Mine-clearing party, Cassino

Tai Paraki (second left) and his mates, returning from a night clearing mines along the causeway into Cassino, February 1944. The others are (from left): Sutherland (A Company), Paraki (B Company), unidentified (D Company) and Mokomoko (B Company). Another member of the party, Nehe Rihara (Sonny) Sadlier of Tolaga Bay (C Company), had been wounded earlier and is in the truck in the background. Paraki recalled: 'I kohikitia ai ko matau (They selected us because we were) single and young and the army could do without us. Mokomoko - he's the shortest man in the Battalion and the most daring bugger you ever seen. But who the hell wants a little short fulla spoiling the parade, and then you got these two pickpockets i te taha nei (either side of me). And I was no bloody better off either.' Quoted from Nga Tama Toa, p. 314.


Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: DA-05296-F
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Submitted by mbadmin on Mon, 22/06/2009 - 10:47

Takupu (1)

We often heard about the time our dad was wounded during the war and it's somewhat "strange" to see a picture where he is laid up in the truck behind his compatriots. Our mother said that when he started "flying up" through the air ... he thought he was on his way to "heaven". Thank the good lord that he came back down ... else we would not be here today!