World War 2
Colonel Awatere wrote about George Takurua in his biography Awatere.
“My friend, the gallant Lieutenant George Takurua had fallen at the head of his men! Oh what a tragedy to have lost such a man. Of the Tuuhoe tribe, an only son of Chief Tamarau Takurua, this soldier was a loss not only to our Forces but also to his Tuuhoe people at home: as the ancient heroic poem of his Tuuhoe ancestors puts it:
Naa naa wharanii
Koe i whakamakariri atu
E hara i muri nei;
Ko te uri oo Tuuhoe
Moumou tangata ki te Poo e!
The following is an interpretation, albeit a poor one, to retain the Maaori imagery without being too tangled in mixed metaphors:
By the weapons-of-war
Were you laid low
Yonder at Poohaturoa;
Tis no modern tradition;
Let it be declared
You are the descendant of Tuuhoe
Despatcher of men to the underworld!
B Company was also known as Te Arawa Company because it catered for men from the thermal region. Lieutenant George Takurua commanded a platoon mostly of men of Tuuhoe descent, from Waikaremoana to Ruataahuna to Ruaaatoki, people who were named by the later Elsdon Best as Children of the Mist.”
Reference: Hinemoana Ruataupare Awatere (ed), Awatere : a soldier's story / Arapeta Awatere, Huia, Wellington, pp 152-153
- George Takurua was the son of Tuhoe chief Takurua Tamarau, read his biography here.