ABBOTT, Thomas Willie, QSM

Display Number:  0602  
Name:  Abbott  Thomas Willie
Rank:  Leading Cook Ordinary Service Number:  NZ13965
Date Joined:  27th September 1951 Date Discharged:  4th July 1954

Thomas Abbott joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1951. After basic training he was posted to the shore establishment HMNZS Philomel as a cook. He then served on the frigate HMNZS Hawea in this role, including a deployment to Korean waters during the conflict there. He was then posted to HMNZS Irirangi, where he helped in the rescue efforts after the Tangiwai train disaster for which he received a commendation from the Chief of Naval Staff. Shortly afterwards he left the RNZN. In 1979 he was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for community service.


Medal Description (First three medals only, Left to Right):  
  • Queens Service Medal - Recognises voluntary service to the community and also elected or appointed public office. The ribbon has narrow red ochre edged with a centre of alternating stripes of red ochre, white and black descending step pattern from from left to right. The design is based on the Maori Poutama (stepped) pattern used in Tukutuku wall panels. It is usually interpreted as as the 'stairway to heaven', but in this cases alludes to 'steps of service'.
  • The Korea Medal - Instituted in 1951 to recognise service in the Korean War. It was awarded to all British Commonwealth forces who took part in the war between 2 July 1950 and 27 July 1953.
  • United Nations Medal (Korea) - Awarded for service during the Korean War (1 July 1950 to 27 July 1953) and for service in the first twelve months following the Armistice. It was manufactured in the language of each country that participated in the United Nations force in Korea. The ribbon is a blue background with a series of white stripes across its width. These are the basic colours of the United Nations.

Note: The other medals shown were awarded to Thomas Abbott for Life Saving by the Royal Life Saving Society