Feb 1940 – Whats The Event?


Feb 1940 – Whats The Event?

Rather an impressive collection of woodys in the above photo, the image is dated Feb 1940 & is from the NZ Herald / Auckland Library collection via Harold Kidd via Lew Redwood.
Harold commented that with that date, the wartime reporting numbers on display would have been recently issued & given the ‘families’ on board there must have still been petrol readily available.
Lew’s thoughts were that gathering could possibly have been to welcome HMS Achilles home.

So woodys can we confirm the event &  ID the boats? – some will be easy & some not – to help I have posted a photo below with each boat numbered 1>9.

AUCKLAND FEB 1940 copy

8 thoughts on “Feb 1940 – Whats The Event?

  1. 1263 is definitely SAFARI, I have other images of her with that number which prove that, & mine, whilst they have her in her lengthened form, with the dodger, & tram top, still have the same number.
    REHIA was Z15 not 1263 & I presume the LADY MARGARET, referred to, is intended to be the Col Wild built L.M., for H O Wiles, the writer is referring to, — L. M., is quite different, & much longer in the foredeck, & had her reshaped bridgedeck by that time. — (refer my previous writings & images of her on this site.) — KEN R


  2. This comment is from Jim Young. These boats all had numbers soon after the beginning of the war. just so the defence could keep track.The scene is probably a gathering of Auckland Motor Yacht Club ( or simmilar name) whose clubrooms were what is now part of the PCC.Later some of these were conscripted into the Naval Auxiliary Patrol Service. The part time naval version of the Home Guard. Each were registerd inder the letter Z with a number ( not related). As far as I know 1 is RIRA, 2 REHIA, 3 LADY MARGARET,4 LYNDA, 5 SHENENDOA, 6 KENYA, 7&8?? and 9 looks like DEFENDER


  3. Boat Number 1263 is I expect the SAFARI (TI McGuire) we trying to ascertain who the folk are on the Sarfari through my mother. She is most likely the young girl on the front cabin (Zelda Batterton) daughter of TI McGuire. Over the many boating years, my mother has often talked about them welcoming the Achilles, so possibly the assessment of the photo is fair. She also recalls that my grandfather had gotten into the position where he was expecting the Achilles to give way to him, with him having right of way, a stern blast from the Achilles soon put paid to his stubbornness. The SAFARI in this configuration was such when he originally built SAFARI as a 32′, subsequently he extended her overall length and adding the aft cabin. If we can clarify further, will add as appropriate.


  4. I am certain the launches are assembled off North Head on 21st February 1940 to greet HMS ACHILLES as she returns from the Battle of the River Plate when she played a big part in the damage to and eventual scuttling of the German battlecruiser GRAF SPEE. The launches then accompanied ACHILLES to her berth at Central Wharf and a huge civic reception.
    See https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19400221.2.61?query=achilles
    Unfortunately petrol for pleasure launches disappeared soon after this so the numbers got little use until 1944-5. There is no register of these numbers that I can find except for those commercial vessels with business outside the harbour.


  5. Hi, On boat 1116 I can imagine very little food on board but lots of crates of Lion Red for after the event. Cheers.


  6. 6 is LADY MARGARET & 2 is incredibly Sam Ford in the bow lines & bridgedeck, but which one??? & dying for someone to tell us the rest.

    Appears to be off Westhaven area, & something is obviously of great interest ashore, to all boaties in the image, because every eye is glued on the shoreline, or something close to it. — KEN R


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