Māori Battalion diary - December 1942


December opened with a 5 Brigade sports meeting that the Māori Battalion won handsomely. Their prize was a free day. Cpl A.M. Kirk, of Taumarunui, from the carrier platoon stripped and reassembled a Bren gun in 1 minute 32 secs – at least 30 secs better than average time and an outstanding performance. On 1 December the unit also officially became an integral part of 5 Brigade. Since its formation the Battalion had been a divisional unit and had spent time under command of every brigade in the Division. The red oblong patch on their uniform was replaced by the familiar red half-moon patch of 5 Brigade.

On 5 December the Battalion set out on the next step in the Eighth Army’s plan to capture Tripoli – a 640-km drive in stages. Rommel had stopped his retreat and his forces were camped along a line between the El Agheila marshes and the Gulf of Sirte. On 12 December, Montgomery moved the Eighth Army in to attack the line. At the same time the New Zealanders tried to go around them in the first of a series of ‘left hooks’ their Division would make during the pursuit. The idea was to trap the Germans, but Rommel’s army had already begun to withdraw before the Kiwis got there.  A second ‘left hook’ at Nofilia a few days later had a similar outcome.

At the start of December the Battalion had 29 officers plus the doctor, chaplain, and YMCA driver of Te Rau Aroha, the canteen truck – the latter three being attached to the unit. 

Temporary Major: Charles Bennett
Captains: Reta Keiha (Bn 2ic), Peta Awatere, Rangi Logan, Ruhi Pene, Ben Porter, Chris Sorrenson, Tutu Wirepa.
Lieutenants: Jim Aperahama, Ted Hayward, Syd Jackson, Mervyn Mitchell, Peter Ornberg, Ted Pohio, Matt Swainson, Pine Taiapa, Roy Te Punga.
Temporary Lieutenant: William Vercoe
Second Lieutenants: Walton Haig, George Katene, Eddie Morgan, George McDonald, A. E. (Duncan) McRae, Kara Rika, Jerry Smith, Dick Stephens, Kuru Waaka, Monty Wikiriwhi, Wally Wordley. 
Attached: Capt. Cam  D’Arcy (RMO), Capt. Chaplain Tunoa Wanoa (unit padre), Mr Charlie Bennett (YMCA)


  • 1 Dec, Tue as per syllabus. See Routine Order No 4.  1300 hrs Inter-brigade sports held on Battalion’s sports ground. Prize: free day. The programme was run very well, see Sports Programme.  Final results were:  28 NZ Māori Battalion 106 pts, 21 NZ Battalion 49 pts, Brigade  HQs 43 pts, 23 Battalion 23  pts (only these four teams competed). Weather: fine and sunny.
  • 2 Dec, Wed Free Day. 28 Battalion ‘A’ & ‘B’ rugby football teams played 4 Field Regiment and 25 Battalion respectively this afternoon. Māori Battalion won both matches, the former 25–3 and the latter 22–3. 1200 hrs 2/Lt Moana Ngarimu and 36 ORs marched in to the Battalion from Depot. Weather: fine, sunny with a light shower at 1400 hrs.
  • 3 Dec, Thu as per syllabus. See Syllabus of Training.  Pay day 50 piastres per man. 1600 hrs all officers reported to 5 Brigade HQ to a conference given by Brigadier Kippenberger concerning the intended move of Brigade to Haseiat. 1730 hrs CO called a conference of Coy Commanders and detailed plans for move. All orders were issued verbally. Weather: inclement, fine sunny with a very heavy shower from 1415 hrs to 1500 hrs.
  • 4 Dec, Fri Coys carried out normal training similar to programme yesterday. Periods during the afternoon were devoted to general preparations for move tomorrow. The IO gave a report to Coys on the general situation in the forward areas i.e. Aghelia sector, also a general description of routes which the Battalion will be going over in the next few days.  1700 hrs CO called a final conference of all officers and finalised plans for impending move. Routine to be tomorrow 0630 hrs reveille, 0645 hrs sick parade, 0715 hrs breakfast, 0930 hrs embuss, 1130 hrs cross start line (Railway line Sidi Azeiz) route is to Hareifet, En Nbeibat, Bir Hacheim, Msus, Saunnu, Kasieat – total distance 550 km approx. All matters of POL rations, water and ammunition were thoroughly gone into. Weather: fine and sunny.
  • 5 Dec, Sat 1030 hrs Battalion moved on to start line (railway line Sidi Azeiz) in three columns. Order B, C, D, A and HQ Coys immediately in rear of 5 Field Regiment. 28 Battalion was followed by 21 Battalion. VTM, MIH, MPH. 1245 hrs crossed start line, thence along Trig Capuzzo for 37 km thence due west across desert to Hagfet En Nezha. 1700 hrs halted and harboured for night. Vehicles were not closed in but full military precaution was observed with a strict blackout. Distance travelled 79 km. Remarks: march discipline was somewhat erratic this day and there was some difficulty in maintaining correct VTM with the Artillery Regiment ahead. Going generally good. Weather: cloudy with showers and cold.
  • 6 Dec, Sun 0545 hrs reveille. 0630 hrs breakfast. 0720 hrs move off heading due west. 1240 hrs halt for lunch at Bir Scerrara. 1315 hrs prepare to move. Brigade broke into column of route to negotiate enemy mine field. 1430 hrs passed through Bir Hacheim. Reformed into three columns 1.6 km to the west of Bir Hacheim and proceeded west. 1700 hrs halted and harboured at Menny Massiv. Remarks: Things are going generally well, vehicle casualties light. Going variable some parts to Bir Hacheim a bit rough but to the west excellent. Distance travelled 142 km. Weather: Showery but with occasional sun shine.
  • 7 Dec, Mon 0700 hrs reveille. 0800 hrs breakfast. 0900 hrs moved. At this stage we were warned about mines in area south of Saunnu. The Battalion and the Brigade moved off in normal columns of threes direction generally west. 1230-1330 hrs lunch. 1700 hrs harboured for night 40 km east of Msus. Going was very good, over ideal desert routes. Distance travelled 137 km. Weather: beautiful and sunny with bracing winds from the north.
  • 8 Dec, Tue 0700 hrs reveille. 0800 hrs breakfast. 0900 hrs moved off again generally heading west. About 3.2 km east of Msus the route swung sharp left southwards towards Bir El Hag Hame where we halted for lunch at 1230 hrs. 1330 hrs moved off again and passed through the Saunnu Defile, Rug Bet El Gazi at 1600 hrs. 1730 hrs halted and harboured for night at Saunnu windmill. Going good to fair, the columns converged through the defile and remained in rather close formation throughout the night. Coys still in same formation.
  • 9 Dec, Wed 0700 hrs reveille. 0800 hrs breakfast. 0900 hrs moved off again generally heading southwards. All vehicles remain strictly to used tracks owing to mine danger. 1230 hrs halted for lunch 8 km from Fort Terruzi. 1330 hrs moved off again. 1600 hrs ordered by Brigade whilst still on move to form desert formation. The move was completed with little difficulty the Battalion halting on completion of move in its desert formation of five columns with the Anti-tank and Carrier screens on the flank. Direction of axis 230 degrees approx. with Māori Battalion on right, 23 Battalion on left, 21 Battalion across the rear with Brigade HQ and 5 Fld Regt plus other supporting arms in the centre of the Brigade Group. 1630 hrs attended Company Commanders conference at Brigade HQ and were informed that we would be staying in this area for a day or two. Remarks: Going generally good.  Total distance travelled to date 546 km. Weather: Fine but overcast and cold.
  • 10 Dec, Thu 0700 hrs reveille. 0800 hrs breakfast. The Battalion spent the morning in cleaning of arms and maintenance of vehicles. 1300 hrs O/Gp depart for conference at Division HQ. 1600 hrs Officers conference at Battalion HQ. 1645 hrs NCOs lecture by CO re the move that the Battalion is undertaking and a review of the situation to date. 2/Lt Monty Wikiriwhi departs for Rear Division thence to course in Cairo area and 2/Lt M Ngarimu marched in as IO this day.
  • 11 Dec, Fri 0600 hrs reveille. 0700 hrs breakfast. 0830 hrs transport arrived to lift the Battalion on its forward march. 0845 hrs Battalion embussed and ready to move off. 0900 hrs  Battalion move off heading for El Haseiat. 1010 hrs Halt at C 4992. 1155 hrs we passed through Wadi El Faregh. 1425 hrs the Battalion arrives at C 4452 and settles down. Coys are situated tactically with B Coy facing South West, D, C & A Coys facing west. Normal sentries of two men and one NCO were detailed to Patrol Platoon area.
  • 12 Dec, Sat 0630 hrs reveille. 0800 hrs breakfast. The remainder of the day being showery prevented the Coys from carrying out route march. 1200 hrs lunch. 1700 hrs tea.
  • 13 Dec, Sun 0630 hrs reveille. 0715 hrs physical training. 0800 hrs breakfast. 0815 hrs striking of bivvys and preparing to move forward as per Battalion movement order issued last night.
  • 14 Dec, Mon 1510 hrs CO departs for conference at Brigade HQ approx. 11 km from head of Battalion column leaving the Battalion to be brought forward by the Adjutant Lt Roy Te Punga. Battalion at this stage has reached its position in stage of Division’s move. 1730 hrs CO returns from Brigade conference. 1745 hrs  "O" Grp conference at COs car when orders are given that the Brigade Group were to move that night in the following order: 23 Battalion, Brigade Group, 5 Field Artillery, 28 Battalion, 21 Battalion.
    NIGHT 14/15
    1800 hrs Battalion closed to 25 yards (23 m) interval and move forward to contact the rear of 5 Field Artillery who were on the Division Axis of march. Māori Battalion moves through whole distance in this order along the Division Axis marked by red lamps. 2400 hrs Battalion arrives near Agheila and closes in head to tail until the head of the Battalion column was abreast with head of Brigade HQ Group. Word is given to bed down, thus the ending the Division’s night move.
  • 15 Dec, Tue 0630 hrs reveille. The men embuss and shake out to desert formation. 0700 hrs moved forward approx. 3.2 km to enable the rear elements to go into desert formation. 0745 hrs reconnaissance group consisting of CO. Lt-Col Charles Bennett, IO, 2/Lt Ngarimu, and Signals Officer 2/Lt George MacDonald depart to move with Brigade HQ. Battalion 2IC Maj. Reta Keiha, now directing the Battalion’s move forward. 0845 hrs halt for breakfast. 1200 hrs Battalion on move again. Having a snappy lunch at 1230 hrs. 1330 hrs 6 pounders of the 31st Battery joins Battalion Group and move over to protect our right flank. 1900 hrs whole Brigade Group halts vicinity Bir El Merduma. Orders were given to Maj. Keiha to move due east 1.6 km then turn north for 460 m and take up a defensive position facing east. 23 Battalion on our left with a gap of approx. 550 m which was covered by light armour of the 4th Light Armoured Brigade. 21 Battalion on 23 Battalion’s left.2230 hrs company commanders positioned their men after making a brief recce of the area. Transport and B Echelon moved back west of Battalion 1.8 km. Coys were in position in the following order: A Coy on left, B Coy centre, D Coy right and C Coy in reserve. A coy of Engineers took up a position on the right of D Coy and considerably strengthened our right flank. The battalion is dug in complete with supporting arms and it would have taken a very big enemy force to overrun the Battalion, even then with a big force it would have been doubtful.
  • 16 Dec, Wed stand to at first light. Battalion again digging and strengthening their positions. 0830 hrs enemy forces are seen moving north-west towards 6 Brigade area and were engaged by our artillery. This enemy force struck 21 Battalion and after a slight skirmish they managed to go through a gap between 21 Battalion and 6 Brigade. 21 Battalion captured 12 POWs and some military transport and guns. From reports to hand these enemy forces were the remnants of the Axis rear guard who were left in the Aghelia position. 0930 hrs breakfast is bought up from B Echelon. Elements of the 4th Light Armoured Brigade passed through Battalion area moving over about 5 km on our right flank. 1200 hrs dry rations are given to the men who rest throughout the afternoon. 1530 hrs officers conference at Battalion HQ when information is given that the Battalion, as part of the Brigade Group, will move to Nofilia that evening. 1600 hrs troop carrying transport report to Coys to uplift the men. 1630 hrs B Echelon reports to Battalion with evening meal. 1700 hrs the men completed loading and prepared to move. 1715 hrs Battalion moved off in desert formation to approximately 3.2 km passed Brigade HQ and bedded down for the night.
  • 17 Dec, Thu 0545 hrs reveille. Fires were allowed to be lit for the first time during the hours of darkness since the Division’s advance began and the picture of the Brigade area resembled that of a little town in peacetime, with all fires as lights. 0640 hrs Brigade moved off in desert formation. 1200 hrs Battalion halts at Z 9523. Head of Brigade Column subjected to shelling and anti-tank fire from the Nofilia area. During this halt the opportunity was taken to have lunch. 1430 hrs Brigade conference. 1500 hrs Brigade moved forward still in desert formation. 1700 hrs Battalion reached the escarpment overlooking the road and enemy could be seen racing west along Aghelia-Sirte Rd. At this stage the Battalion was subjected to very heavy artillery and anti-tank fire. During this enemy shelling the Battalion suffered one fatal casualty: 65402 Pte Te Aorere (Sonny) Sutherland, who was severely wounded and later died of wounds. He was buried there. At 7135 the men debussed and moved forward to take up a position with D on the right, A on the left, B in centre and C Coy again in reserve. 23 Battalion was on the left on a high feature which commands the road and 21 Battalion on the left of 23 Battalion. Battalion digs in and was very fortunate to strike ground which was soft and stone-less. Enemy artillery fire had eased off considerably due chiefly to the accurate fire of our artillery and anti-tank guns and the fact that the 23 Battalion had contacted some dug-in infantry and were drawing nearly all the enemy artillery fire. 2140 hrs D Coy commanded by Maj. Rangi Logan vacated its position and moved down to the main road to cover a detachment of 7 Field sappers who were to mine the road and both sides of the bridge at Uadi Schedgan. A platoon of C Coy moved over and took up D Coy position while D coy was on its task. See Company Commanders Report A two section patrol from B Coy spent the night on the high feature Trig 121 in square Z73. Approx. 2400hrs enemy motorised transport could be heard moving west along sea route.
  • 18 Dec, Fri 0630 hrs D Coy returns from its task and B Coy patrol arrive back in Battalion area. Normal stand to. 0800 hrs breakfast. Battalion resting during the morning. 1100 hrs a detachment of 7 Field engineers depart to lift mines laid last night. Throughout the day, formations of our fighters were seen flying over our area flying in a westerly direction. 1400 hrs B Coy leave the Battalion area to take up a position on the left of 21 Battalion. 1635 hrs warning order for the Battalion move tomorrow reaches us. 2015 hrs move postponed.
  • 19 Dec, Sat 0730 hrs stand to. 0800 hrs breakfast. 1200 hrs plans for attack of motorised transport was issued by the CO. 1230 hrs 14 prisoners (1 Staff Sergeant and 13 ORs) were brought back by B Coy. These prisoners were apparently proud of their regiment in that the words “Afrika Corps” was written in big letters on their arm bands, and they were passed back to Brigade HQ. 1245 hrs CO and Adjutant depart for Brigade Conference. 1330 hrs B Coy returns to Battalion area from its position on the left flank of 21 Battalion. 1420 hrs Battalion receives word that the whole Brigade is staying in this area for some time. Battalion is to take up a defensive position about 1.3 km south of its present position. 1500 hrs “O” Grp, accompanied by the CO, makes a short recce of the new area.  At this stage the men had embussed and are led over to the areas allocated to their respective Coys.  23 Battalion still on right and 21 Battalion on left. The Battalion builds an all-round defence. The remainder of the day is devoted to digging. 1800 hrs normal “stand to” was observed. Orders were given out that the Coys were to have sentries of 1 NCO and 2 ORs patrolling platoon areas. The Coys on the flanks were to contact the Battalion’s on each flank during the night. The unit’s strength, excluding officers, was 694 ORs, 6 of who were attached from NZEME.  67 ORs were required to bring the unit to full strength. The total number of officers was 29 (3 of whom were attached).
  • 20 Dec, Sun 0645-0730 hrs “stand to.” The Coys spent the day strengthening their positions except for the period the unit’s Padre visited each Coy to conduct Divine Services. 1800-1845 “stand to”
  • 21 Dec, Mon  0645-0730 hrs  “stand to” 0800 hrs breakfast. 0900 hrs Coys fall in and inspection. 0930-1000 hrs Coy drill, cleaning and checking of weapons. 1100-1230 hrs devoted to strengthening of weapon pits. After lunch the day was left to be used at the discretion of Coy Commanders, and the opportunity was taken by them for interior economy, hair cutting and general cleaning up. 1630 hrs conference of all officers including NCOs in charge of platoons was held at Battalion HQ, when the CO gave the following points: 1) Christmas will be celebrated by the Battalion in this area. 2) Battalion may move back and this area will be taken up by the 7th Armoured Division. 3)  The much looked for bottle of beer  will not be here for the celebration of Christmas owing to the fact that the transport was sunk due to enemy action, but the men will have a double issue of rum. 4) Pork will be available to the Battalion for that day. Lt Harry Lambert and Cpl Charlie Taite marched in from Base. 1800-1845 hrs normal “stand to”
  • 22 Dec, Tue 0645-0730 hrs “stand to.” 0800 hrs breakfast. 0900 hrs 26 ORs and 1 Officer each from A, B and C Coys depart for beach to spend the day swimming, taking with them their midday rations. The remaining members of the Battalion carried out a route march and practised platoon attacks. Brigadier Kippenberger paid a visit to the Battalion area and was in conversation with the CO for some time. 1300 hrs word is received that the Battalion will move to a rest area near the sea. 1600 hrs members of the Battalion who spent the day at the beach return. Lt Peter Ornberg, who has been the Battalion’s mortar officer since he joined the Battalion, was transferred to command 17 Platoon D Coy, and a former mortar sergeant, now 2/Lt George Katene MM, who was in charge of 17 Platoon, takes over the Mortar Platoon. 1630 hrs word received earlier in the day regarding the Battalion move to rest area was cancelled. 1800-1845 hrs normal stand to.
  • 23 Dec, Wed 0645-0730 hrs “stand to.” 0800 hrs breakfast. 0900 hrs Coys fall in and inspection. 26 ORs and one officer each from D, HQ and 19 ORs from Battalion HQ depart to spend day swimming at the beach. The remaining members of the Coys carried out platoon drill and platoon attack. 1600 hrs beach party returns. 1650 hrs an officer from DMT General HQ, Middle East Forces arrived in Battalion area for the purpose of meeting men who have had experience in enemy weapons, but owing to the lack of time he departed without making personal contact with the men and arranged to return the next day. 1800-1845 hrs normal stand to.
  • 24 Dec, Thu 0645-0730 hrs “stand to.” 0800 hrs breakfast. 0900 hrs routine as per syllabus.  After the times stated in syllabus the remainder of the day was utilised by Coys in preparing for the Christmas dinner. Major Main from the officers of the DMT was again in the Battalion area and this time he made personal contact with the men in all Coys, the object of his visit was to get the opinion of the men on which enemy weapon was thought  the most frightening and the weapon that produces most casualties. The popular reply was (1) most frightening was the 88mm (2) most casualties were from mortar fire. 1330 hrs D Coy carried out a company attack exercise under cover of mortar fire and smoke screen. The remainder of the day was utilised by Coys in preparing for the Christmas festivity.  Since settling down in this area the periods for stand to in the evenings was from 1800-1845 hrs but this evening it was discontinued and the Battalion relaxed. The reason for this being that the enemy had withdrawn further to the west and that some of our troops were in a position west of us but sentries were posted during the night. During the early part of the night the units surrounding us were discharging flares of all colours and an occasional “boom” of mortars could be heard.  From these activities it could be gathered that these units were celebrating yet another Christmas Eve. The Battalion sent up an occasional flare and tracer SAA.
  • 25 Dec, Fri 0645-0730 hrs “stand to.” 0800 hrs breakfast. 0930 hrs Church Parade for the Battalion. Previous to the Church Sermon the CO wished the Battalion “The Season’s Greetings” and mentioned that the Battalion had received monetary gifts from Mr P.K. Paikea MP, Minister in charge of the Maori War Effort, on behalf of the people of New Zealand and this money was to be distributed to the Māori equally, irrespective of rank. This stipulation, said the CO, would be carried out at the first leave for the Battalion in the near future. Another gift of £45 was received from the people of Hawke’s Bay to be used on tobacco for the men, and at the first opportunity this money will be spent accordingly. The sum of £145, to be distributed amongst the “needy”, was also read out from the Army Commander and another from Brigadier Kippenberger, Commander 5 Brigade. After this the Unit Padre Capt. Tunoa Wanoa conducted Divine Services followed by Holy Communion. The latter was well attended. 1300 hrs Battalion celebrated its Christmas dinner in true Māori fashion. The pork was cooked in a hangi which flavoured the pork to taste like real Christmas pork. The weed commonly known to the Māori as ‘puha’, collected from the wadis in the area, helped to make the meal most appetising. The sweets for the meal were mostly tinned stuff procured by Regiment funds and from other sources such as Patriotic Gifts. There was an issue of one bottle of beer per man purchased by Regimental funds as also were the 50 cigarettes that were issued to the men. Patriotic parcels were issued on a scale of one per man, and these parcels contained sweets, tinned fruit, cakes etc. The Christmas was the second that the Battalion has had in the desert and to some in the Battalion the third Christmas away from home. Normal sentries during the night.  See Routine for Xmas Day. 
  • 26 Dec, Sat 0700 hrs  reveille. 0715-0745 hrs PT and hardening training.0800 breakfast. Remainder of the day as per syllabus. The unit’s strength, excluding officers, was 696 ORs, 6 of whom were attached from NZEME. 65 ORs were required to bring the unit to full strength. The total number of officers was 29 (3 of whom were attached).
  • 27 Dec, Sun 0745 hrs reveille. 0815 hrs breakfast. Unit chaplain visited all Coys and conducted Divine Services in Coy Areas. Remainder of the day was free. 1330 hrs Coy Commanders depart to recce new area. 1800 hrs “O” Grp conference at Battalion HQ when word was given that the Battalion was moving to a rest area nearer to the Beach. Normal sentries posted.
  • 28 Dec, Mon 0700 hrs reveille. 0730 hrs breakfast the men began striking bivvys in readiness to move down to beach. 0930 hrs all Coy areas clean and the men parade ready to move off to new area. All Coy transport move down to new area under Coy commanders. Men marched to area under Coy 2 i/cs. 1230 hrs Battalion arrives in new area. Capt. Mervyn Mitchell – the officer commanding Anti/Tank Platoon – was fortunate to escape with his life when the “jeep” he was driving was blown up by a Teller mine which the retreating Axis forces had laid at random. The damage done to the jeep was very great. The whole of its engine was rendered useless and it must be considered an act of providence that Capt. Mitchell escaped injury. Mitchell’s batman, who was the other occupant of the jeep, received a bruise on the leg and had to be evacuated. The mines picked up by the NZE in the area were numerous, and the way they were laid was sufficient evidence of a hurried retreat. All Battalion transport except one admin vehicle and one cook truck were sent back to an area near the sea.
  • 29 Dec, Tue 0700 hrs reveille. 0715-0745 hrs P and RT. 0815 hrs breakfast. During the afternoon the Battalion played inter Coy football matches, viz: HQ “A” team beat HQ “B” team. C Coy played A Coy the former winning by 6–3. The main attraction of the day was a game between D and B Coy who played the inter-Coy finals. This game was fast and furious with both sides playing good football, and at times thrilled the spectators with classy rugby. The game resulted in a draw, both sides securing 3 points each. For this game Maj. Ben Porter MC & Bar was referee.
  • 30 Dec, Wed 0700 hrs reveille. 0715-0745 hrs P and RT. 0815 breakfast. During the afternoon the Battalion was again treated to a fine display of rugby when the 21 Battalion XV came up to Battalion area and played our Battalion “A” team. The Māori Battalion won 22–0. The game was not as one sided as the scores might indicate, but rather it was a fairly close game and only through the excellent combination of our backs and forwards made the scores so high. The opposing team had a good combination throughout but was let down through faulty handling of the ball. Pte Len Mackey officiated. The curtain raiser for this match was a game between Battalion “B” team and a team picked from the remaining numbers of the Battalion. The “rest” won 9–6. Word is received that the enemy evacuated his position at Buerat and Wadi Chebir yesterday. One Sgt and 4 ORs of the 4 Field HG Section visited the Battalion today and had lunch with Battalion HQ after which they departed. Normal sentries of an NCO and 4 ORs per platoon area were posted during the night.
  • 31 Dec, Thu 0700 hrs reveille. 0715-0745 hrs P and RT. 0815 hrs breakfast. Remainder of the morning as per routine. Warning order for probable move arrived from Brigade. During the afternoon the Division Petrol Support Unit fielded their best team to play our Battalion in rugby. They had previously beaten all comers and thought that they would continue unbeaten. They would have won the day too if the Battalion team had not been so determined that they should win. The Māori Battalion won 6–5. Brigadier Kippenberger was present for the match. Pte Len Mackey again officiated. Most members of the Battalion did not witness this game on account of Coys route marching 4.8 km to Division mobile showers. An issue of maps of the 500,000 series dealing with Tripoli, Mizda and Misurata was made to the Battalion. 1700 hrs a generous issue of one and a half bottles of beer per man was made available, also an issue of patriotic gifts was made available to the men and these gifts as usual were welcomed by the men. The parcels contained cakes, sweets, tinned fruit and milk. 1745 hrs “O” Grp conference at Battalion HQ when the move for tomorrow was discussed. During the night the surrounding units again shot up flares and this was taken up by the Battalion with occasional flares to denote the end of the year and the coming of the new one. Normal sentries of 1 NCO and 4 ORs were posted during the night. 2/Lts Walton Haig and Eddie Morgan with 5 ORs proceeded to No 2 course at Army 30 Corps School of patrolling.


Archives New Zealand = Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga.
28 NZ (Maori) Battalion Diary, WAII 1 1665 DA 68/1/36

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