Historical Events in the 1940s

1941Academic and activist Alison Laurie is born (Wellington, New Zealand)
Links: PrideNZ.com, National Library
1941Flogging is removed as a punishment for homosexual acts (New Zealand)
The punishment is removed from Section 137 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1867 (Unnatural Offences). In 1954 the punishment of hard labour is also removed.
Links: Australasian Legal Information Institute, Early New Zealand Statutes
1 Mar 1941Female impersonator and activist Johnny Croskery is born (Wellington, New Zealand)
Links: Tapatoru
26 Jan 1942William Preen is arrested in the women's waiting room of the Timaru Railway Station (Timaru, New Zealand)
Preen is suspected of being a spy when he is seen dressed in women's clothing. The court later hears that Preen's "lapse was the result of some craze to see how it would feel to dress like a woman".
Links: Papers Past
25 Mar 1942Writer and actor Richard O'Brien is born (Gloucestershire, United Kingdom)
Links: Wikipedia
27 Aug 1943US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visits New Zealand with her aide Norah Walton (New Zealand)
Roosevelt is in New Zealand to inspect the American troops and the American Red Cross.
Links: Papers Past, National Library
29 Aug 1943Amy Bock dies (Auckland region, New Zealand)
Bock dies at Bombay, south of Auckland, and is buried in the Pukekohe cemetery.
Links: Te Ara
3 Feb 1944Sister Paula Brettkelly is born (United Kingdom)
7 Feb 1944Writer Witi Ihimaera is born (Gisborne region, New Zealand)
Links: Wikipedia
1 Jun 1944NZ Truth reports on New Plymouth Prison (New Plymouth, New Zealand)
Since 1917 the prison has housed sexual perverts, including homosexualists. The article notes "It should be borne in mind that the majority of homosexuals are men of intelligence, who have a thorough appreciation of the nature and the wrongness of their act and are consequently culpable at law."
Links: NZ Truth
11 Sep 1944Chrissy Witoko is born (Hastings, New Zealand)
Witoko would later own (among other businesses) the Evergreen Coffee Lounge in Wellington.
Links: Friends of Chrissy, Te Papa
7 Oct 1944Composer Jack Body is born (Waikato region, New Zealand)
Links: Wikipedia
15 Jan 1945Poet Ursula Bethell dies (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Bethell dies in Christchurch and is buried in the Rangiora cemetery.
Links: Te Ara, PrideNZ.com
24 Sep 1945Police interview two women about their recent marriage to each other (Auckland, New Zealand)
The Evening Post headline reads "Strange Masquerade, Woman as Man."
Links: Papers Past
7 Nov 1945Garth Gilmour is arrested for breaking and entering (Dunedin, New Zealand)
Gilmour is arrested dressed in female clothing. In a police statement Gilmour said it gave him a certain amount of satisfaction to dress in girl's clothes and he liked "flitting about from house to house."
Links: Papers Past
22 Nov 1945Two women appear in court after being found to be married and living as husband and wife (Auckland, New Zealand)
The court orders both women to submit themselves to psychiatric treatment.
Links: Papers Past
29 Aug 1946Dana de Milo is born (Auckland, New Zealand)
Links: PrideNZ.com
13 May 1947Painter Frances Hodgkins dies (Dorset, United Kingdom)
Hodgkins' ashes are returned to New Zealand and placed in the Field-Hodgkins family plot in the Waikanae cemetery near Wellington.
Links: Te Ara, PrideNZ.com
1949Academic and activist Ngahuia Te Awekotuku is born (Rotorua, New Zealand)
Links: Book Council
Jun 1949Journalist and author Tom McLean is born (United Kingdom)
McLean would later write the book If I Should Die about his personal journey with HIV/AIDS.
Links: New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt, WorldCat