John Thomas HJORTH
Known as Jack
RNZAF Service Number: NZ433149
Army Service Number: 3/2761
RNZAF Trade: Unknown
Date of Enlistment: 1943
Rank Achieved: Aircraftman First Class
Date of Birth: 8th of February 1910, in Cambridge
Personal Details: Jack Hjorth was the youngest son of William John Hjorth and Jennie Hjorth (nee Gemmill). He was brought up in the family homestead in Chaucer Street, Leamington with his siblings Lesley, Albert, Vera, Cyril and Rita.
Jack was married to Alice Hjorth (nee Ollson). He had one step-daughter, Mrs Ian Fletcher.
He was educated at Leamington School, and following school he became apprenticed to Speight Pearce Nicoll & Davys (SPND) as a joiner. In 1928 or soon thereafter he joined the family business Hjorth Transport as a driver. This company had been started by his eldest brother Lesley in 1928, and had five six-wheeler trucks plying a road tansport route between Auckland, Cambridge, Tirau and Putaruru daily. In 1939 the company was forced to cease trading when the Government took their trucks for the military.
Sometime before WWII Jack started his own building business in Cambridge with a partner Noel Morse, which they called "Hjorth And Morse".
Following his time in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, Jack returned to his original job as a joiner with Speight Pearce Nicoll & Davys (SPND) but after several years he was forced into early retirement through ill health.
In his younger days Jack had been a keen member of the Leamington Rugby Club, playing as halfback, and in 1929 was awarded a medal for being the club's most improved player.
Jack had also been an active member of the Cambridge RSA, and had served on the committee of that club.
The fleet of Hjorth six-wheeler trucks before WWII, in Victoria Street, Cambridge
Jack and Alice Hjorth during WWII
Service Details: Jack joined the RNZAF in 1943, and served in the Pacific, but little more about his Air Force service is yet known.
Jack Hjorth in the Army, in the back row, third from right
Jack Hjorth in the Army at what looks to be a racecourse or showground grandstand
(which were more often then not used as Army camps). he is in the back row on the
Jack Hjorth in the Royal New Zealand Air Force at a Pacific Base. The back of
the photo has the following names:
Back Row - Graham; S. Lee; self (meaning Jack Hjorth); Irvine; Thompson; Collins; McNeill; Buttles; Bequivoot (?); L. Brown; R. Stewart; Brown; Rendell; K. Stewart;
Middle Row - J. Watts; Mackay; Partridge; Seates (?); Mitchell; Maxwell; Hickman;
Bateman; Tukitahai; Clearwater; J. Brown; Plumber; Cretary (?); Big George Gall (?)
Front Row - Easton; Hopwood; Speares; Trelevin(?); Howe; Abercrombie
The SPND sawmill in Queen Street, Cambridge. I think Jack Hjorth is standing second
from left in the black shirt and apron, and George Reed is standing third from right
Date of Death: Jack died on the 19th of December 1973,at Hamilton, aged 63
Buried at: The RSA Lawn Cemettery, Hautapu, Cambridge
Connection with Cambridge: Jack was born and bred in Cambridge and returned to the town after the war, living in the town for the rest of his life
Thanks To: Jack Hjorth (the nephew of this Jack Hjorth) and his wife Kathy Hjorth of Cambridge, for the information and photos on John Thomas Hjorth.