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Canon Wi Huata talks about the farewell at the boat as the Battalion left Wellington, life on board, being the only Anglican priest and giving communion to hundreds of soldiers.

Transcript (edited)

One, when they farewell you, very very touching.  The one that will stand out to all soldiers will be his mother.  Because 80% of the Māori Battalion were single.  So, and that's the scene when we left.  So you get onto the boat.  And by the way when you get onto the boat I was the only Anglican Priest so I was in charge of all the Anglicans, for the boat, not only the Māori Battalion because being the only Anglican.  There were several of us, got on the boat and then and this stays in you because actually you're going away to die.  You look back, I can remember fellas singing and we're just looking at Wellington. Tears coming down our eyes and we were leaving home, thinking of our mothers.  Because I was asked the question why the mothers, I think because 80% of us were single.  That's the only person that came to us.  Nevertheless ... life on the boat, because one I'm a padre.  The rule of the boat for the Māori Battalion was church parade every morning, every morning.  I think we were the only division on the boat who had a regular programme.  We had it every morning and every evening.  I think the rest of the padres they had theirs the other way - whoever wants to come. I said no it's a rule I've introduced.  Everything went ahead sports and boxing.  But everlasting thinking of home.  I think that goes for the Pakeha as well.  I used to take the communion.  I used to start the communion at 3am and then go 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.  I can remember knocking off at 8.  After 8 o'clock "I'd say look I'm hungry now we go for breakfast" and we'd come back and start again.  In order to cope with the people, oh hundreds, you know I think because the background everybody wants it.  I'd been responsible for that.  Strange too, one thing about the war you become very strong within your own religion, I noticed this with the pākehā...

 

 

Extract from Interview with Canon Wiremu Huata, interviewer Margaret Northcroft, recorded 25 June 1991.

From the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre, OHColl-0291-1. All rights reserved. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library must be obtained before any re-use of this sound file

Cynthia Tohe Bell (1922-1997), Ngati Raukawa, talks about working in the War Records Office sending out telegrams for delivery to the families of  casualties.

Transcript (edited)

There were many times that the casualty lists would come out through the board.  And they were always of course in telegrams.  And you maybe asked to do from A to C of the surnames.  You knew all the boys who'd gone from Otaki.  It was always with slight nervousness that you went through.  Other people from here, surnames may've started with ‘W'.   So you'd find out who was doing the ‘W' telegrams, and you'd say would you please look for so and so.  Your own boys and everybody you knew.  And that was pressure time, because those telegrams had to be sent out to the people. Saying that they were missing, been killed or they were wounded.  They were very trying times.  I suppose not quite so much for myself, because there were a lot of married women stenographers and they were really very very upset when the telegrams used to come in.

Question:  How did the telegrams come?  Did they come by cable or ...?
Well all we got was a sheet.  I would have the sheets from A to C and someone from D to G and that's really how it worked.

Question:  What did the letters consist of, can you remember what...
Well really we only did the telegrams.   I think during the war the telegrams were sent to the postmaster.  Who then delivered them personally to the people involved with their children, or their sons.

Question:  So what was the format?  It said I am sorry or...
It would just say the government regrets to say that your son has been reported missing in action or killed or something like that.  That's why in those days it was very terrifying for mother's to see a postmaster arriving, because they knew it was bad news. 

Question:  Always bad news?
Always bad news

 

 

 

Extract from Interview with Cynthia Bell, interviewer Queenie Rawinia Hyland, recorded 4 November 1991, part of the Women in World War II oral history project by Gaylene Preston Productions.

From the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre, OHInt-0060-01. All rights reserved. Permission of the Library and Gaylene Preston must be obtained before any re-use of this sound file

28th Māori Battalion veteran Major John Waititi responds to the welcome from Kura Moeahu at the launch of the Battalion website at Parliament on 6 August 2009.  He then leads the waiata, E Pari Rā and is joined by other veterans and by members of the audience.

John Waititi was helped to the podium by ex-All Black Norm Hewitt.

Recording by Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Photographer: Roihana Nuri, TPK. See larger copy of this image here.

Matt Te Pou introduces the kaiwhakarite, Kura Moeahu, who opens proceedings at the launch of the 28th Māori Battalion website at Parliament on 6 August 2009 with a welcome. This is complemented by the Parihaka waiata, E Rere Ra Te Motu Nei.

Recording by Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Photographer: Roihana Nuri, TPK. See larger version of this image here

Speech by Hon Christopher Finlayson, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, at the launch of the 28th Māori Battalion website at Parliament, 6 August 2009.

The speech is followed by a rendition of the Māori Battalion song, March to victory.

Transcript

Rau rangatira ma. Tena koutou katoa

E nga tini mate
Haere, haere, moe mai

Ko Chris Finlayson toku ingoa
Te Roia Matua
Te Minita mo nga Whakaritenga Tiriti o Waitangi
Te Minita mo nga Take Toi, Tikanga,
Taonga Tuku Iho

Tenei aku mihi mo te Kawanatanga
Nahinara
Kia ora huihui tatou katoa

To the veterans of the 28th Māori Battalion: it is a pleasure to have the chance to introduce to you the 28th Māori Battalion website. This is a memorial project dedicated to you, and to your whānau and friends, in commemoration of your deeds in the Second World War.

Several years ago, the 28th Māori Battalion Association suggested an initiative to preserve the memory of the Battalion, in an electronic format for the digital generation.

The idea got traction. A memorandum of understanding was signed, and this year the Ministry for Culture and Heritage developed the site, working with Te Puni Kōkiri which has, among other things, supplied the translations for the te reo versions of the text. The National Library provided numerous photographs and oral histories.

The 28th Māori Battalion is an inspiring story - perhaps above all a story about courage in the face of adversity.  The Battalion had the distinction of being involved in some of the most gruelling campaigns, and 649 of its 3600 men lost their lives.

The website has a quote from Lieutenant-General Bernard Freyberg, Commander of the 2nd NZ Division, who said: ‘No infantry battalion had a more distinguished record, or saw more fighting, or, alas, had such heavy casualties as the Māori Battalion'.

His words are a tribute to the members of the Battalion and their deeds - at 42nd Street in Crete; at Monte Cassino in Italy; at Tebaga Gap where 2nd Lieutenant Te Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu won his Victoria Cross; at Takrouna where Sergeant Haane Manahi won his Distinguished Conduct Medal [having been recommended for a VC]. The reputation the Māori Battalion forged for itself made all New Zealanders proud to call these men their own.

The official New Zealand history of World War II runs to some 50 volumes.

There has been a trend, in recent years, for war histories to focus not only on the broad deeds and facts, but on the experience of the individual. Increasingly people are recognising the importance of the memories of those who lived through war. Letters, diaries, memoirs, photographs and other souvenirs - things that might be collecting dust in the backs of drawers - are the human link. Without these our knowledge of wartime would become increasingly academic.

There have been a number of initiatives to capture these taonga. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage's ‘Lest we forget' campaign encouraged New Zealanders to donate their war records and memorabilia to museums and libraries. The Ministry has also produced a series of seven oral history books focusing on the Second World War. This entire series is currently being reprinted.

Some very good books have been written about the Māori Battalion: Te Mura o te Ahi: The story of the Māori Battalion by Wira Gardiner; and Monty Soutar's Nga Tama Toa: The price of citizenship, which focuses on C Company.

The Māori Battalion website will add to these existing records a growing collection of personal anecdotes, first-hand accounts, photographs, audio files and videos, to help bring to life the experiences of the members of the Māori Battalion.

Above all, this is an interactive website: all New Zealanders can have a hand in adding content, and they can do so at any time. The website is specifically designed to draw on these informal memories and collections, as well as more formal research. Therefore, the website will continually expand to tell a fuller story.

The context is a concise historical overview of the 28th Māori Battalion written by historians at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. From here there are links to all the relevant articles, personal accounts and so on, giving the perspective of those involved.

These make compelling reading. They reveal not only stories of great hardship, and the recurring theme of the loss of friends and comrades, but also the lighter moments - the camaraderie, the discovery of small comforts and humour in even the darkest times.

A key part of the website is the ‘Battalion Roll' - a personalised history of each and every member of the Battalion, to which they, their families and their friends can add comments, memories, photos or whatever they feel is appropriate. What is striking, when you read through some of the material posted so far, is how moving some of the personal messages are. People are making the space allocated to a family member or friend not just a record of facts but a digital memorial.

Since it went live on 30 June, the Māori Battalion website has attracted several thousand visitors who have viewed over 50,000 pages. A growing number of people are registering and adding content. It is a promising start to the project.

I look forward to seeing, as word spreads, more and more people taking part in this unique electronic memorial to the 28th Māori Battalion.

Nā reira
In closing

E ngā toa o Tūmatauenga,
To the soldiers

I tae ki te mura o te ahi
Who went to war

mō mātou,
So that we could know peace,

Kei te mihi kei te tangi.
We salute you and we remember.

Huri noa i tō tātou whare
Ladies and gentlemen

Tēnā koutou tēnā koutou tēnā koutou katoa.
Thank you.

Recording by Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Photographer: Roihana Nuri, TPK. 

Speech by Hon Dr Pita Sharples, Minister of Māori Affairs, at the launch of the 28th Māori Battalion website at Parliament, 6 August 2009: part 2, followed by waiata. See Part 1 here.

Transcript

In the latest Toi Te Kupu, a magazine for rangatahi distributed across all of our kura, there is an article written by Hinemāia Takurua, entitled Ngā Tama Toa.

In her own words, this young girl from Tolaga Bay Area School reflects on the unique experience last October, in which several thousand people re-enacted the 1946 return of the Maori Battalion’s C Company, when the troops marched from the railway station to Te Poho o Rawiri marae.  Many of those marching carried photographs of their tipuna who served in the Battalion. 

Thinking of that time, Hinemaia says, “Ka waipuketia te ngakau i te pōuri me te aroha”.

Over six decades since the Māori Battalion did us proud on the battlefields of Greece, Crete, North Africa and Italy, our children of today are still overwhelmed with grief and with emotion, as they recognise the sacrifice of those who have gone before them.

Today, those connections between the young soldiers of the 28th Maori Battalion and the young pioneers of this age, become even stronger.

This is a remarkable event, when with the flick of a switch, the incredible stories of nearly 3,600 men who served overseas with the Māori Battalion between 1940 and 1945, literally come to life.

And it is life in its absolute richness.

The heroes of this story are the men of the 28th Māori Battalion who so proudly served this country in World War 2. 

Many of our finest and fittest volunteered in droves when government agreed to Sir Apirana Ngata and other Māori MPs idea for an all-Māori unit.

Sir Apirana acknowledged, “we will lose some of the most promising young leaders, but we will gain the respect of our pakeha brothers”.

And so these promising young leaders left our shores in May 1940, to maintain the fighting strength of the Maori Battalion, to defend their country as a matter of duty and obligation.

We can follow their war trail by following the interactive map from Greece through to Trieste, Italy.

They persevered through battle in Greece and Crete, experiencing the ordeal of ferocious hand-to-hand fighting at Maleme.

They endured the harsh temperatures of the North African desert, the challenge of vicious sandstorms and swarms of flies.

At El Alamein in October 1942 the Māori Battalion suffered 100 casualties.

They fought under olive groves, along river valleys, and through the hazards of mud and snow.

They served with discipline and courage, experiencing victory and tragedy; surviving by a fierce sense of spirit and camradie.

The fearlessness of the 28th was legendary. General Freyberg, who led the New Zealand division through the Greek, African, and Italian campaigns noted that "no infantry battalion had a more distinguished record, or saw more fighting, or, alas, had such heavy casualties than the Māori Battalion".

In 1943, the 28th distinguished itself in Tunisia; first in March, where Lt Te-Moananui-A-Kiwa Ngarimu’s inspired leadership helped the successful seizure of Tebaga Gap.

Only a month later, the 28th was involved in one of the bloodiest hand-to-hand battles at Takrouna. There, Sergeant Haane Manahi led a courageous group of men to scale a sheer cliff and fought for three days to eventually overcome the German and Italian troops.

After its desert campaign, the 28th moved on to Italy where they suffered terrible losses at the famous battle of Monte Cassino; 128 out of 200 men were either killed, wounded or captured.

These astonishing stories of epic proportion are all now instantly available through this website.

We marvel, we reflect, we grieve as we come to know each of the 3600 men of the 28th now available on the fully searchable Battalion roll which is a feature of the site.

We become immersed in their lives as we scroll through the pictures, video and audio memories recorded during the war years and the written transcripts of the oral histories of the veterans.

Lest we forget – we must keep alive the legendary contribution made by the 3,600 who served overseas.  We must remember them all - the 649 were killed in action or died on active service – the 1,712 men were wounded; the 237 who were taken prisoner.

Ka waipuketia te ngakau i te pōuri me te aroha.

But there are other stories, other glimpses of life, which bring those days alive.

The Maori Battalion earnt respect not just as formidable soldiers but as fierce opponents in military competitions in swimming, rowing, boxing, tug-of-war, hockey and rugby.

And it wouldn’t be a true record of the Maori Battalion without recognising the enduring legacy of their concert parties.

The distinctive waiata and haka from home were accompanied with the influence of the European arts – guitars, mandolins, ukuleles and piano accordians.  Italian songs like Buona Notte Mio Amore became part of the Battalion's repertoire.

There is a special space reserved to profile Te Rau Aroha – the Battalion’s own mobile canteen.

Te Rau Aroha – funded by donations from Maori school children- followed the troops almost everywhere – bringing with it fruit, cakes, chocolate, the latest news, cigarettes, and in Christmas time the wonder of kaimoana – muttonbirds, shellfish, and other preserved delicacies from home.

And we even learn about the distinctive taste of the North African puha, or as Captain M R Pene put it, “the dam stuff smelt like hell – it simply stank”.  But considering that the only other food the troops had had even vaguely resembling greens were dehydrated potatoes and carrot, the local variety simply had to do.

The history is fascinating; the stories compelling.

And there is a particular strength evident in the way in which we learn how the Battalion was organised along tribal lines.

We link in to the “Gumdiggers” from the North, the “Penny Divers” from the central and Bay of Plenty region, the “Cowboys” from the coast, the “Foreign Legion” or “Ngāti Walkabout” from the south and the remainder of the North Island including the Waikato, and the “Odds and Sods”, which drew from all over the motu.

It is of note that the strength of tribal companies and hapu platoons was one of the distinctive features of the Maori Battalion leadership.   It was the tribal muscle, along with the unique Maori character, that created an outstanding front line; a formidable unity.

That unity was only strengthened by the massive war effort on the home front  - the Maori at home, serving in the Home Guard, growing food, working in essential industries and raising funds.

It is an absolute privilege to be associated with this event today.

This gathering is as important an opportunity to honour and revere the 28th Māori Battalion, as it is a celebration of the special website, www.28maoribattalion.org.nz.

As each year passes, such opportunities become even more precious especially for the surviving fifty-one 28 veterans and their whānau.

This is no less true for those in the wider whānau of the returned services association all over the motu. 

Before I close, I want to acknowledge all those agencies that made it possible for the website to go live:


  • Ministry of Culture and Heritage;
  • National Library of New Zealand;
  • Ministry of Education;
  • Te Puni Kōkiri; and of course
  • 28th Māori Battalion Association.

They have helped to get this website going – the rest is up to you now.

For the next three to five years, registered contributors will be able to add their own memories to add to the richness already available on the site.   The site has been live only since the end of June and already there are 39 registered users.

Finally, I want to take us all back in time to the Gaiety Theatre in Ruatoria, late in the afternoon of the 25th January, 1946.   As the contingent of the C Company filed through the door of the theatre, lead by Porikapa Awatere in an immaculate white suit, the sentiment of Tomo Mai, especially composed for the occasion, truly brought the emotions home. And then Sir Apirana said,

You and your comrades did what we expected of you.  Bred as you are, you could not have done less. You come from families that have never failed in their loyalty, and if you had not their blood you could not have made that contribution that meant so much to the Maori Battalion in the field”.

Today we pay our respects to all those who served overseas on our behalf.   We reflect on their discipline and courage.  And our hearts are flooded with sadness for all those who have gone.

They lived and died in ways which told us it was an honour to serve.

We now, honour them by officially launching this website to recognise their outstanding contribution to our nation.

Recording by Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Transcript from Beehive.govt.nz

Photographer: Roihana Nuri, TPK. 

Speech by Hon Dr Pita Sharples, Minister of Māori Affairs, at the launch of the 28th Māori Battalion website at Parliament, 6 August 2009: part 1. He is introduced by Matt Te Pou.

Note the transcript below is only for the last two minutes of this sound recording. See Part 2 of Hon Dr Sharple's speech here.

Transcript

Tēnā koutou ngā mōrehu o te Rōpū Rua Tekau mā Waru, koutou kua takihoki mai i te mura o te ahi, a, koutou ko ō koutou hoa i hinga i tāwāhi, e maumahara tonutia ana.

Kua huihui mai tātou i tēnei rā ki te whakamānu i tētahi taonga, i waiho iho mai i a koutou ki ngā uri whakatipu. He taonga whakahirahira, hikohiko, nō te ao hou.

Me mihi ki te hunga i āwhina i a koutou ki te hanga i te pae tukutuku nei.  Ngā tari kāwanatanga – Te Puni Kōkiri, Te Manatū Taonga, Te Puna Mātauranga, Te Tāhūhū o te Mātauranga. Ngā Whare Taonga hoki, ngā whare pupuri kōrero, whakaāhua, pikitia tawhito. Ki ngā pūkenga rangahau, ngā tohunga rorohiko, koutou katoa, ka nui ngā mihi.

Otirā nā koutou ngā mahi i mahi, pakeke mā, nō koutou ngā kōrero. Nā koutou tēnei taonga i tuku iho mai.

Ka kitea ngā whakaāhua o ngā tama toa i haere whakahīhī atu ki te pakanga, ka rangona anō ngā reo kōrero, reo waiata, ngā haka i hakaina mai i te pae o te riri i tērā wā, ka pakarū mai te tangi o te ngākau ki a koutou, ki ō koutou hoa hōia, hoa rangatira, whaiāipo, ki ō koutou mātua kua roa nei e mate ana, ki ō koutou whānau. He ao kē tērā, e kore e hoki mai.

Kei te whakaaro hoki au mō ngā whakatipuranga, mō ngā mokopuna e tū ana i ō rātou mana Māori i ēnei rā, e titiro ake ana ki ō rātou tīpuna hei tauira mō rātou. Ko koutou ērā, pakeke mā. Ko koutou hei tauira mō mātou.

Nā koutou ka tū whakahīhī mātau o tēnei reanga.  Tēnā tātou.

 

Recording by Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Transcript from Beehive.govt.nz

Photographer: Roihana Nuir, TPK.

Interview between Patira Edwards (25844) and Megan Hutching.

Patira Edwards describes his first encounter with German troops in Greece in April 1941.

Transcript (edited)

We saw the [Germans] out in the distance a fair way off. It's very wooded there. You could just see the tops of their tanks or their trucks moving about. We thought, Oh well, that’s it. That’s the start. We might see the eyes of the angry man after all.

The day we saw them moving about, we could hear them putting over four-inch mortars. They lobbed some shells over in different areas and a couple of them landed behind us where we had all our food stored. A lot of the tinned stuff had holes in it from the shrapnel. We went up in the afternoon to get some food and [the quartermaster] showed us where these shells landed. God. First time I’d seen shell holes. They weren’t big ones, but they were shell holes.

On our way back they were machine-gunning the area where we were walking. They were spraying the area with machine-gun fire. You could hear them zinging all around you. They make a peculiar noise. They zing….That was the first time that I’d been shot at. Well, if your number’s on it, that’s it. You just duck and dive around, hoping you’re ducking the right way.  

Patira Edwards, Ngāpuhi (1919-2005), interviewed by Megan Hutching, 27 November 2000, for the Second World War oral history project - Crete

From the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre, OHInt-0729-08. All rights reserved. Permission of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage must be obtained before any re-use of this sound file

Image: Patira Edwards.

From an interview between Maiki Parkinson (Jules Vern Parkinson, 67603) and Megan Hutching. 

Maiki Parkinson, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki talks about getting barrels of muttonbirds and how others thought the Māori must have been starving to want to eat them.

See image of Muttonbird barrels here.

Jerome (Maiki or Jules) Parkinson (1924-2006), interviewed by Megan Hutching, 23 March 2004, for the Second World War oral history project - North Africa

From the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre, OHInt-0798-12.   All rights reserved. Permission of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage must be obtained before any re-use of this sound file.

Image: Maiki Parkinson.

From an interview between Maiki Parkinson (Jules Vern Parkinson, 67603) and Megan Hutching. 

Maiki Parkinson, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, recounts coming under attack from Rommel's troops on the El Alamein line.

Edited transcript

The Germans put up flares. All the front was lit up with reds and greens. It was beautiful. One had gone up, and just before it went out someone was silhouetted in the flare. It was our Bren gunner, Nugget Tukaki. Bang! Down he went. We went up. Christ! It was one of our fellas. How he came to be in front of us, we don't know. It was a pure accident. It wasn't intentional; he shouldn't have been there.

The next minute there was a flash of bloody 88-millimetre. The Germans had much better weapons than us. The 88-millimetre gun was the most feared gun in the desert. We charged two of these guns. We went in yelling, with bayonets. They must have taken off, because when we got there, there was nobody there. We did what we could to try to disable the guns, then we went on and down a depression. I couldn't believe it. All of Rommel's trucks were laagered there, but most of them were our captured trucks. There were Fords and Chevs. We had to wreck them by putting bullets through the radiators and blowing the tyres out. It was quite traumatic, wrecking your own trucks.

We wrecked as many vehicles as we could and it was getting light then, so we climbed up on the escarpment and set off back to where we thought our lines were. The next minute a tank and an armoured car appeared. I thought, This is it. A joker said, 'Dig in.' So we dug in. I don't know what the hell we were going to do there, but we'd do anything to get down below the ground. We were like moles. We didn't know what was going to happen. Anyhow, they must have had a conference back at Div headquarters and next minute we could hear shells coming over. All our artillery opened up. It was the first time I'd ever seen smoke shells. What a sight they were, screaming overhead, these white things. They landed amongst us and covered us in smoke. We could see which way the shells were coming and we headed for that, going like the hammers of hell. We were stumbling along, dragging other fellas, carrying other fellas. A German shell landed amongst us and hit one of our boys and took his thigh off. It was the first time I'd seen blood spurting out. We tried putting on a tourniquet, but we had no stretcher so we used the straps from our rifles and carried him out. The shells were landing around us. We came to a big hollow and we were coming down the side when we looked up. Twenty four Stukas were coming over. They wheeled around and we thought, we're going to get caught, but they weren't going for us, they were going for the tanks that were corning up behind. We got to our lines and they put us behind the other fellas and said, 'Have a rest, boys.' We slept that night.

Jerome (Maiki or Jules) Parkinson (1924-2006), interviewed by Megan Hutching, 23 March 2004, for the Second World War oral history project - North Africa

From the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre, OHInt-0798-12.   All rights reserved. Permission of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage must be obtained before any re-use of this sound file.

Image: Maiki Parkinson.

Radio report from the first reunion of the Māori Battalion held in Wellington on the 25 February 1947.  This extract introduces the programme and refers to the former Battalion commanders attending, including George Dittmer, R.R.T. Young, Charles Bennett and Monty Fairbrother, as well as Major Rangi Royal.

Transcript

Radio Announcer: Hello people this is 2ZB broadcasting from the Savage Club Hall on the occasion of the first annual reunion of the 28th Māori Battalion and Māori Service Personnel.  Also present is your OC Services Session the Sgt Major, so I'll hand over the parade to Jock now, carry on Sgt Major.

Sergeant Major: Thanks Peter, well here we are and these chaps from the 28 Battalion and other Māori Service Personnel from the Navy and Air Force and also Māori who served in other Army units are all sitting down in a proprietary little drop of eating before the show really starts.

Radio Announcer: Who are some of the notable ex-commanders of the Battalion here Jock?  I see there are quite a few of them.

Sergeant Major: Yes Peter, well at the head of the table and presiding at the show is Colonel Dittmer.  Colonel Dittmer was the original Commanding Officer of the Battalion.  He commanded them in England with the 2nd Echelon, in Greece and Crete and in the 41 Libyan Show.  Other Māori Battalion Commanders, Colonel RRT Young, he was the Commander in Italy I think, for awhile.  Colonel CM Bennett, came back the year before last, he was the second last Battalion commander.  Colonel Fairbrother, also who commanded them.  I can also see at the head of the table Brigadier Hanson who was our CRE, at one stage with the Engineers.  Major Rangi Royal, whose name will always be tied up with that of the 28th Battalion.  Those I can see from here.

Radio Announcer: And representing the RSA is Mr MR Jones and representing the 2NZEF Association Mr Felix Wood.  The hall is, the tables are laden with really good looking food and at the head of the hall behind the chairman is a New Zealand ensign which has quite a history.  It's about a 12' by 6' flag.  That was the original flag taken over by the Māori Battalion, it came from Palmerston North went right through all the campaigns finished up somewhere in Italy.  It was finally brought back to New Zealand by Colonel Henry.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Reference number:  sa-d-00912-05-s02-pm

The Battalion sings E ngā hoia e (We are the soldiers!)

Track two [disc two] from Ake, Ake Kia Kaha E! Songs of the 28 (Māori) Battalion

Original sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero.