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Welcome > HISTORY AND RESOURCES > Royal Port Nicholson YC > RPNYC wartime newsletters

RPNYC wartime newsletters

These newsletters were published as NZ became involved in the Pacific War in 1941. When war broke out many joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. In May 1941, 1/3 of the membership were in the armed forces, in Army, Air Force and Navy. 

Yachtsmen from the UK and the colonies were a sought after commodity for coastal patrol duty as they were used to navigating unfamiliar waters in all conditions, which is basically the essence of cruising.

Each man had a good understanding of basic engineering, navigation, and generally had a good grasp on how to make do and mend for themselves. They were used to a basic command structure (owner is the boss) but unlike the regular Navy, could work in a flat structure and make on the spot decisions. This is just the skill set required for coastal patrol in small vessels.

RPNYC members were posted to Singapore and the region and  were there when it fell in February 1942.

It's sobering to think of the fates of some of the correspondents in the newsletter: Jack Maddever (POW), Hugh Herd (killed), Geoff Inns (killed), Bill Mellor (POW), and the author of the book Strait of Adventure - about Cook Strait - Stephen Gerard (MIA, presumed killed). Some POWs were in the infamous Changi Prison, and others helped build the Burma Railway.

There were only three newsletters. They stopped when everything went silent up there...

Newsletter 1 May 1941

Newsletter 2 August 1941

Newsletter 3 November 1941