Māori Battalion diary - May 1943


The Axis (i.e. German-Italian) Forces in Tunisia were pushed further north in a pincer movement by the Eighth Army and the Anglo-American Force, the latter having landed in Morocco and Algeria in November 1942. On 7–8 May, the Māori Battalion, now under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Reta Keiha, carried out its final operation of the North African Campaign. A Company and D Company were detailed to capture two small hill features in front of 21 Battalion which they did with success. Both D and A Companies suffered a number of casualties, some fatal, and these were the Battalion’s last in the North African Campaign. The fighting in Tunisia ended on 13 May with the surrender of 275,000 Axis troops. The Māori Battalion, as part of 5 Brigade, then made the long trek back to Maadi. The way was now paved for the invasion of Europe through Italy.

At the beginning of May the Battalion had only 20 officers plus the doctor, chaplain, and YMCA driver of Te Rau Aroha canteen truck – the latter three being attached to the unit. Numbers were down because of the recent casualties at Tebaga Gap and Takrouna.

  • Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel: Reta Keiha (CO)
  • Captains: Jim Henare (OC, A Coy), Jim Matehaere (OC, D Coy), Mervyn Mitchell (OC, HQ Coy), Ruhi Pene (Bn 2ic),
  • Temporary Captains: Ted Hayward
  • Lieutenants: Walton Haig, Syd Jackson (OC, C Coy), Harry Lambert, Herbert Marsden, A. E. (Duncan) McRae, Peter Ornberg, Ted Pohio, Matt Swainson, Monty Wikiriwhi (Adjutant), Wally Wordley
  • Second Lieutenants: George Katene, George McDonald, Jerry Smith
  • Attached: Capt. Cam D’Arcy (RMO), Capt. Chaplain Tunoa Wanoa (unit padre), Mr Charlie Bennett (YMCA)


  • 1 May, Sat 0630 hrs reveille. 0645–0715 hrs physical training, 0745 hrs breakfast. 0845–0900 hrs Company parade and inspection of all arms. 0900–1100 hrs rifle companies went out on routine march, Company Commanders choosing their routes. Weather: fine and dull with poor visibility.
  • 2 May, Sun 0600 hrs reveille. 0700 hrs breakfast. 1030 hrs Church of England parade for Battalion. Chaplain Capt. Tunoa Wanoa officiated. 1230 hrs Battalion HQ and HQ Company personnel under command of Capt. Mervyn Michell were conveyed on nine 3-tonners to the beach at Hergla for swim. A good sandy beach and a calm sea helped to make a very enjoyable afternoon for all the men. Men back in camp by 1630 hrs. 1400 hrs Capt. Ruhi Pene left Battalion HQ to join a party from 5 Brigade who were going out to make a recce of the new resting area for the Brigade. 1700 hrs tea. 1800 hrs a new message was received from the Brigade that two officers from Base Training Depot were at Division waiting for transport to bring them up to the Battalion. 2100 hrs 2/Lt Richie Davis (DCM) from Middle East OCTU and 2/Lt John Tawhai (8th Reinforcement) reported to Battalion HQ and were both posted to A Coy. Weather: fine and warm.
  • 3 May, Mon 0630 hrs reveille. 0700 hrs breakfast. 0730–0900 hrs striking bivouacs and packing up ready to move to new area. 0915 hrs Battalion moved out. Convoy was led by the CO, Lt-Col Reta Keiha and Adjutant, Lt Monty Wikiriwhi The Brigade order of march was 21 Battalion, Brigade HQ and attached personnel, 28 Battalion, 23 Battalion, ADS, 7 Field Company and the Brigade workshops bringing up the rear. 1030 hrs Battalion arrives at new area and companies settle down in an olive orchard. Battalion has a 270 m frontage to the road.  Companies dig in and proceed to make themselves comfortable for at least a fortnight’s rest when after lunch a message was received from Brigade that the Battalion was to be prepared to move to an area north of Sidi Bou Ali at 0700 hrs in the morning. 1730 hrs tea. 1830 hrs CO was called up to Brigade for conference and Battalion Officer Group was called to Battalion HQ in readiness for his return. 2030 hrs ‘O’ Group conference held in orderly room tent at which the CO gave out the details for the Brigade move and the order of march to an area near Djebina tomorrow and that the whole coming Division operation is to be classed as Non-Tactical. Weather: fine and warm See Routine Order no 7
  • 4 May, Tues 0430 hrs reveille. 0500 hrs breakfast. 0530–0615 hrs striking bivouacs, packing up and filling in silt trenches. 0620 hrs convoy moved off and waited on the road for Brigade and attached personnel to move off. 0710 hrs convoy moves off. Capt. Pene moved out from Battalion HQ at 0540 hrs with Company Sergeant Majors to join advance party at Brigade. 0800 hrs Battalion moving in columns of route and by 1030 hrs had reached the dispersal area at Maktar. On arrival at dispersal area Coys were shown their respective areas by Capt. Pene while the CO and Adjutant left to attend conference at Brigade. 1200 hrs lunch. 1330 hrs Keiha and Wikiriwhi. return to find battalion dispersed 70 m between vehicles. 1430 hrs CO, Intelligence Officer and Coy Commanders left to do a recce of the position allotted to the Battalion and return at 1630 hrs. 1730 hrs tea. 1800 hrs Battalion HQ and rifle companies move out independently to occupy the position allotted to them, see map. By last light all companies were disposed tactically, dug in, and all transport, with the exception of Coy commanders, PUs and Battalion HQ vehicles, had returned to B Echelon. Battalion is now disposed 1.8 km  to the rear of 21 and 23 Battalions having been assigned the roles of reserve Battalion for the Brigade. Weather: fine with a cold northerly wind.
  • 5 May, Wed 0500–0600 hrs “stand to”. 0730 hrs breakfast. Companies rest in their defensive positions. 1000 hrs Aering Brigade (Lt.-Col Harding) arrived at Battalion HQ and was in conference with the CO till 1030 hrs at which time he affirmed that the role of the Brigade came under the heading of “Passive Offensive.” 1600 hrs Coy Commanders conference at Battalion HQ at which the CO explained to his officers the situation as it affects our immediate front. 1730 hrs tea. 1800–1930 hrs sentries as for last night. Weather: fine but cloudy with a fairly strong north westerly blowing.
  • 6 May, Thurs 0500–0600 hrs “stand to”. 0730 hrs breakfast. Battalion is taking things rather easily but occasionally the enemy lobs a few heavy shells just forward of our fields. News was also received today of the great progress the 1st Army is making with the attack that started last evening and that already fires are burning in the bigger coastal towns. The weather today was warm and muggy with a few light showers towards evening and during the night. 1800–1930 hrs “stand to”. One German officer and one ORs were found hiding in our area and were made POWs. 2/Lt Les Hall arrives from Advance Base.
  • 7 May, Fri 0500–0600 hrs “stand to”. 0730 hrs breakfast. 1000 hrs a message was received from Brigade for the CO and Coy Commanders to meet the Brigade at 1300 hrs at 23 Battalion HQ. 1200 hrs lunch. 1330 hrs the CO, IO and Coy Commanders meet Brigadier and the CO of 23 Battalion. Brigadier informed them that he had committed two companies from 28 Battalion to attack and occupy Pt 237 (150879) and Pt 212 (152873) and subsequently A Coy (Capt. Jim Henare) was detailed to take Pt. 237 while D Coy (Capt. Jim Matehaere) would take Pt. 212. See map.  After Brigadier’s conference the Lt-Col Keiha with Capt. Henare and Capt. Matehaere made a long range recce of the Battalion objectives for that night from a position near the windmill - because most of the country between this windmill and the two objectives was under direct enemy observation and fire. 1600 hrs recce party returns to Battalion. 1630 hrs the CO with Signals Officer (2/Lt George MacDonald) and the RMO returned to 23 Battalion area and selected positions for Battalion HQ, exchange and RAP. 1730 hrs CO and his party return to Battalion HQ. 1730 hrs tea. 1800–1915 hrs rifle companies and Battalion HQ prepare to move forward. Each man was equipped with 100 rounds SAA and all the grenades that could be had besides carrying a pick and shovel each. The weather had now changed for the worst, but owing to the nature of the action the men were only allowed to take their great coats and haversacks and 24-hour rations. 1930 hrs convoy moves forward led by the Adjutant and IO followed by the CO, Sigs trucks, RAP, Defence Platoon, D Coy and finally A Coy. The weather has been overcast all day and towards the evening a steady drizzle had set in making things very uncomfortable for the men. 2030 hrs Battalion HQ is established at 119 860 in a wadi and A and D Coys had reached the debussing point. The debussing point was near the windmill (127860) where guides from the forward sections of the 23 Battalion were waiting to guide them forward. Zero hour was 2230 hrs. See A and D Coy Commanders’ accounts of their respective attacks. Meanwhile the Signals Officer and his men were laying lines as the companies were advancing but the country was difficult, the night wet and pitch black and it was not till well after midnight before communications were established when the CO heard from Coy Commanders that they had taken their objective and were reorganising.
  • 8 May, Sat last night was one of the roughest the men have experienced this year. It rained and a strong wind was blowing with visibility zero. The men were wet through but “stood to” all night. A Coy’s casualties were one killed, one wounded while “D” Coy suffered two wounded. The day dawned bright and clear but enemy shelling and mortaring was terrific and before long A Coy had lost more men and communications were difficult to maintain. Meals were cooked and brought up to Battalion HQ but could not be taken to the forward coys because enemy shelling was too heavy. All day the enemy kept up his shelling of the forward areas and occasionally plastering the rest of 23 and 28 Battalion areas with heavy long range shells. 1700 hrs CO was called to Brigade when the Brigadier informed him that the Battalion will be relieved by French Forces the following night. During the early part of night 8/9 May the enemy counter-attacked on Pt.237 with his usual infiltrating methods and managed to partly surround A Coy who were left to fight their way out and this they did without suffering any casualties. Meanwhile D Coy had improved its positions taking German POWs during the process. The unit’s strength at this time, excluding officers, was 524 ORs, six of whom were attached from NZEME. 224 ORs were required to bring the unit to full strength. The total number of officers was 23 (three of whom were attached).
  • 9 May, Sun Battalion HQ stood-to all night. Bright and beautiful morning. 0800 hrs Gen. LeClerc (Commander French Forces) arrived at Battalion HQ with his officers and together with the CO 23 Battalion and CO 28 Battalion did a recce of the area from the windmill. At 1100 hrs an armed squadron from 4 Light Armed Division consisting of Shermans, Crusaders and armoured cars passed through Battalion HQ and approached Pt 237 but found it unoccupied. Meanwhile D Coy under Capt. Matehaere’s able leadership had continued probing forward in the wadis and on the slopes of the northern side of Pt. 212 with success, capturing 50 German POWs, 12 machine guns and two 3-inch mortars. A Coy had accounted for six POWs and 20 killed. 2130 hrs the whole of the Battalion arrived back at B Echelon where A and D Coy were able to get their first rest since we left two nights previously. Lt Wally Wordley, who had been wounded, was among those evacuated.
  • 10 May, Mon 0600 hrs reveille. 0700 hrs breakfast. As 5 Brigade is moving back towards the coast this morning the period from 0730 hrs to 0815 hrs is utilised in packing up, embussing and moving into convoy. 0840 hrs Battalion in column of route moves off and at 0905 hrs the convoy, lead by the Adjutant, moves along road Djebibina – Enfidaville. 1010 hrs crosses road Kairouan – Enfidaville. 1030 hrs the Battalion reaches staging area and disperses with Battalion HQ situated in cactus grove. Battalion covered a distance of 34 km at an average speed of 24 km per hour. 1630 hrs a payment of £1 each to all ranks was made available from money donated by the Māori people of NZ. The men get the opportunity this afternoon to clean up and wash clothes as a fair amount of water has been made available.
  • 11 May, Tues routine as per Routine Order no 7.  0815 hrs Father Henley from 5 Brigade HQ conducted a Roman Catholic church parade in the vicinity of Battalion HQ. 1030 hrs Battalion HQ and HQ Coy under Capt. Mitchell left in nine 3-tonners to spend the day on the beach near the village of Hergla. Remainder of Battalion resting. 1200 hrs lunch. 1530 hrs A and D Coys moved out on RMT trucks to have hot showers with mobile shower unit situated near the Sidi Bou Ali–Enfidaville Rd. 1630 hrs swimming party returns. 1800 hrs CO and Adjutant were called up to Brigade for a conference. 1900 hrs CO, on returning from Brigade, called a Coy Commanders’ conference at which he released the news that the NZ Division will be returning to Nile Delta in a few days’ time. 1930 hrs pictures were shown in our area tonight. The programme consisted of two shorts and the main feature Something to Sing About.
  • 12 May, Wed routine as per Routine Order no 8.  0800 hrs B Coy parades at the mobile dental tents which had been erected late yesterday for dental examinations. 1200 hrs lunch. 1400 hrs swimming for A and D Coys and hot showers for C and B Coys.1715 hrs tea. 1930 hrs pictures - Windows of London was the chief film shown.
  • 13 May, Thurs routine as per Routine Order no 9.  0900 hrs a signal came from the Brigade stating that all hostilities in North Africa. ceased as from this morning. 1000 hrs C and B Coys left to go swimming near Hergla, remainder of the Battalion at rest and preparing for the trip east. 1200 hrs lunch.1700 hrs tea. 1930 hrs pictures were again held in the Battalion area. The programme was made up of two news reels, shorts and the main feature Stolen Heaven. Yesterday and today a changeover was made in the Battalion dress from the winter issue to the summer issue, comprising of the following articles: two pairs of trousers KD, one Shorts KD, two bush shirts, two cotton singlets, one pair Hose Tops, one pair puttees. Weather: fine and warm.
  • 14 May, Fri routine as per Routine Order no 10. 0830 hrs “C” Coy paraded for Dental examination and treatment. 0400 hrs a party of 20 men from the Battalion under Capt. Syd Jackson left on an excursion to Tunis with a party from the Brigade HQ. 0830 hrs Capt. Henare, Padre Wanoa and a fatigue party proceeded to Pt. 237 to collect and bury the six A Coy men who were killed during the attack and occupation of that feature on 7–8 May. 0900 hrs warning order from the Brigade that 5 Brigade will move tomorrow. Remainder of the day Battalion is resting and making preparations for the move. 1730 hrs issue of Canadian beer at the rate of two bottles per man, one of which was paid for out of the Regimental Funds. There was plenty of fun and noise tonight in the camp. 2015 hrs CO’s conference at which Coy Commanders were informed by the CO that the NZ Division is moving to Maadi by road tomorrow morning with 5 Brigade leading. Weather: Warm and sunny.
  • 15 May, Sat 0600 hrs reveille. 0700 hrs breakfast. 0730 hrs striking bivouacs, packing up, embussing and transport lining up into column of route.  0830 hrs advance party consisting of one sergeant and one OR in a jeep, left to report to Brigade to act as staging guides. 0840 hrs Battalion in column route moved out onto the road and there waited for Brigade to move off which they did at 1045 hrs. Route taken was through Kairoun and due south to the staging area for that night 29 km due west of Mahares. 1230 hrs to 1300 hrs lunch. During the afternoon reinforcements for the Battalion numbering 20 under Capt. Peta Awatere (MC) reported to the CO and were allotted to their respective companies.  Capt. Awatere became acting Second-in-command of the Battalion. 1730 hrs Battalion arrives at staging area and bedded down for the night after covering a distance of 188 km. The total number of officers with the unit was now 24 (three of whom were attached).
  • 16 May, Sun 0600 hrs reveille. 0700 hrs breakfast. Slight drizzle during the early hours of the morning. 0915 hrs Battalion moved out and entered the main coastal road at Gabes passing familiar battle grounds on the way down. 1200–1300 hrs had lunch just outside the town of Gabes and from there we crossed the Mareth Line, passed through at 1600 hrs the town of Medenine and reached the staging area on the Medenine–Ben Gardane road at 1730 hrs. 1830 hrs tea. 1900 hrs the Padre Wanoa conducted a short church service in C Coys lines. Distance covered today 208 km. Weather: fine and hot but very dusty.
  • 17 May, Mon 0600 hrs reveille. 0700 hrs breakfast. 0900 hrs Battalion moved out onto the road and is heading east again. 1230–1300 hrs convoy halts for lunch at Zuara and arrived at staging area near Suani Ben Adem where we were informed that the next day will be utilised in maintaining all vehicles. 1900 hrs CO in conference with Coy Commanders when he advised them that the division will continue the trip east on the morning of the 19 May. 1930 hrs the Kiwi Concert Party are performing in staging area opposite 16 kilo peg (Tripoli). Total distance travelled today 217 km. Weather: tropical, with light showers round midday.
  • 18 May, Tues 0600 hrs reveille. 0700 hrs breakfast. 0750 hrs most of Battalion personnel, in RMT transport, moved out under Capt. Peter Ornberg to have hot showers in Suani Ben Adem but by 0900 hrs they were all back to their lines again. 1000 hrs pay was available at the rate of £1 per man and those holding French currency were able to exchange them for BMA currency at the field cashier’s offices. 1100 hrs leave personnel to Tripoli were inspected and conveyed to town in one 3-tonner with Capt. Mitchell in charge of the party. 1215 hrs lunch. 1500 hrs a beer issue at the rate of one bottle per man was made available while the Sergeants and the officers were able to procure one bottle of Gin each. 1730 hrs tea. 1745 hrs an issue of patriotic parcels, gifts of the people of NZ, were issued to the men. The parcels contained a good variety of comforts consisting chiefly of tinned goods, tinned cakes, handkerchiefs, milk, soap and various other useful articles including 50 cigarettes for each man. 1930 hrs pictures was held in the area between 28 and 23 Battalion, the chief film shown was Hardy and Son. Lt Eddie Morgan marched in and Padre Wanoa was evacuated. Weather: fine with a north westerly blowing.
  • 19 May, Wed 0600 hrs reveille. 0700 hrs breakfast. Daily advance party reports to Brigade. 0730–0830 hrs the Battalion prepares to move. 0915 hrs the Battalion moved out of the staging area taking the main coastal road through Homs and Misurata. Lunch 1200–1300 hrs. 1800 hrs convoy passes through Misurata and reaches the staging area 8 km east of the town. 2000 hrs tea. 2030 hrs the film Next of Kin was shown in Battalion area. The distance covered today was 250 km. Weather: unsettled with intermittent showers which helped to keep the dust down.
  • 20 May, Thurs 0600 hrs reveille. 0700 hrs breakfast. 0800 hrs the Battalion receives a message from the Brigade that there will be no further move today till further notice due to a wash-out on the main road 80 km south of Misurata. Lunch at 1200 hrs. 1500 hrs a message is received from the Brigade warning that the Battalion be ready to move within an hour from 1630 hrs. 1600 hrs tea, daily advance party leaves Battalion HQ. 2000 hrs the Battalion moves out onto the road and proceeds south at a very slow pace till they reached the staging area north of Tauorga at 0300 hrs after only covering a distance of 106 km. Slight showers fell during the early part of the night, but driving was fairly easy because headlights were allowed to be used.
  • 21 May, Fri 0530 hrs reveille. 0600 hrs breakfast. 0830 hrs Battalion moved out onto the road and passed through Beurat before stopping for lunch at 1200 hrs. 1315 hrs off again passing through Sirte at 1500 hrs and finally reaching staging area southeast of Nofillia at 1900 hrs. 2000 hrs tea. 2030 hrs pictures again was held in our lines. The distance travelled today was 300 km. The weather was fine and warm.
  • 22 May, Sat 0600 hrs reveille. 0645 hrs breakfast. and Battalion moved out onto the road passing the Tripolitanian – Cyrenaican road through Marble Arch at 1130 hrs and shortly afterwards at 1200 hrs we had our first meal on Libyan soil since we pushed through with the Eighth Army six months ago. 1315 hrs the convoy moved off again passing through Agedabia and reaching the staging area at 1730 hrs after travelling 220 km. 1830 hrs tea. Weather was fine and warm. During the day the men had a chance to see part of the German fortifications near Marsa Berga.
  • 23 May, Sun routine as for previous morning. 0830 hrs convoy gets under way making good time all the morning. 1215 hrs lunch. 1315 hrs the convoy moves off again. 1630 hrs convoy refuels at PSP on the outskirts of Bengasi [Benghazi]. 1730 hrs the Battalion arrives at the staging area. Distance covered today was 304 km. 1900 hrs tea, after which the men settled down for the night. Weather: fine. The unit’s strength, excluding officers, was 579 ORs, six of who were attached from NZEME. 163 ORs were required to bring the unit to full strength. The total number of officers was 26 (two of whom were attached).
  • 24 May, Mon Reveille 0615 hrs. Breakfast 0715 hrs. Today was devoted to the general maintenance of all vehicles. There was no leave to Bengasi today. Lunch 1200 hrs. Day was spent resting and washing clothes and personal hygiene. An issue of one bottle of beer per man was made this afternoon. Tea 1715 hrs. During the morning the CO attended a conference at Brigade and when he returned at 1000 hrs he called a conference of all Coy Commanders at which he informed them that the move was to be continued on in the morning of the 25 May and that he was leaving at 1600 hrs to meet the Brigade in Maadi. He also gave out that 6000 men from the NZ Division were going home on three months’ leave. 2/Lt. Hall and 15 other ranks left the Battalion here at 1600 hrs to go back to Misurata on escort duties. They travelled back on one 3-tonner and took three days’ rations.
  • 25 May, Tues 0600 hrs reveille. 0645 hrs breakfast. 0545 hrs advance party from Battalion, under Capt. Syd Jackson and comprising company CSMs left for Brigade to join main Brigade advance party who were going on ahead to Maadi to make final arrangements for receiving the men. Battalion moved off at 0745 hrs with Capt. Awatere, Acting CO, leading, and during the day’s march the convoy passes through Tocra, Barce, De Martino finally reaching the staging area after covering 225 km by 1730 hrs. While rounding a bend the tire of a portee blew out and careered over the bank throwing out all but two of the crew. One man was sent to hospital and two others received a severe shaking and medical treatment. Weather: fine and getting noticeably warmer.
  • 26 May, Wed routine as for yesterday and head of Battalion moved off at 0745 hrs following Brigade. 1045 hrs the whole convoy halted for about two hours owing to a slip on the road. 1230–1300 hrs lunch. 1330 hrs moved off once more having passed through Derna and travelling east till it reached the staging area just outside Tobruk at 1800 hrs. Distance travelled today 262 km. A beer issue of one bottle per man was made available this evening. Weather: fine and very dry.
  • 27 May, Thurs 0600 hrs reveille. 0630 hrs breakfast. 0830 hrs Battalion moved out onto the road behind the Brigade. The column then proceeded along the coastal road by-passing Bardia on the way. 1200–1300 hrs lunch. After lunch the column passed through Capuzzo, down the Salum [Sollum] Pass and then along the coast to the staging area 1.6 km west of Bug Bug  arriving at 1500 hrs. Today we travelled over the worst stretch of road (bitumen) since we left Tunis. 1700 hrs tea. Though the weather was fine a strong northerly wind made things rather uncomfortable for travelling. Distance travelled today 193 km.
  • 28 May, Fri morning routine was the same as for yesterday and at 0830 hrs the Battalion pulled out onto the road following 21 Battalion. The order of march for the Brigade is now Brigade HQ and attached units followed by 21 Battalion, 28 Battalion, 23 Battalion, 7 Field Company, ADS and workshops. 1200–1300 hrs lunch. 1315 hrs moved off again arriving at staging area outside Mersa Matruh at 1530 hrs. 1645 hrs tea. Distance travelled today was 298 km. Weather: Fine but dusty. 2359 hrs Brigade advance one hour. This plus the one-hour advance at Agedabla was necessary in order to make Brigade time comply with Egyptian standard time which is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
  • 29 May, Sat 0700 hrs reveille. 0730 hrs breakfast. 0900 hrs moved off. 1200–1300 hrs lunch. 1315 hrs convoy moved off arriving at staging area at El Daoa at 1500 hrs. Travelled 137 km today over the best stretch of road we have travelled on so far. Weather: unsettled with heavy dark clouds.
  • 30 May, Sun routine as for yesterday. 0830 hrs convoy moved off. 1200–1300 hrs lunch. 1445 hrs convoy arrives at the Amyria staging area and settled down for the night. 1700 hrs tea. Showers were available at the transit camp and pictures at night. All Jerricans and Merricans were returned to the supply depot and reserve petrol for the remainder of the trip was carried in 4-gallon tins. Weather: a fairly strong north-easterly wind marred an otherwise perfect day. Alexandria was placed out of bounds to all NZ Division personnel and vehicles. Distance covered today was 148 km.  The unit’s strength, excluding officers, was 574 ORs, six of who were attached from NZEME. 167 ORs were required to bring the unit to full strength. The total number of officers was 26 (two of whom were attached).
  • 31 May, Mon 0600 hrs reveille. 0630 hrs breakfast. 0700 hrs Battalion moved out of the staging area on the last leg of an uneventful journey. 1215–1245 hrs the convoy pulled up for lunch and at 1300 hrs moved off again passing through Mena at 1430 hrs, Cairo at 1450 hrs, and arriving at Maadi Camp 1530 hrs. 5 Brigade settled in at what was previously Base Reception Depot. 1700 hrs tea. 1800 hrs a beer issue of three bottles per man was made available. 1845 hrs the CO in conference with all Battalion officers laid down the Brigade routine for the duration of the stay here. He also released the names of the Battalion personnel who had been fortunate enough to draw a marble to go home on three months leave. The distance covered today was 212 km. Weather: perfect.


Archives New Zealand = Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanantanga
28 (Maori) Battalion War Diary, WAII 1 1666 DA 68/1/41

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