What is the Roll of Honour?

The Roll is a hand-painted artwork listing members of ATC who fought during World War 2.

It was originally hung in Memorial Hut, our former lodge on Mount Ruapehu, where it remained until the Club transferred the lodge to the Central Plateau Schools in 2018.

At that stage the roll was removed. Given it is a significant artwork requiring long term preservation, the Club gifted it to the Auckland Museum. In return, the Museum provided us with a high quality, slightly amended replica and electronic copies.

The photo is of the replica, now on display in ATC's Ngaro Te Kotare hut in the Waitakeres.

Origin of the Roll

Dorothy Mays, a club member, painted the Roll and gifted it to the club in April 1944. This was 13 months before VE Day - the end of the war in Europe.

Dorothy left the final two digits for the year the war ended blank, to be filled in later when hostilities ceased. The number ‘45’ was added later in a noticeably different lettering style.

The fallen

5 men were killed in service:

  •  Sub.Lt.  Doug Callow, died at sea, May 1943
  •  Roy Herrick, posted missing in Crete, August 1941 
  •  F.O. John McMillan, killed on crash landing, May 1944
  •  Cyril Miller, killed in action, Italy, December 1944
  •  Staff Sgt. Fred Archer killed by accident, Italy, August 1945

On the replica the names of all five men killed are marked with a red star.

The mystery of the red stars

Whilst our replica marks all 5 of the fallen, the original has only three red stars, next to:

  •  Doug Callow
  •  John McMillan
  •  Cyril Miller

At the time Dorothy completed the Roll, only Doug Callow was known to have been killed. We don’t know whether Dorothy had painted a star next to Doug’s name at that time.

Equally, we don’t know when stars were added next to the other two names, John and Cyril. Or who painted them in.

And it remains a mystery why stars weren’t subsequently added next to the names of the other two men killed – Fred and Roy.

The 21st birthday issue of Wanderlust (1946) has the five men listed as having died during the war and their names are starred in that edition.

But there’s no explanation in any of our old Wanderlusts why Fred and Roy’s names lack stars.

Thus the replica differs from the original in that it shows a red star alongside the names of all five men who died.

Timeline

Known information from old Wanderlust magazines about the five ATC members who gave their lives is as follows:

1936 Roy Herrick joins ATC.
1938 Fred Archer joins ATC.
1939 John Mc Millan joins ATC.
1940 Roy Herrick and Dot Blackford married 23/1/40.
1941 Doug Callow joins ATC. 
1941 Roy Herrick missing in Crete. 
1941 Cyril Miller married Aug 1941,on final leave.
1942 Cyril Miller in Egypt.
1942 John McMillan in training with Air Force.
1943 Sub.Lt. Doug Callow missing believed killed.
1944 Roll of Honour given to ATC. 
1944 F.O. John McMillan killed on crash landing.
1944 Cyril Miller killed in action Italy.
1945 Cyril Miller's wife gifts Ruapehu photo to ATC.
1945 Fred Archer posted to Middle East. 
1945 Staff Sgt. Fred Archer killed by accident 13/8/45 Maadi Camp hospital. 
1946 Roy Herrick: widow officially notified of his death on Crete 2/6/41.  

 

Grateful Thanks

Particular thanks are due to Ian Roberts for his exemplary investigative efforts, trolling through various military records and decades of old Wanderlusts and Club archives, and comprehensively documenting the provenance and history of the Roll.