Wednesday, 21 August 2013

C Company 28 Māori Battalion Memorial House to be built

Ref: AWNS-19400703-31-1, new recruits to the Maori Battalion in training & leisure at the Papakura Camp, 1940, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Half a million dollars will be contributed by the government towards the construction of a C Company 28 Māori Battalion Memorial House on land adjacent to the Tairawhiti Museum. This recognises the huge contribution of C Company to the nation and its special place in NZ history.

Ref: AWNS-19430526-13-3, members of the Maori Battalion help clear up the bomb-torn waterfront of Tripoli, 1943, Sir George Grey Special Collections
The concept design also recognises the sacrifice by Horouta Waka District Māori in other conflicts including: The Boer War, WW1, Korea, Malaya, and contemporary war settings such as Bosnia, East Timor and Afghanistan.

Ref: AWNS-19431013-18-5, Maori Battalion officers receive their decorations, 1943, Sir George Grey Special Collections
The 28th Māori Battalion was established in 1939 and was a World War II voluntary rifle unit, which served overseas. The battalion was highly regarded due to their efforts between 1941 and 1945 on the battlefields of Greece, Crete, North Africa and Italy.

Ref: AWNS-19430331-17-3, the haka performed by members of the Maori Battalion in front of Ohinemutu meeting house, 1943, Sir George Grey Special Collections
C Company was 1 of the 5 companies in the 28th Māori Battalion. The company was formed by volunteers from Tōrere around the East Coast to Muriwai taking in the tribal groupings of Ngāi Tai, Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga a Māhaki and Ngai Tamanuhiri.

Ref: Footprints 03500, Maori Battalion representative, Manurewa, 1991, photograph reproduced by kind permission of Fairfax Media, South Auckland Research Centre

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