Lord Freyberg statue in Freyberg Square – Auckland, New Zealand
Wandering around Auckland last week, I unexpectedly came across Freyberg Square and this statue of Lord Freyberg. When my grandfather served in World War 2, he recounts in his diary (entry on 14 July 1941) that the troops were inspected by General Freyberg.
Freyberg was born in London in 1889 and immigrated to New Zealand as a toddler.
When World War 1 broke out, he travelled back to the UK and volunteered for service. He was injured 9 times during his service in WW1 and was awarded numerous honours for his actions.
Following WW1, he returned to peacetime soldiering and was retired on medical grounds due to a heart condition in 1937.
However, a short while later when World War 2 broke out, he had his medical grade restored to a level where he could again serve overseas. So he then served as the Commander of the 2nd NZEF from 1939-1945. While criticised by some for his role in the fall of Crete and later Monte Cassino, he was widely known for the care of the troops in his command.
Following WW2, he became the Governor General of New Zealand from 1946 until 1952. Then he returned to England where he frequently sat at the House of Lords. From 1953 until his death in 1963, he was the Lieutenant Governor in charge of Windsor Castle.
He died at Windsor in 1963 of a rupture of one of his old war wounds.