Peter Awatere was the Commander of C Company when they were given the task of taking Point 209. Sir Charles Bennett, Commanding Officer of the 28th Māori Battalion describes the qualities of Peter Awatere and his particular style of commanding C Company.
C Company under then Major Awatere who later in Italy became Colonel Awatere and became Commanding Officer of the Battalion in Italy. A very brave, courageous fighting man Peter Awatere, one of the best soldiers that the Māori Battalion produced. He was the Company Commander and I remember to this day, Peter Awatere and the way he commanded his Company.
The plan of attack for the Company of course was his concern, the Company Commander's concern, it had nothing to do with the Commanding Officer so I left it entirely to him. But he controlled almost like a parade ground manoeuvre. He had a whistle, and he had 3 platoons forward, all 3 platoons of the Company forward and when he blew one blast on the whistle this platoon would move 20 or so yards, 2 blast the middle one, 3 blast... and that's how he, not zig zagged, but that's how he made his way up this hill.
Sound file - Extracts from Interview with Sir Charles Bennett, interviewer Jim Sullivan, recorded 31 March and 1 April 1993, commissioned by the Ministry of External Relations.
From the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History and Sound collection, OHColl-0217-1. All rights reserved. Permission of the Library and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade must be obtained before any re-use of this sound file.
Detail of Officers at Katerini
Alexander Turnbull Library
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.