James Samuel Cartwright
This story and photos are shared by the Trust with kind permission of
James as a young boy with his little sister Betty
He spent 2 years there and received a scholarship for a third year specialising in agriculture. On graduation, he got a teaching position at St Andrew's College in Christchurch in 1941.
James was also a talented rugby player. He was a winger, and played for Canterbury and the New Zealand Universities team. James was the first player to score over 150 points in the men's senior division and was given a trial with the All Blacks in September 1939 ahead of a planned tour to South Africa in 1940. With the outbreak of war, this tour was abandoned. Here's a summary of one of his appearances in the local press.
He volunteered for service in the Royal New Zealand Navy Volunteer Reserve in 1941 after just two terms at St Andrew's College as he felt he should contribute to the war effort. But despite the short time at the school he had already made a positive impression. The Rector of the College, Mr Mawson wrote of him "[Mr Cartwright's] kindliness and helpfulness had won him the esteem and affection of both day boys and boarders". After enlisting he spent time at Dartmouth Naval College, Devon where he graduated top of his class. In June 1944, James was serving on board the British destroyer HMS Boadicea.
HMS Boadicea - Courtesy of the National Museum of the Royal Navy
His parents initially received a telegram to say he had survived. But later that day they received a second telegram telling them that he was missing.
James Cartwright is remembered on a number of war memorials. His name is on two memorials in Pleasant Point where he was born and went to school.
L-R: Pleasant Point School and Pleasant Point War Memorial, New Zealand
He is commemorated in the St Andrew's College Roll of Honour, Christchurch, New Zealand.
He is also named on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Chatham Naval Memorial to the Missing, Kent and the Royal New Zealand Navy Memorial at the Devonport Naval Base, HMNZS Philomel, in Auckland.
Lieutenant James Cartwright, like many who were killed in the Normandy campaign but are buried or commemorated outside Normandy, now for the first time has his name listed alongside his fellow servicemen in Normandy itself.
JAMES SAMUEL CARTWRIGHT
Royal Navy • LIEUTENANT
Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve
DIED 13 June 1944