Body of man who died serving overseas returns to New Zealand

Auckland man Bill Goodwin was together with his father for the first time on Wednesday - at his funeral.

Bill Goodwin Senior was a Leading Engineering Mechanic with the Royal New Zealand Navy when he was posted with the HMNZS Bellona to England at the age of 25.

While over there he died following a head injury playing rugby in 1956.

Mr Goodwin Snr's wife, Betty Goodwin, was eight months pregnant with their son at the time. She and her son never visited Goodwin's grave in Plymouth.

However, they opted to bring his body home to NZ after a change in Government policy to give families the option of repatriating NZDF personnel and dependants buried overseas after January 1955. The project is called Te Auraki (The Return).

An arrival ceremony for Mr Goodwin Snr was held on Wednesday morning at the Devonport Naval Base.