PIONEER BATTALION MAORI CONTINGENT
WORLD WAR ONE
Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLVI, Issue 14873, 29 March 1919, Page 3
RETURNING MAORI SOLDIERS. GOVERNMENT CHARTERS MAPOURIKA. The Gisborne and East Coast Maoris, arriving by the transport Westmoreland, will be transhipped at Auckland to the Mapourika which has been specially chartered by the Minister of Defence to bring them on to Gisborne. In communicating the above information, to a Herald representative to-day, Sir James Carroll said that it was probable he local men would not go ashore at Auckland, but would be transhipped direct to the Mapourika, after the period of quarantine had elapsed. The transport was due on the 5th prox. (Saturday next), and although nothing yet had been definitely decided, he thought it was possible they would arrive here on Monday, the 7th, on Tuesday, the 8th (the date of the official opening of the hui). This, however, might depend up on the weather. It was possible that the Hon. A. T. Ngata or himself would go to Auckland to meet them on arrival there. In addition to the Gisborne and East Coast men (whose names are published elsewhere), it is proposed that the Urewera and Wairoa natives, and those from Opotiki to Cape Runaway, should also be demobilised here. Considerable preparation has been made for the hui, and the arrangements at the Park racecourse are now well advanced, a portion of the grounds having been specially laid off for the monster gathering. A staff of natives, under the Hon. A. T. Ngata has been busy for some weeks past preparing the hui grounds, and the arrangements, as far as possible, will be in strict accordance with native custom. Extensive accommodation is being provided, not only for the returning Maori soldiers, but for the large number of Maori visitors expected from different parts of the Dominion, the arrangements in connection with the commissariat, department alone being a large order. Special attention has also been paid to sanitation matters, and it is confidently asserted that no anxiety may be felt on this account. The hui committee is laying itself out particularly for European visitors from Gisborne and the surrounding, district, and an announcement respecting these arrangements will be made on Monday next. Regarding the civic reception to be accorded the Maoris on their arrival, it has been suggested that the use of the Harbor Board's large shed (No. 4) might be obtained in which to welcome and entertain the men, and it is understood the premises would be available if desired thereby obviating the difficulty of transport to the Garrison Hall.
Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLVI, Issue 14880, 7 April 1919, Page 3
RETURN OF THE MAORIS. EX WESTMORELAND. TO-MORROWS FUNCTION. A civic welcome will be accorded to the returning Maori soldiers, members of the East Coast tribes of the Maori Pioneer Battalion, who will demobilise at Gisborne to-morrow. Lieutenant Ansell, the disembarkation officer, was advised to-day that the Mapourika, with the East Coast Maoris aboard, left Auckland at 9 o'clock last evening. The steamer is expected to reach the anchorage by daylight, but owing to the tidal conditions the disembarkation will not commence until 9.30 a.m. Arrangements, however, have been made for the deputy-Mayor, Cr. Hill, and members of the Reception Committee to visit the ship and to tender a formal welcome. The acting-Premier, Sir James Allen, the Hon. Sir James Carroll, and party are expected to come ashore early. The tenders will leave the wharf at 9 a.m., and the troops are expected to land at the wharf, at 10 a.m., where, as already announced, they will be accorded a civic welcome. Representative natives, returned soldiers, the local bands, and the Senior Cadets will be stationed within the enclosure, and appropriate addresses will be delivered by representative speakers. Business people have been, invited to close their premises from 10 a.m. to noon. The various school committees have been invited to have the school children present, and to throw flowers on the troops as they pass in procession through the town. The Maori soldiers then proceed by train to the hui grounds at the Park racecourse, where they will be received in accordance with the ancient native custom. As previously notified the official welcome will take place on the "marae" at the hui on Wednesday morning, the acting-Premier and Minister of Defence, Sir James Allen, being present. PRESENTATION OF DECORATIONS. The opportunity will be taken by the Hon. Sir James Allen, Minister of Defence, during his visit, to present the following decorations Private Toi Katrini, Tolaga Bay (Croix de Guerre). Sergeant H. D. Jeffreys, care Mrs. H. Morice, Tahunga (Military Medal). Mrs. Whitfield, 6 Desmond Road, Gisborne (mother of the late Gunner G. E. Whitfield (Meritorious Service Medal).
Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLVI, Issue 14881, 8 April 1919, Page 3
WELCOME HOME. ARRIVAL OF MAORI PIONEERS. GISBORNE'S FINE RECEPTION TO RETURNING NATIVE SOLDIERS. Gisbornites rose to the occasion to-day and accorded a hearty welcome home to the Maori Pioneer Battalion, the East Coast members of which landed at Gisborne this morning. Beautiful weather prevailed for this auspicious occasion, and the town was gay with bunting and flags, which were displayed from the shipping in port and the buildings throughout the town, whilst with the large assemblage which turned out to welcome the Maori boys the town was quite en fete. Admirable arrangements had been made for the disembarkation, and these were facilitated by the early arrival of the Mapourika and the favorable weather conditions. The return of the Maori soldiers was marked by the visit of the Hon. Sir James Allen, Acting-Prime Minister, and Minister of Defence, who arrived from Auckland with the men aboard the Mapourika, and who, with other distinguished visitors, joined in the homage to the brave warrior sons of the East Coast tribes. The Mapourika, which left Auckland at 9 p.m. on Sunday, came down under easy steam, experiencing an enjoyable trip along the Coast — quite the best of the whole voyage - and in the words of the soldier boys, proved herself the very best transport they had ever been aboard. The ship was alive with animation when the Harbor Board's launch, with the members of the Reception Committee, drew alongside shortly after 7 o'clock this morning. Three rousing cheers to the Maori soldiers were given by the reception party as the launch pulled up alongside the ship.
The visitors included Crs. H. E. Hill (Deputy- Mayor), H. De Costa, and G. C. Munns, with press representatives. Cordial greetings of welcome passed between them, and the boys from all parts of the ship, and a formal welcome was expressed on behalf of the citizens of Gisborne. Prominent on the deck was Sir James Carroll, M.P., who had journeyed to Auckland to participate in the welcome there, and who had returned home with the boys. The Ministerial party, apart from Sir James Allen and his private secretary, Mr. F. Matthews (who also has just returned after three years on active service), included Major Bosworth, representing headquarters, Wellington military district; Major Peacocke, officer commanding Narrow Neck Camp (described as the father of the boys); Major Main, disembarkation officer; and Lieutenant Mills, Base Records. The officers comprised Colonel Ennes. D.S.O. officer commanding the Pioneer Battalion, Captains Broughton and Ferris, Chaplain Wepiha Wainohu and Chaplain Hukawai (of Hastings), and Lieutenant P. W. Fromm. Amongst both officers and men there were many familiar Gisborne faces in the 262 who comprised the total returning men, of the Pioneers. All looked well and in great spirits, and not a little glad to come to the end of the great adventure far greater than any of the daring exploits of the war parties of their forefathers.
Chatting with a Herald representative. Colonel Ennes, the "O.C" stated that they had had a very good trip out aboard the Westmoreland, which, it is interesting to record, had been torpedoed and sunk in English waters, where she had lain for twelve months before being recovered. The steamer had only just been re-fitted for the voyage, which was made in excellent time. The boys, he went on to say, had behaved very well, both on the voyage out and on disembarkation at Auckland on Sunday. There had been absolutely no trouble and happily practically no sickness, apart from a case of diphtheria. The transport arrived a clean ship, and with no sign of any influenza.
A fine reception was accorded the Pioneers on landing at Auckland. Appropriate speeches of welcome were delivered, and thousands lined the streets of the city as they marched to the Domain, where the public demonstration and reception took place.
After breakfast had been partaken of, the opportunity was taken by Messrs Mence and J. Zachariah, of Wellington (who arrived from Wellington by the Arahura this morning to take the official cinematographic views of Gisborne's reception of the Pioneers), to secure several pictures aboard the Mapourika, and as Sir James Allen mounted the landing, to the upper deck he was accorded three lusty cheers.
The Ministerial party, boarding the Harbor Board's launch, proceeded ashore, Sir James Carroll occupying a prominent position on the forepart of the deck house as the launch travelled up the river to the landing steps. Seizing the opportunity of the visit of Sir James Allen, the Reception Committee invited his attendance at the office of the Citizens' Defence Committee, where, as reported elsewhere, various local matters were placed before the Minister's notice.
Some uncertainty prevailed this morning regarding the arrangements, as the Hui Committee had planned a full two days' programme for the Ministerial visitors, who were timed to proceed on by the Mapourika tomorrow evening. Owing to pressure of important business, however, the Acting-Prime Minister announced this morning that he desired to proceed on by the steamer tonight, and at the urgent request of Sir James Carroll, the Hon. A. T. Ngata and the Native executive, it was tentatively arranged that the Maori troops for Wairoa and Hawke's Bay should remain, over at Gisborne, the committee undertaking to provide facilities for their transport to Napier. The Minister intimated that his services were quite at the disposal of the Native committee, but that owing to other duties it was imperative that he should go on to Napier to-night.
The landing of the Maori troops was made the occasion of a public holiday, business premises being closed practically all morning until midday. There was a great turnout at the wharf when the Pioneers landed. A large enclosure was roped off in front of the Harbor Board's office and the Turanganui Hotel. An abundant display of bunting and flags was made from the vessels in port, and from various buildings, etc., whilst cars and other vehicles were well decorated. The enclosure was lined by the Defence cadets of the district, including Waerenga-a-hika College cadets, High School cadets, and Nos. 7 and 65 senior cadets.
All approaches to the wharf were thronged and blocked with town and country folk, who turned out en masse to witness the historic event. The Gisborne City and the Salvation Army Bands were present, and rendered appropriate music, whilst the arrival of the returned soldiers, numbering in all about 250, was the occasion of much cheering. Under the command of Col. W. H.Fletcher, president of the Gisborne Returned Soldiers' Association, the men made a fine showing, and included in their ranks were numerous Maori comrades.
A luggage guard had been picked from the various companies of cadets, and was drawn up in waiting to place the Pioneers' kits in the special railway truck which was standing in readiness on the siding.
The surrounding buildings, including the balcony of the Turanganui Hotel, the Harbor Board's office, and even the Gisborne Sheepfarmers Meat Company's new premises were lined with spectators, whilst the pupils of the town and suburban schools were present in massed attendance, having been granted a holiday. Even the Kaiti side of the wharf had its quota of spectators. The general arrangements for disembarking were excellent, and as far as the weather was concerned, nothing, could have been better, but unfortunately the situation did not fit in well with the great mass of people witnessing the proceedings, and thousands were blocked out at all approaches to the wharf.
The Tuateu, with a fine display of bunting, and crowded with the bronzed and khaki warriors, drew alongside the wharf at 10.20 a.m., amidst a fresh outburst of cheering, and to the strains of "Conquering Heroes," played by the Salvation Army Band. A great chorus of welcomes passed between the Maori soldiers and the immense crowd of spectators. Located on the platform (festooned with red, white, and blue, and specially erected for the occasion) were Sir James Allen, in a colonel's uniform, the Hon. Sir James Carroll, Cr. H. E. Hill, deputy-Mayor, and other public representatives, including the members of the Reception Committee.
The deputy-Mayor (Mr. H. E. Hill) in opening, said "Soldiers of the King — On behalf of the citizens of Gisborne I wish to welcome you to Gisborne." He apologised for the absence of the Mayor, and continued: "To-day is the greatest in the history of New Zealand, as the arrival of the Maori warriors forms the final link in the chain of comradeship between the pakeha and the Maori. The Maoris have fought and some have died to preserve that civilisation brought to them by the pakeha, and they have earned undying fame as the enemies of the Huns. When the call came the Maoris particularly from this district, answered unwaveringly, and on their return we unitedly bid them a most cordial welcome home. It affords the citizens of Gisborne the greatest pleasure to be able to welcome the Maori soldiers back, and not only to thank them for having so bravely fought for the flag, which represents so much, but to join in the great reunion which takes place to-day." (Applause.) He called for three cheers for the Maori soldiers, which were heartily given.
"I am only here to join with you in the civic reception to the returned men," announced Sir James Allen. The Acting Prime Minister went on to say he had been present at the welcome to the Pioneer Battalion on its arrival at Auckland. It was a splendid welcome, and the men deserved it. Amidst beautiful weather and with shining faces these men returned to kith and kin. It was the home-coming of these brave fellows. It was a happy day, because they had helped to bring victory and peace with them. He hoped that the days that were to come would be happy ones to them and to all. He joined heartily in the welcome home to the men here, and with great pleasure joined with the citizens of Gisborne in the reception they were giving today.
Mr. Chas. Matthews (Cook County Council) said that on behalf of the people of Cook County he welcomed the men back. The chairman of the Council, he explained, was unable to be present. The people congratulated them on the victory, and wished them "kia ora" in everything they undertook.
Mr J W J Preston, on behalf of the Harbor Board, congratulated the soldiers on their success, and hoped the celebration would be enjoyed to the utmost. (Applause.)
Mr. J W Bright speaking on behalf of the Citizens' Defence Committee, said Welcome, Maori brothers, soldiers of the King. I wish you a hearty welcome home, and to say words of praise and honor which you have justly earned." Proceeding, the speaker pictured the Maori warriors on the battlefield, raising the old war cry of their forefathers and striking far into the hearts of the enemy, and he invited them once more to give their war cry.
Sir James Carroll, stepping forward on the platform, led the well-known haka with its opening lines Kamate Kamate.
(Loud Applause.) "I hope," concluded Mr. Bright, "that you boys who have been strong to save the Empire which so sadly needed your aid, will be equally strong to keep the Empire that you have been so strong to save." As they folded their khaki uniforms he hoped they would follow in the good steps of citizenship. He paid homage to the boys who had bled and died, to those who had won victory and had brought about a sure, certain and lasting peace, who had made Great Britain still mistress of the seas and queen of the earth.
The Rev. H. Packe remarked that he could well join with others and say "Enough." He welcomed the men most heartily back to "Blighty," and hoped that that comradeship that they had learned in the trenches would continue with them in the reconstruction and the tremendous problems that would crop up from time to time in civil life. "God bless you in your homes," he declared in conclusion.
Colonel Fletcher, on behalf of the Returned Soldiers' Association, said the pakehas who had returned before them joined in the welcome of the soldiers home to "their native country." "We all know what you have done," he said. "You have done your duty nobly and well,, and have proved your craftiness, trickery and chivalry in warfare. Again I say you have done your duty nobly and well, and your returned soldier comrades join heartily in the welcome." (Applause.)
This terminated the address of welcome, and to the relief of many who had been waiting in the crush behind to get a glimpse, of the returning heroes, the procession moved off through town. Proceeding via Read's quay and Gladstone road, the procession was headed by the City Band, with Colonel Fletcher, Capt. Turnbull, Capt. J. Williams, and other officers following and leading the returned soldiers, who numbered by this stage almost 300. The Salvation Army band, led by Commandant Dawkins and Chaplain Bladin, preceded the Maori contingent, who were in turn followed by the Senior Cadets, High School cadets and Waereinga-a-hika cadets. All along the route the streets were lined and the cheering was almost incessant as the procession passed along. At several points flowers were thrown to the Maori soldiers, some of whom placed the floral tributes in their hats, epaulettes, and other parts of their uniforms. The whole turnout comprised one of the most notable military displays ever seen in Gisborne. The fine, soldierly appearance of the Maori soldiers, and their splendid physique, won the admiration of all, fully demonstrating the reason why the Pioneer Battalion had earned for itself such a grand reputation amongst the fighting forces of the Empire. None the less outstanding was the fine turn-out made by the returned pakeha and Maori soldiers, forming as it did a fitting tribute to their gallant comrades in arms. Large crowds accompanied the procession to the railway station; where the men embarked on a special train.
These names are taken from the Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLVI, Issue 14873, 29 March 1919, Page 7 and the Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLVI, Issue 14880, 7 April 1919, Page 3 and from military files. The above newspaper report reports 262 men were on board but this list is for 228 men - I have 14 names which I am unable to identify. If you have a name for the Gisborne men from the Westmoreland would love to add them.
|BABBINGTON||Prince Wilson||Private||19551||Tokomaru Bay|
|BAKER||Pita Heretaunga||Lance Sergeant||20772||Gisborne|
|BRISTOW||Robert Terehi||Private||60535||Te Araroa|
|BROWN||Thomas Rakiroa||Private||30133||Te Reinga|
|COOPER||William Henry||Private||47860||Te Reinga|
|EDMONDS||Henry Harvess||Private||19707||Tokomaru Bay|
|FROMM||Percy Thomas||2nd Lieutenant||16/1403||Gisborne|
|HALE||Arthur||Lance Corporal||47205||Tokomaru Bay|
|HALL||Rukaute James||Corporal||60534||Te Araroa|
|HARAKI||Te Wiremu Kihitu (M.M)||Private||16/59||Wairoa|
|HARRISON||Henry August||Private||16/1351||Waipiro Bay|
|HARRISON||Robert Francis||Private||23377||Waipiro Bay|
|HICKS||Alfred William||Private||47887||Te Araroa|
|HINGSTON||William Frederick Bruce||Private||19982||Wairoa|
|HOUIA||Reu Reu||Private||19769||Reporua, East Coast|
|HUKA||Timi [aka Tiemi James Huka]||Private||19850||Wairoa|
|HUTANA||Joseph Kiriwai||Private||19709||Tokomaru Bay|
|JOHN||David [David John Pomana]||Private||16/1452||Nuhaka|
|LOCKWOOD||Joseph Spencer||Lance Corporal||16/1484||Tolaga Bay|
|MACKEY [MACKAY] [aka MAKI]||Kirihona||Private||16/867||Kaiti|
|MOORE||George Auckland||Lance Corporal||16/1487||Tolaga Bay|
|MOORE||Ropehana Edward Albert||Private||19702||Tolaga Bay|
|NGATA||Paratene Purewa||Private||19771||Waiomatatini, East Coast|
|ORMOND||John (Tiaki)||2nd Lieutenant||45683||Opoutama|
|PENFOLD||Harry Glover||Private||59154||Tolaga Bay|
|POHATU||Turoa||Lance Corporal||16/831||Port Awanui|
|PUHA||Waiheke||2nd Lieutenant||16/107||Te Araroa|
|RUNGARUNGA||Nuia||Lance Corporal||20757||Tokomaru Bay|
|RUWHIU [RURUWHIRU]||Hau||Private||60859||Te Araroa|
|SMITH||Paku (James Lopdell Smith)||Private||19544||Nuhaka|
|TE AHO||Albert Paul||Lance Corporal||16/1344||Mohaka|
|TE HAU||Kahu||2nd Lieutenant||16/61||Muriwai|
|TE OHAERE||Karaitiana||Private||16/1482||Tokomaru Bay|
|TE RUNA||Wi Paku||Private||16/1503||Tokomaru Bay|
|TE URUPU||Paora Rerepu||Private||16/47||Wairoa|
|WAINOHU||Henare Wepiha||Chaplain Captain||16/545||Wairoa|
|WANOA||Tahanga||Lance Corporal||16/966||Te Araroa|
|WHAREHINGA [WHAAREHINGA]||Penetana||Private||20681||Tolaga Bay|
|WILSON||Robert George [aka Pini KARAKIAKORE]||Private||19625||Kaiti|
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