Cornelius (Con) O'Brien

Cornelius (Con) O'Brien from Tikitiki, served with C Company and embarked with the 9th Reinforcements

Con was part of 14 platoon - C Coy. During the 3rd battle at Cassino he and Naera Raihania located a Tiger tank in a basement. George Tamahori describes the scene:

“Pango tonu mai nga tangata i waho (The men who came out were black all over). Buggers were kids! Two young boys. Con grabbed them, pulled them up. So we took them up to ‘J.C.’ [Major Reedy]. ‘Look at these prisoners. Tamariki (kids)! Heck, these are the kids we’re fighting’ (quote from p.326, Nga Tama Toa, by Monty Soutar).

Con was wounded later that afternoon (18 March 1944) and received a Mention in Despatches for his part in the capture of the prisoners.

Con was killed in action on 11th October 1944 in Italy and is buried at Cesena War Cemetery.



Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand
Title:  Maori Battalion
Reference:  Detail of PA.000035
Photographer: Richard John James Thomson

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Submitted by mbadmin on Thu, 12/04/2012 - 11:39

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