Thomas Denbigh PEAKE
Known as Tom

Service Number: NZ411775
RNZAF Trade: Wireless Operator/Air Gunner
Date of Enlistment: 19th of January 1941
Rank Achieved: Unknown
Flying Hours: Unknown
Operational Sorties: Unknown

Date of Birth: 1922
Personal Details:
Tom Peake was the son of Thomas McKenzie Peake and Lucy Eleanor Peake of Cambridge. He married Dorothy Parkin.

Service Details: Tom joined the RNZAF at the same time as Alan Feisst and Ken Law, and they underwent initial training together at RNZAF Station Levin. The three then travelled together to Canada to complete their various training courses.

But before shipping out, the three young men and another fellow Cambridge airman, Sgt James Ritchie, returned to Cambridge for an official farewell.

This function took place on the 24th of April 1941 in the Cambridge Town Hall's Council Chamber. This was officiated over by the Mayor, Mr Edgar James, who was reported to have said of these young men, "We are proud of these lads and the other New Zealand airmen who have gone ahead of them to do such great work overseas."

The four airmen were presented with wallets from the Cambridge branch of the Patriotic Committee. It was reported in the Waikato Independent newspaper on the 26th of April 1941,

"The attendance was one of the largest that had gathered at such a function, said Mr James, but it was only a fraction of the people of the district who would have liked to be present. On behalf of the people of Cambridge he wished the guests of honour the best of luck and a safe return to Cambridge."

On the 29th of April 1941, the four Cambridge lads and their comrades left Auckland aboard a ship bound for Canada. Jim Ritchie would carry on to England, whilst the other three went on to complete their training in Canada under the Empire Air Training Scheme.

Tom's path saw him train as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. From there he went to England where he served for one tour with No. 75 (NZ) Squadron, before then coming home and completing another tour in the Pacific.

Date of Death: Tom died on the 28th of September 1983, at Waihi
Buried at: Waihi?

Connection with Cambridge: Tom was farewelled from the Cambridge District according to the Waikato Independent dated the 26th of April 1941. Bob Peake does not recall a T.D. Peake in his family at all. The details on Tom Peake were kindly supplied by Arthur Arculus. If you can supply any further information please contact me


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