Uncle Te Whata Iraia served as part of the 2nd Echelon of the Maori Battalion. He served in Crete, Greece and the Western desert. He was killed on 16 December 1941 following a direct hit from a Howitzer shell. My mum said that when the war ended, my grandfather was asked permission to bring his kawa mate back to the Hokianga where the things that remained from his memory where buried at Pa Te Aroha whanau cemetery in Whirinaki. She also advised that Unce Te Whata was suppose to have gone through the traditional ritual and to be blessed by the old tohunga in preparation for war. He failed to do so, so the protection of his ancestors was never bestowed upon him.