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George Roland Gould (4571), aged 97

15 Mar 2020

George Roland Gould was the second son of Roger Gould (1995) of The Hermitage, Rotherham, North Canterbury.

George attended Medbury for five years as a boarder and was in School House from 1936–39. He achieved his School Colours for gymnastics three times and for rifle shooting. He also won the O’Rorke single sculls.

After leaving school, George worked on a farm near Timaru. When war was declared, he was accepted into the Air Force, training at Levin, Taieri and Wigram, before being posted to the UK in January 1942, where he joined the Army Co-op and Squadron 241, flying Tomahawks, Mustangs, Hurricanes and Spitfires.

George used to say he had an interesting war, as every day he was doing something different and he was very lucky to have survived. For Army Co-op he was required to dive-bomb and attack enemy tanks, transport and shipping. He was involved in reconnaissance for photographing artillery and troop positions. On one mission he successfully intercepted and destroyed two Messerschmitt 109s. On another he attacked and destroyed an enemy gun position, but a stray bullet severed his fuel lines and, covered in fuel, he bailed out of his Hurricane and parachuted successfully, thus earning membership of the Caterpillar Club. He was also awarded the DFC.

His older brother Alan was killed fighting for Tito’s partisans in Yugoslavia after escaping from an Italian prisoner of war camp.

George arrived back in New Zealand in 1945. He married a Wren – Natalie Amyes –from Napier, who he had met on the way to the UK when the ship stopped to pick up other Air Force recruits.

George took over the family farm – The Hermitage – a hill country sheep and cattle station. He became a very forward-thinking farmer and was responsible for developing the Cheviot side of the property into a separate farm known as Jack’s Block. He was chair of the Amuri Federated Farmers, was very involved with the Rabbit Board, and was one of the instigators of the reintroduction of equine polo to the South Island in the 1960s.

George died in Christchurch on Sunday 15 March 2020. He is survived by his son Michael (7038) and daughter Elizabeth.

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