13 Jul 2010

Death of celebrated soldier

10:11 am on 13 July 2010

One of New Zealand's most highly decorated soldiers, Eric Batchelor, has died aged 89.

He was the only New Zealander to win a Distinguished Conduct Medal and Bar for his service in World War II.

He was offered promotion to officer rank but preferred to stay with his platoon.

He became known as 'The Ferret' for his flair for sneaking up on the enemy from behind and was even known to his military leaders by that name.

Mr Batchelor will be farewelled with full military honours on Wednesday in Waimate in South Canterbury.