8 Mar 2015

War Report - 8 March 2015

From New Zealand in World War I, 8:53 pm on 8 March 2015

The story of a German-born bowler ejected from a Wellington bowling club of which he had been a long-term and respected member.

By early March 1915 what was called the Native Contingent, later the Pioneer Maori Battalion, was on its way to Egypt where it arrived on 26th March. But not all Maori soldiers joined that unit, some joined other units fearing the pioneers might miss out on the fighting and there's at least one who joined the British Army as veteran Remi Morrison recalled - he was Sonny Breeze (Brees) who was after the war well-known as a carver.

When the Maori Contingent arrived in Egypt it undertook garrison duties as had been expected - as the Gallipoli landings approached there were hopes Maori would be part of the force there but by late April garrison duties in Malta became the lot of the Maori Contingent. But before long Maori would be at Gallipoli - pakeha officers often spent time with them - Captain Ray Curtis, a Canterbury machine gunner, talks about Maori at Gallipoli.

Music extracts:

Artist: Kate Moore
Song: Hold Your hand Out, Naughty Boy (1913)
Composer: C.W. Murphy & Worton David Rodgers
Album: Oh, It's a Lovely War
Label CD41 486309

Artist: John McCormack
Song: There's a Long Long Trail A Winding
Composer: King/Elliott
Album: Oh, It's a Lovely War Vol 2
Label: CD41 486309