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Timeline: 1940s


1 March 1941

  • Female impersonator and activist Johnny Croskery is born (Wellington). Link: Tapatoru

21 January 1942

  • Writer and activist Pat Rosier is born Link: LILAC

26 January 1942

  • William Preen is arrested in the women's waiting room of the Timaru Railway Station (Timaru). 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". Link: Papers Past

25 March 1942

  • Writer and actor Richard O'Brien is born (Gloucestershire, United Kingdom). Link: Wikipedia

8 July 1943

  • Vice Squad Detective Trevor Morley is born Link:

27 August 1943

  • US 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 August 1943

  • Amy Bock dies (Auckland region). Bock dies at Bombay, south of Auckland, and is buried in the Pukekohe cemetery. Link: Te Ara

3 February 1944

  • Sister Paula Brettkelly is born (United Kingdom)

7 February 1944

  • Writer Witi Ihimaera is born (Gisborne region). Link: Wikipedia

1 June 1944

  • NZ Truth reports on New Plymouth Prison (New Plymouth). 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.". Link: NZ Truth

29 June 1944

  • Journalist and media personality David Hartnell is born (Auckland). Hartnell is best know for his Hollywood gossip column, as well as being one of the first presenters of Express Report, the first weekly LGBTI rainbow television series in New Zealand. Links: Wikipedia,

11 September 1944

  • Chrissy Witoko is born (Hastings). Witoko would later own (among other businesses) the Evergreen Coffee Lounge in Wellington. Links: Friends of Chrissy, Te Papa

7 October 1944

  • Composer Jack Body is born (Waikato region). Link: Wikipedia

15 January 1945

  • Poet Ursula Bethell dies (Christchurch). Bethell dies in Christchurch and is buried in the Rangiora cemetery. Links: Te Ara,

24 September 1945

  • Police interview two women about their recent marriage to each other (Auckland). The Evening Post headline reads "Strange Masquerade, Woman as Man.". Link: Papers Past

7 November 1945

  • Garth Gilmour is arrested for breaking and entering (Dunedin). 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.". Link: Papers Past

22 November 1945

  • Two women appear in court after being found to be married and living as husband and wife (Auckland). The court orders both women to submit themselves to psychiatric treatment. Link: Papers Past

29 August 1946

13 May 1947

  • Painter 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,

20 March 1948

  • Activist Porleen Simmonds is born Link: LILAC


  • Academic and activist Ngahuia Te Awekotuku is born (Rotorua). Link: Book Council

June 1949