sometimes wonder where the theme for the movie came from. — RUSSELL ADAMS,
Hi there, I can tell you alot about John Denvir (Jack), as he is my grandfather. I have completed quite a lot of research into his WWII activities, however you can also find some info on the following link as the Waiouru Army Museum has his medals on display at the moment www.armymuseum.co.nz/medals/worn-with-pride/#denvir Please feel free to contact me, it really is an amazing story Cheers