Letter from Ben Rata of D Company to his parents, probably from the Middle East
Ki taku Whaea,
E tuku atu ana ahau e Hema, I taku arohanui kia koutou e noho maina i to tatou kainga i roto i te reta nei, me taku inoi ka tae atu a te reta nei ka kite kei te pai tonu to koutou ora.
Kei te pai to maua ora ko aku teina. Kei te hohipera a Bunty e tangohia ana nga niho.
Kia kaha e Mama ta koutou inoi mai matou in nga wiki e haere mai nei ka tutaki ano matou ko te hoariri.
Kei te pewhea taku tuahine. Kei te pai tana ora. Ka tae mai tetahi o ana reta e ki ana kua hoki a Dad ki te mira mahi ai. Kei te pewhea a Tuhira me John Tana. Ki atu kia Gus ko ia ke te mea whiwhi roro. Kiatu mea he roro ngoku kei te kainga tonu ahau e noho mai na.
Koe nei tetahi whenua kino. To matou pirangi ranei he hoki atu ki te kainga. Ko ata hoha matou ki tenei whenua. Kaori mohiotia awhea ka mutu tenei whawhai.
Kaua ra wareware ki a matou e Mama. Inoi tonu mo matou hoki no atu matou kia koutou.
Heoi ano ra e Mama,
Na to Tamati arohanui,
To my beloved Mother,
I am sending you this letter Mother with all my love to you all in the Homeland with my earnest prayer that this letter will reach you all in the best of health.
My younger brother and I are well. Bunty is in hospital to have his teeth out.
Mother, I would ask you to pray fervently for us in the weeks to come as we will again be facing the enemy.
How is my sister? Is she well? I have received one of her letters in which she stated that Dad has gone back to work at the mill. How is Tuhira and John Tana? Tell Gus he is the brainy one. Tell him that if I had brains I would still be at home.
This is an awful place. We are all wishing to get home. We are very sick and tired of this land. However one does not know when this War will end.
Do not forget Mother to always pray for us until we return.
From your beloved son, Ben.
Alexander Turnbull Library
Ref: Eric Ramsden Papers, MS-0196-275