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Oro

Members of B Company sing Te rēo pōwhiri (The voice of greetings) to the tune of You are my sunshine, composed by Jimmie Davis, and Te Arawa e, a song about tribal identity.

Track nine 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 Matarēhua (Monty) Wikiriwhi (Te Arawa) of 'B' Company speaks on behalf of his men. Two songs follow: Te Arawa, about the arrival of the tribal waka at Maketu (based on the Ngāti Porou song Paikea), and Haere ra ngā hoia e (Farewell you soldiers).

Track eight 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.

In 1943, Captain James Hēnare (Ngāti Hine), later the Battalion's last Commanding Officer (1945-46), speaks on behalf of A Company in a message to the people of Tai Tokerau, Northland. The traditional Northland song Hāruru te Reinga follows.

Track seven 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.

From an interview between Maiki Parkinson (Jules Vern Parkinson, 67603) and Megan Hutching. 

Maiki Parkinson, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, remembers approaching the front lines at El Alamein and coming under a terrifying attack by German Stuka dive-bombers. He describes it as a 'baptism of fire'.

Jerome (Maiki or Jules) Parkinson (1924-2006), interviewed by Megan Hutching, 23 March 2004, for the Second World War oral history project - North Africa

From the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre, OHInt-0798-12.   All rights reserved. Permission of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage must be obtained before any re-use of this sound file.

Image: Maiki Parkinson.

From an interview between Maiki Parkinson (Jules Vern Parkinson, 67603) and Megan Hutching. 

Maiki Parkinson, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, describes being accepted into the army at Papakura Camp and the exciting train trip to Wellington.

Jerome (Maiki or Jules) Parkinson (1924-2006), interviewed by Megan Hutching, 23 March 2004, for the Second World War oral history project - North Africa

From the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre, OHInt-0798-12.   All rights reserved. Permission of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage must be obtained before any re-use of this sound file.

 

Image: Maiki Parkinson.

From an interview between Maiki Parkinson (Jules Vern Parkinson, 67603) and Megan Hutching. 

Maiki Parkinson, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, was born at Ōpōtiki in 1924. Here he describes hearing about the war and enlisting at Papakura Camp as a 16 year old. He talks about how sad it was that he only had 10 minutes to say goodbye to his parents.

Jerome (Maiki or Jules) Parkinson (1924-2006), interviewed by Megan Hutching, 23 March 2004, for the Second World War oral history project - North Africa

From the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre, OHInt-0798-12.   All rights reserved. Permission of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage must be obtained before any re-use of this sound file.

 

Image: Maiki Parkinson.

Christmas Day 1942: Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Bennett, Te Arawa, recounts the Battalion's preparation for the day, the fortuitous arrival of Christmas food supplies and mail but, alas, no tītī or muttonbirds. They had fallen into enemy hands. This provoked a wry comment from the German forces! The track ends with the Battalion singing Tapu te pō (Silent night, holy night).

Transcript

Ever since Alamein we had been more or less in constant touch with the enemy.  I had the honour to command the Māori Battalion.  On Christmas eve I pondered about tomorrow. Christmas day was a sacred day.  I decided if its sanctity were to be violated it would not be by the Māori Battalion. I therefore told my troops that in circumstance were shots to be fired except in self defence. I felt sure that the Germans would rationalise things in the same way.  We all expected a cheerless kind of Christmas, deep in enemy territory, far from supply bases and after all in war ammunition and petrol are more important than special tucker for Christmas.  We expected the usual hard rations of the last two months, bully beef and dog biscuits.  But like a miracle things began to happen, vehicle after vehicle arrived with special supplies.  By Christmas day we had such luxuries as fresh pork, potatoes, tin fruits, cigarettes and General Montgomery's promised one bottle of beer for every man.  But alas, a special consignment of muttonbirds from our kinsfolk back home fell into German hands.  The Germans from then on derided the Kiwis as uncivilised consumers of salted seagulls. 

On Christmas day we held an early church parade and away in the distance we could see a concentration of German troops.  They too were probably having their own church service on this holy day.  Preparing Christmas dinner was underway when we struck a problem how to make a hangi without rounded stones and wood to heat them.  These things just didn't exist in the desert.  Some bright spark however pointed out where there's a beach there's bound to be stones and driftwood.  The Mediterranean coastline was only about 10 miles to the North of us, so why not send trucks up to carry out a reconnaissance.  We did.  Cruising off through enemy territory, hand collected not only stones and driftwood but four German prisoners as well.  Surprised and captured while bathing in the nude in the cool Mediterranean waters. Needless to say we made them stay to share our Christmas dinner with us. 

For pūhā or raureki our foragers gathered up some kind of a weed in one of the moist waddies close by.  Plant life in the desert is rare.  This stuff smelt like nothing on earth, but into the boiling pots this desert greenery went, stalks and all. Incredibly nobody suffered afterwards.  Around 1 o'clock the hangis were uncovered and there at Nephilia, thousands of miles from our homes and from our civilisation we sat down in the desert sun to one of the most sumptuous and memorable Christmas celebrations I have ever shared in.  At least for that one day there was peace and content amongst friend and foe alike. 

The 28th Māori Battalion then sings a version of Silent Night in Māori

 

 

Track six 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.

Two popular action songs: Pā mai tō reo aroha (Let your aroha flow on to the marae of the Māori people) and the plaintive song of return, Hoki, hoki, tonu mai. Recorded in 1943.

Track 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.

From an interview between Tautini Glover (Tautini Moana Karawa, 802006) and Megan Hutching. 

Tini Glover describes the attitude of Māori soldiers and the meaning of the phrase 'the price of citizenship'.

Tautini (Tini) Glover , Te Aitanga a Hauiti, born 1923, interviewed by Megan Hutching, 16 August 2003, for the Second World War oral history project - Italy

From the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre, OHInt-0748-02.   All rights reserved. Permission of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage must be obtained before any re-use of this sound file

Image: Tautini Glover.

From an interview between Tautini Glover (Tautini Moana Karawa, 802006) and Megan Hutching. 

Tini Glover describes the food in Italy and receiving the Red Cross food parcels.

Tautini (Tini) Glover , Te Aitanga a Hauiti, born 1923, interviewed by Megan Hutching, 16 August 2003, for the Second World War oral history project - Italy

From the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre, OHInt-0748-02.   All rights reserved. Permission of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage must be obtained before any re-use of this sound file

Image: Tautini Glover.

From an interview between Tautini Glover (Tautini Moana Karawa, 802006) and Megan Hutching. 

Tini Glover describes fighting at Faenza, Italy, and reflects on his war service.

Tautini (Tini) Glover , Te Aitanga a Hauiti, born 1923, interviewed by Megan Hutching, 16 August 2003, for the Second World War oral history project - Italy

From the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre, OHInt-0748-02.   All rights reserved. Permission of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage must be obtained before any re-use of this sound file

Image: Tautini Glover.

From an interview between Tautini Glover (Tautini Moana Karawa, 802006) and Megan Hutching. 

Tini Glover describes how he was seriously injured in Italy before he had even seen any Germans.

Tautini (Tini) Glover , Te Aitanga a Hauiti, born 1923, interviewed by Megan Hutching, 16 August 2003, for the Second World War oral history project - Italy

From the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library Oral History Centre, OHInt-0748-02.   All rights reserved. Permission of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage must be obtained before any re-use of this sound file

Image: Tautini Glover.