Tokena Pokai

Surname
Pokai
Forename(s)
Tokena
Date of death
5 September,1940
Place of death
England

World War 2

Serial No
39139
Rank
Private
Address on enlistment
Mangatuna, New Zealand
Next of kin on enlistment
Miss Tipi Pokai (sister), Ruatoria, New Zealand

Comments (1)

The following article was published on page 9 of The Evening Post on 21 October 1940: MILITARY FUNERAL- MAORI DISPATCH RIDER VICTIM OF ROAD ACCIDENT (By Air Mail—From The Post's London Representative.) LONDON, September 23. A Maori military funeral took place at a cemetery in Kent, when Private Tokema [sic] Pokai, aged 22, a dispatch rider, killed in a road accident, was buried. A contingent of smart Maori troops followed the coffin, which was covered with a Union Jack, and at the cemetery chapel a guard of honour stood with arms reversed and bowed heads. The service, which was conducted in Maori, except for an address by Lieutenant-Colonel G. V. Gerard, C.F., Bishop of Waiapu, was taken by Captain the Rev. K. T. Harawira, C.F. Bishop Gerard said it was a sad fate that had befallen their comrade, but it was part of the period of adventure which had come to them, and in such days death came sometimes by accident as well as through active service. These things could not always be avoided, sad though they were. Photographs of the funeral service would be sent to the victim's parents. Captain the Rev. Harawira referred to the fact that that was the first casualty the Maori battalion had experienced. He extended sympathy to the dead man's two brothers, who were serving in the same battalion, and who were the chief mourners at the funeral. A bugler sounded The Last Post and Reveille, and volleys were fired by riflemen. A Maori oration was delivered by Captain Werohia. There were many wreaths from New Zealand officers, n.c.o.s, and men. 'Military Funeral - Maori Dispatch Rider Victim of Road Accident'. The Evening Post,  21 October 1940.  URL: http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz