17 Apr 2020

Friday 17 April 2020

Soon after World War II broke out in 1939, Joseph Peart, who was Headmaster of King’s College at the time, enlisted in the New Zealand Army. 

Peart Gray Allanv2 Small

Lt. Col. J.N.Peart (far left)

In his letter to parents and guardians of students at the school dated 26 September 1939, the Headmaster wrote,

“Most of you know by this time that I have volunteered for active service and go into a training camp immediately. I gave a great deal of thought to the question and did not take this decision lightly. It was only after considering all the circumstances that I decided where my chief duty lay.”

Click here to read Peart's letter

Headmaster Peart’s first assistant at the time was Harold B Lusk, who acted as Headmaster during Peart’s absence and then onwards into 1946.

Headmaster Jnpeart

Peart was awarded the Distinguished Service Order during his military service, the citation for his award stating that it was “for outstanding leadership, bravery and determination”. It mentioned the way that Peart encouraged his men during battle, and “at all times set a high example of courage and perseverance”.

Peart was killed at El-Alamein, a town on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, during the Battle of Alam el Halfa on 4 September 1942.

Join us in remembering Joseph Peart and commemorating the service of all New Zealanders who have served for our country this Saturday, when we share our traditional ANZAC Day service online.

For more information visit our ANZAC Day event page.