Media library

Oro

Maori Battalion March to Victory, composed by B Company's Anania (Nan) Amohau and set to the music of an American marching song, became the Battalion's rallying cry. Here, the Band of the 5th Infantry Brigade, 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force, conducted by Lieutenant C.C.E. Miller, plays the march followed by a recital-style vocal by an unnamed soloist, together with the verse. The song is then sung by the Battalion.

Lyrics

Maori Battalion Marching Song: Ake! Ake! Kia Kaha e! (Fight on fight on for ever and ever)

1 st verse

In the days that now have gone
When the Maoris went to war
They fought and fought till the last man died
For the honour of the tribe
And so we carry on
The traditions they have laid
And as we go on day by day
You will always hear us say

Chorus

Maori Battalion march to victory
Maori Battalion staunch and true
Maori Battalion march to glory
Take the honour of your people with you
You will march, march, march to the enemy
And will fight right to the end
For God, for King and Country au e
Ake ake Kia kaha e

2nd verse

A loyal band of Maori
Sailing for New Zealand
To win us freedom and peace
Marching shoulder to shoulder onward
And we will shout again
Ake ake kia kaha e
Haere tonu Haere tonu ra
Kia ora kia ora

Chorus

Live and love another day
For tomorrow you may be gone
Live and love another day
It's the best way to carry on
Join the ranks of happiness
You're as welcome as the flowers in May
Old soldiers never die
They only fade away

Maori Battalion march to victory
Maori Battalion staunch and true
Maori Battalion march to glory
Take the honour of your people with you
You will march, march, march to the enemy
And will fight right to the end
For God, for King and Country au e
Ake ake Kia kaha e

Track one [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.

Rukuhia rā e hoa mā te Moana is a song of tribute to 2nd Lieutenant Te Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu, who was bestowed with the highest award for gallantry, the Victoria Cross, for his actions at Tebaga Gap, Tunisia, in March 1943. [Moananui-a-Kiwa is also spelt 'Te Moana-Nui-ā-Kiwa'. Both forms are correct.]

Track twenty one 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.

Image: 2nd Lieutenant Ngārimu

It was common for Māori lyrics to be combined with easy rhythm melodic Western tunes. Whakarongo ake rā (Here we greet you) is based on the melody of Percy Wenrich's Moonlight Bay.

Track twenty 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.

New Zealand Broadcasting Service Commentator Arch Curry speaks from the North African campaign. Artillery guns are heard in the background.

Transcript

This is a broadcast in the closing hours of the African campaign.  Below the heights of Takrouna we are witnessing what maybe the last artillery barrage against the axis stronghold in Africa.  The 8 Army Corp is commanded by General Freyberg and the New Zealanders are supported by British Infantry and the fighting French. 

I'm looking out on the grim country which marked the final natural defence against our advance into the Tunisian plane. Already Tunis and Bizerta have fallen.  First army assisted by 8 army units making their brilliant assault only 5 days ago.  In the background you may hear some of the artillery regiments as the last positions of the axis affront are being attacked.  Infantry assaults have been carried out and although the enemy is tactically surrounded his resistance has been fierce and determined.  An attack on the Māoris only 2 nights ago was beaten off and one of the final triumphs of this Battalion was their sortie next day of which resulted in the capture of the entire Company which had opposed them.

Track nineteen 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.

Song: Ka rongo te pakanga nei (Listen to the battle).

Track eighteen 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.

Brigadier George Dittmer, the 28th Māori Battalion's first Commanding Officer, reminisces during a Battalion reunion.

Transcript

Each one of those boys I looked upon as my boy irrespective of the Company or the sub-unit that he happened to be in.  I think that was appreciated through out the Battalion and indirectly increased my prestige if I had any with the Battalion as a whole.

 

 

Track seventeen 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.

The Battalion sings a favourite Māori hymn for all occasions, Tama ngakau marie (Son of a peaceful heart). Slight damage in the original recording can be heard in the final verse. There is also wind noise.

Track sixteen 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.

Brigadier Frederick Hanson of the New Zealand Engineers, recorded during a Māori Battalion reunion, recounts humorous stories about landmines in North Africa and foraging for livestock in Italy.

Transcript 

Well I remember putting out some... we were expecting Rommel down and we were to go out and put mine fields out in the front to stop his tanks coming in on the division.  And, we had no mines though, but what we did have was a little bit of barbed wire, we ran this up, and we had the sappers going for their lives digging little holes and covering them up as though they were mines freshly laid.  And of course tanks are very afraid of mines as you know.  Well we were going on and we came in front of Māori Battalion we were still carrying on putting up the wire, just digging these little holes and one of these boys comes up and he says:

"No mines?"
"No, no mines."
"What a bloody Māori trick." (laughter from the audience).

We went onto Italy, and there the Sappers and the Māoris became much more closely associated again because of the number of pigs and geese and turkeys that were to be had.  If ever I met a Māori boy and he had a pig, I'd say:
"Here where'd you get that?"
"Oh killed in the barrage".

If ever I met a Sapper and he also had a pig I'd say:
"Now where the hell did you get that?"
"Oh killed in the mine field Sir"... well there you are.

I must tell you some of you perhaps were not at Rimini.  The Sappers felt very sore over this and felt that one had been put across them.  On one occasion the Māoris were occupying a house in an outpost position and as some of you will know the Italians have their pigs and their poultry all in the same dwelling.  On one side of the house was a great high brick wall the side facing the enemy with just a few iron bars there and the pigs were on that side of the house.  And as you also know the Italians, although in the front line, gathered together and sat in these houses until the battle moved on.  Well this Māori platoon was occupying this house and were patrolling outside.  They found this pig and thought it was in very desirable condition. But they could see no way of getting it from the place without the Italians knowing because the pig had to come out through where all the Italians were sitting and weeping and so on.  However, they carried on with their work.  Then one night about 10 o'clock  there was a burst of a couple of grenades outside this brick wall and then there were some shots with a tommy gun and there was a great racket going on through the room and out through this brick wall.  And then there was a call from inside, from beyond where the Italians were, the brick wall, for the stretcher bearers.  Well the stretcher bearers after awhile someone called out got them and in they came.  The poor Italians were terribly upset at this, the battle had died down a bit, but there was a bit of groaning inside. And then the stretcher began to emerge and all the Italians stood up and the women were weeping and they all bowed their heads as the stretcher with the blanket neatly covering the body of the pig passed by... (laughter from the audience)

 

 

Track fifteen 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.

Māori Battalion troops sing Haere rā tōku aroha (farewell my one true love)

Track thirteen 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.

Captain Fred Baker and 2nd Lieutenant Ricky (Riki) Smith speak on behalf of D Company, followed by Turi Waaka, Peti Nohinohi, Hori Pōmana, Hoani Hāpeta and Smith singing the chorus of Wonderful mother of mine.

Track twelve 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.

2nd Lieutenant Albert Bennett (Te Arawa) introduces the Battalion singing a song of derision, Hītara waha huka, ūpoko māro (Hitler, foaming mouthed and hard-headed). The Māori words by Tuini Ngawai are set to the popular shearing song Click go the shears. The final line of the words proclaim 'kari ana te kauae, o te parari nei a Hītara e' ('let's punch the jaw of this bloody bugger Hitler!'). It was first publicly performed by massed Ngāti Porou school children at the Ngārimu VC hui in Ruatōria in 1943.

Track eleven 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.

Major Wi Pewhairangi Reedy sends greetings to Ngāti Porou together with a special message to Sir Āpirana Ngata hoping that the coming Christmas (1943) will be the last one the Battalion spends overseas before returning home. The tribal song Ngati Porou e follows. C Company men then perform a tribal haka led by Major Reedy.

Track ten 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.