15 Oct 2012

Memorial in Wellington for Pacific coast watchers

2:43 pm on 15 October 2012

The sole surviving coastwatcher says a memorial held in Wellington today is almost the culmination of 70 years of fighting for recognition.

The coastwatchers, whose job it was to keep a 24-hour watch for enemy ships and aircraft, were stationed all over the Pacific during the Second World War.

John Jones has campaigned for 70 years for recognition for the 17 New Zealanders who were killed in Kiribati 70 years ago today.

"Those men, boys really, are suddenly recognised as really brave men that were executed by the Japanese>"

John Jones says not enough people know the story of the coastwatchers, and he would like to see a physical memorial dedicated to them in Wellington.