Jaimie Whitham and his stepdaughter Lily

Jaimie Whitham and his stepdaughter Lily

Wearing the medals from his Great Uncle Carey who served with the 35th Battalion, 3rd Division New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), this is his story:

Carey enrolled late 1940, was shipped out mid '41 and did three years active service in the Pacific including the Solomans, Guadalcanal and Vella Lavella.

He had a stump for an ear; when asked about led to a good story about being shot by a Japanese sniper.

For the three years Carey was enlisted he was paid the grand sum of 97 pounds.

After discharge he returned to his farm and was crippled by malaria which was rife in the tropics and taken to hospital where he stayed for the next three months.

He said everyone had malaria and they gave us pills but nobody complained because we had ‘flying bullets to worry about not mosquitos’; but as soon as he was discharged they stopped giving him malaria pills so he relapsed and it nearly killed him.

Carey was awarded five medals in total but because of his poor treatment by the Army he never accepted or acknowledged them and wanted nothing to do with the services.

Jaimie discovered they were unclaimed in 2019 and put in a request, given he was the only relative in 74 years who had bothered to ask for them, they were issued to Jaimie and he’s very grateful to the NZDF for their help.

Jaimie was photographed with his stepdaughter Lily, as she’s learning WW1/2 history this year. He thinks it’s a good idea for kids to get involved and know about the past so they don’t make the same mistakes in the future.

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