22battalion crest

22nd Battalion 2NZEF

"Vrai et Fort"

The Photo Album of Walter TOWGOOD

Walter Desmond TOWGOOD (454906) was posted to the 22nd Battalion in early 1944. He had joined the Army some time earlier and had wanted to go overseas because all his mates were leaving but he was refused as he was told they needed him to train the new recruits. Walter was a Staff Sergeant (Instructor) in Trentham Military Camp training recruits in the .303 Rifle, .303 Bren Machine Gun, Grenades, 3 inch Mortar and the 9mm Thompson Machine Gun. It was not until the 12th January 1944 that he set sail on Troopship 82 (the 'Mooltan') to Egypt. On leaving the ship Walter dropped to the rank of private as he had no experience on active service. By the end of the war he had made Lance Corporal. During the War he reached Staff Sergeant as the photos show and as his pay book shows.

After further training in Maadi camp in Cairo as most NZ soldiers did before being shipped over to Italy, Wally joined the 22nd Battalion at San Casciano. which is just south of Florence. Wally arrived shortly after the Battle of Cassino and just before the major push into Florence. His Section Leader was Arthur Stanley Fong from Greymouth. He then moved north with the Battalion as it fought its way through Florence and on to Trieste, where the war ended. There are photos of his time in Trieste, "swanning" trips to northern Italy and into Switzerland, visits to Rome, Florence and Venice and eventually travel by train to the port of Taranto.

Training in New Zealand

Walter (Wally) Towgood, Trentham Camp 1942
Wally at Trentham 1942
Wally at Trentham 1942
Trentham 1943: Wally 2nd row, left.
Sitting on drum, Raymond Salter 6818, Clarence Crawshaw with guitar 458433, Standing Snow Butler, Sitting Wally,Extreme right Leslie Bowering right Leslie Bowering 180842
Wally at Trentham 1943
Wally at Trentham 1943
Wally at his parent's home, Wanganui 1943
Wally at Trentham camp with his sister Margaret
Trentham Camp Army Schools Training Staff: Wally 2nd left middle row.

Training in Egypt

By 1944, NZ troops were not spending much time in training at Maadi Camp in Cairo before being shipped over to Italy. This was partly due to the better training now being undertaken in New Zealand. It was also due to the urgent need for reinforcements in Italy to replace losses and to allow those who had been in the Army for up to four years to be released and sent home.

In Cairo April 1944.
In Maadi Camp, Egypt. Summer dress.
In Cairo. From Left, Buck, Mick, Johny, Dick, Jack, Roy, Wally and Ron
At the Pyramids: 18 March 1944. Wally on right, Wally did not know the other men. This is not a back drop as in some photos.

Italy - the push to Trieste and after the surrender

After a short time in Cairo, Wally was transferred to the 22nd Battalion in Italy. He joined the Battalion at San Casciano, just before the major attack on Florence. After Florence was taken, the Battalion soon went into Winter quarters waiting for the last offensive across the Po River and the race up the coast to the end of the war at Trieste. After the German surrender, the 22nd Battalion stood guard for a few weeks and was then moved to various camps before a long stay near Florence. During this time the men went on many trips around Italy and into Switzerland and Austria - known as "swanning" trips. .

In Milan. Wally on left and George Hardy 620897
Rome. Wally on left, Unkown on right, Small wine bar.
Capt Cooper standing, rest unknown.
In Venice 28 May 1945. Wally on right, Pte Jack Rapson/Robson.
Venice 29 May 1945. From Left, Sgt J Madden 30168, Pte G Beaven 5952, Pte J Rapson/Robson, L/Cpl Wally Towgood
Florence 6 October 1945. Wally on left Jerry Madden 30168 on the right.
Florence 6 October 1945. Jerry Madden on left, Wally on right.
Wally in Italy 1945.
Wally in Italy 1945.
Section Leader Arthur Fong 476357 on left, Wally on right. While waiting for the engineers to build a bridge, Arthur said to Wally, "you are a Harrier go catch one of those chooks", which he did and they ate it for dinner.This photo is the evidence.
In Bari, Italy. Standing left, Ron, standing right, Mick, Bottom left, Brian Hallam 440139 life long friends, Bottom right, Wally
Company jeep.
Tent lines.
In Florence. From Left, Wally, Jerry Madden 30168, Frank Clarke 437648, Frank and Wally were life long friends and also lived in the same street in Wanganui.
Frank Clark 437648 in front.
In Florence. From left, Jerry Madden 30168, Frank Clarke 437648 then Wally
No 9 Platoon, 22nd Battalion.
No 8 Platoon 1 Coy, 22nd Battalion. Wally 3rd from right back row.
Battalion rugby team.
Wally back row 2nd right. Rest unknown.
Wally on right. Rest unknown.
Wally on right. Other unknown.
RAP (Regimental Aid Post) San Casciano, Italy.
San Casciano, Italy
A knocked out Tiger tank.
Battalion area south of La Romola
Rome: Monument to Victor Emmanuel II. Also the Tomb to the Unknown Soldier.
Monument to Victor Emmanuel II.
Rome: Garden of three hundred fountains
St Peters Square, Rome
St Peters.
Castle St Angelo
Waterfalls 20 miles from Rome
Trieste Racecourse
Some of Tito's men and women. Taken in Trieste.
Some of Tito's men and women.
Sunken ships in Trieste Harbour.
Trieste Harbour
Trieste Harbour
Italian-Jugoslav border.
Austrian and Italian border.
Filigno Baths.
An energetic Italian cycling from Turin to Rome.
North of Lake Como.
Bombed bridge.
Views of Lake Como
Views of Lake Como
Views of Lake Como
Views of Lake Como
Cable Car at Como
Lake Como
Lake Como
Where we slept the night.
Bombed bridge.
Views of Switzerland
The station at Iselle di Trasquers - just inside the Italy.
How we travelled from Florence to Taranto
Suez Canal
Suez Canal
Unknown gun emplacement

Wally Towgood - The Veteran

22nd Battalion Reunion at Tauranga
Wally on right with his lifelong friend Frank Clarke 417648

STAFF SGT Walter Desmond TOWGOOD 454906

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Last updated: 09/06/2019