dave beaumont
7th February 2006, 10:59
I remember going on Otaki in 1969 and being shown the Victoria Cross that was won by the first Otaki's master A.Bissett Smith in WW1. Does anyone no what becameof the medal after Otaki sold.

7th February 2006, 20:48
I too saw that medal in 74 - god only knows what happened to it - and he ain't telling!

Kiwi Mike
10th March 2007, 03:29
I sailed on the Otaki in 1976 and the Medal was not on board then.

alex page
16th March 2007, 01:10
Could be at his old school in Aberdeen

Jim S
16th March 2007, 16:23
There was an article in the Aberdeen based "Press & Journal" newspaper in early October 2006 it said that later that month the grand-daughters of Capt. Archibald Bisset Smith of OTAKI would be handing over the original citation for his posthumous VC to Robert Gordon College, his old school.
Thearticle went on to say that that Capt Smith's VC remains on display at the New Zealand offices of P & O (as succesors to New Zealand Shipping Co).
I have read elsewhere that it was on display in the office of the P & O chairman. - Take your pick, but at least it appears to be secure.
In conjunction with P & O I believe that Robert Gordon still send a star pupil awarded the "Otaki Shield" to New Zealand each year. The Otaki Shield Award was presented to the school by the family in 1937.
In addition to the VC citation, the school has a painting on display of the gunfire action between Otaki and German raider Moewe.

10th June 2007, 21:30
I was on Otaki in 1970 and again in 72. Don't recall anything about a medal.

jock paul
11th June 2007, 08:58
Hi Jim S. Wonderful what you learn on this site! I went to Robert Gordons for 3 years. I vaguely remember the Otaki Shield, but this is the first time I've heard its history. Cheers, Jock

Tom Haywood
15th June 2007, 00:05
Captain Smith's family gave the "Otaki" Shield in his memory. This was awarded annually to the most outstanding all-round boy at the Robert Gordon's Colledge, Aberdeen, the school of which Captain Bissett-Smith was such a distinguished old boy. The holder was brought on a visit to NZ by NZSCo. back in those days.
I was on the second "Otaki" in 1967 & 68 and the VC was on board then and I seem to remember that it was in the old man's day room mounted on a plaque.

7th November 2010, 16:34
I was a Deck Boy on the OTAKI Mar - June 1968 (Eddie WAITE).I recall seeing
the VC in the Officers mess but I believe it was only a copy - not the original.I also possess the track chart of the journey from NZ back to Europe / Uk.

Mike S
9th November 2010, 08:25
As far as I know the replica is in the Wellington Museum however this is info that is umpteenth hand. Perhaps some of the ex NZS folk living in NZ could enlighten us.
I coasted her in 1961 and it was mounted on the aft bulkhead of the Officers Saloon then.