The Wilkes' Shell Incident

Transcript of the Oral History Interview about the ‘Wilkes’ Shell Incident', the accidental shelling of Wilkes' Timber Yard during World War II

Filename: The_Wilkes__Shell_Incident_.pdf ( download )

Size: 2.5 MB

Document type: application/pdf ( )


On the 23rd of June 1942 No. 1 section of the 91st Composite AA Battery at Nelson Aerodrome accidently fired two Borfors Shells during a loading drill.  One shell hit the Wilkes' timber yard in Richmond (Tasman, New Zealand) causing £200 worth of damage. 

The transcript includes narratives from:

  1. Joy Flanagan           Page 15                           
  2. Les Kerr                   Page 16       
  3. Norm Bartlett           Page 18                           
  4. Alan Bartlett            Page 19                 
  5. Bill Wilkes               Page 21                           
  6. Roy Savage             Page 22                           
  7. T. J. Reilly               Page 23                 
  8. Fergus Holyoake      Page 26                 
  9. Jean Sutton             Page 28                 

Points of Interest

  • Accidental Shelling of the Wilkes' Timber Yard during World War II
  • Tahunanui (Nelson, New Zealand) Aerodrome Anti-Aircraft Defence
  • Ike Cowans

Interview Information

  • Date of Interviews:             Between January 1984 and August 1984
  • Interviewer:                       Les Slater (Principal Researcher) and D. J. Runnacles
  • Length of Transcript:          28 Pages


  • Contains material from the National Archives, including telegraph reports, memoranda and the proceedings from a Court of Inquiry into the incident.
  • National Archives Ref: 84R/638-l, AD1 206/4/11: Some of the National Archive's materials are illegible due    to the poor condition of the original copy.

Copyright Statement

This oral history is to be used for your private research or study only. Please do not copy or distribute the material contained in this transcript in any way, without prior approval.


To access the full transcript of this interview click on the (download) link near the top of this page.


Discuss This Topic

There are 0 comments in this discussion.

join this discussion