1941: Radio station off air while Holmwood attacked

The Press (Christchurch), 3 April 1941, p 8

SINKING OF THE HOLMWOOD
DEFENCE OF CAPTAIN MILLER
STATEMENT BY OFFICER OF RANGITANE

(Received April 3, 2 a.m.)

(U.P.A.) SYDNEY, April 2.

Addressing the United Services Institution, Mr E.H. Hopkins, former chief officer of the Rangitane, defended Captain J.H. Miller, the master of the Holmwood, who was criticised by the New Zealand commission which inquired into the loss of vessels by enemy action, for not sending a wireless message about the presence of raiders.

Mr Hopkins said that Captain Miller had told him that four raiders surrounded the Holmwood 30 miles from the Chatham Islands and ordered him not to broadcast any message.

He was confronted with Hobson’s choice — the Holmwood was unarmed and the Chatham Islands radio at that particular hour was off the air. Furthermore, Captain Miller said that he had no hope of raising New Zealand.