The Ngarimu VC pilgrimage tour group ritually moving the olive grove on 42nd Street, Crete, in May 2014. This olive grove is the site of the infamous bayonet charge the Maori Battalion, other New Zealand and Australian soldiers undertook in May 1941. With the group are the family of Hemara Aupouri who served with C Company and the family of Reg Saunders, an aboriginal soldier who fought with the Australian army. Both the men were part of the bayonet charge. The group were welcomed into the grove by locals Arnya Sarpaki and the Saunders family performed a smoke ceremony.
Top: Kaitaki guiding the group into the olive grove. From left to right: Teina Kirikiri, Malik Priestley and Abraham Karaka. Bottom: Following the kaitaki into the olive grove Libby Mills, Rhia-Maina Mataira (slightly hidden), Ruby Mills, Tawhai Aupouri, Waihuka Wanoa (descendants of Hemara Aupouri) and kuia Molly Demant.
It is here that the 28th Maori Battalion showed their fierce skill in hand-to-hand combat and built their reputation as feared opponents. By May 27th New Zealand's depleted 5th Brigade had fallen back to the sunken dirt Tsikalarion Road – or “42nd Street”, as it was named by Allied troops serving in Crete. As the enemy advanced, the Maori Battalion led their comrades in a ferocious ‘tidal wave’ of a bayonet charge, severely mauling a battalion of crack Austrian mountain troops. The Maori alone claimed to have killed more than 80 Germans, a third of their force, for the loss of only four of their own number.