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Matiu Witana, 1898-1964 (Te Rarawa)

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Kaumatua Matiu Witana served with Te Hokowhitu ā Tū, the New Zealand Māori (Pioneer) Battalion, during World War One. Here speaks on behalf of the RSA.

Matiu alongside his older brothers Aperahama and Wiremu joined the war effort with the NZEF 18th Reinforcements in 1916. When they went to enrol they found that Aperahama had already joined! They discovered that their younger brother Tame, had used his identity and enlisted. Sadly the story did not end well for Tame who lost his life in France in 1917. Matiu maintained his links with those who returned and was considered a gentle giant by his peers, colleagues and kaumatua who called him Lofty.

Image Credit: Matiu Witana. Image courtesy of the Witana Whanau.

Catalogue Reference 5443

Year 1946

Credits

Speaker: Matiu Witana

Excerpt: 00:02:50

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