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The Puriri Disaster

Ben Gibbs tells the story of the loss of the Nelson-owned motor vessel Puriri the only ship destroyed by enemy action in New Zealand territorial waters during the second world war.

The Puriri Disaster -
The Puriri Disaster
Ben Gibbs tells the story of the loss of the Nelson-owned motor vessel Puriri, the only ship destroyed by enemy action in New Zealand territorial waters during the second world war.
At the outbreak of war the Royal Navy (New Zealand Division) was in dire need of auxiliary vessels and experienced seamen to operate them. Small merchant ships and their crews were often requisitioned for military purposes. Puriri was one of these, requisitioned by the Navy in November 1940 and fitted out as a minesweeper. She was commissioned as HMS Puriri in April 1941 and assigned to a flotilla sweeping mines which had been laid in the approaches to Auckland harbour by the German raider Orion. One of these mines had already sunk the ocean liner Niagara.
On 14th May 1941, only 25 days after being commissioned, HMS Puriri struck a mine eight miles off Bream Head near Whangarei. She sank very quickly and five of her crew were lost.

Ben Gibbs is a former merchant seaman from Nelson. After leaving the sea in 1960 he studied at the University of Canterbury and Oxford University, eventually becoming a Professor of Philosophy. He taught for 26 years at Sussex University (UK) and for 10 years at Waikato University. Ben is now retired and lives in Nelson. He is secretary of the local branch of the Merchant Navy Association.
Soft cover Soft cover
  NZ$ 20.00



Used expressions:The Puriri Disaster ,Ben Gibbs tells the story of the loss of the Nelson-owned motor vessel Puriri the only ship destroyed by enemy action in New Zealand territorial waters during the second world war.

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