WWII: Lieutenant Commander D J M Glover DSC RNZNVR
Denis Glover is remembered for a wide range of accomplishments. A poet, author, printer and typographer who was fluent in Latin and Greek, Glover was also a capable rugby forward and a champion welterweight boxer. His World War Two (WWII) service earned him a Distinguished Service Cross (DSC). He was an Honorary Doctor of Literature at Victoria University of Wellington.
Dunedin born, Glover also lived in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. He died in Wellington in 1980.
Glover left New Zealand in DOMINION MONARCH, and later recorded his wartime service in his book Hot Water Sailor. He enrolled in the Royal Navy's Scheme B, under which able-bodied young men trained as seamen; if they proved suitable, they were commissioned Sub-Lieutenants. He was drafted to HMS ONSLAUGHT, a destroyer engaged in escort duties on Arctic convoys. Following further training in HMS KING ALFRED, he was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant.
Glover served in Motor Launches in the English Channel, but it was in command of Landing Craft LCI (S) 516 during the D-Day landings that he displayed the courage and ability that won him the DSC. During this operation he landed part of a commando group at Ouistreham and then negotiated his way out of the beach obstructions. Having accomplished that he went alongside another landing craft that was sinking and embarked 200 soldiers (double the number he was supposed to carry). He returned to the beach and landed these men before going to the assistance of yet another landing craft that was awash almost to the bridge. He recovered her crew minutes before she sank. For some days Glover worked 'indefatigably and cheerfully, despite damaged rudders and battered propellers'.
After WWII, Denis Glover returned to Christchurch where he joined the Canterbury division of the Naval Reserve and spent a good deal of his time in its post war reformation. He served in HMNZ Ships BELLONA, KIWI and LACHLAN, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander before retiring.