The following extract is from this sites Battalion battle diary for May 1941. It is a very matter of fact report of what took place on that eventful day. For our whanau it was a day never to be forgotten as our uncle Leroy Merriman of Ngati Maru and B Company was one of the six killed during that charge. His brother Boycie Merriman met up with one his cousins as the battalion returned only to be told that "Joe" the name Leroy was known by, was gone(killed). There was nothing he could do, along with the rest of the battalion he had to retreat. Years later when he was interviewed for TV it was evident that he was still very emotional, almost to tears, when the incident was discussed.
Boycie returned home with the Ruapehu Furlough Draft it was the end of his war.
: 0400 hrs arrive at new area, bed down for night. 0800 hrs move back 400 meters to 42 nd Street. 0900 hrs aerial blitz begins, all types of planes being in evidence. 1030 hrs after being open fired on by enemy at close quarters forward coys (A, B and C) fix bayonets and charge with full vocal accompaniment. The Battalion’s casualties were 6 killed and 10 wounded while they claimed to have killed 80 Germans."
My son Craig and I have just returned from a trip to Europe where we visited WW1 sites where the NZ Division played its part in the Great War. At Tyne Cot we came across the grave of L/Cpl H Takoko a soldier buried amongst other casualties of those battles. Tucked away in a corner of a foreign field but not forgotten. The graves of all these heroes are beautifully maintained. Walking through the adjoining forest it was difficult to apprecite the horror that took place on that site all those years ago.
(i have a photo of his grave but I'm unsure of how to include it in this message)