24 Oct 2008

March by Maori battalion to be re-enacted

9:18 am on 24 October 2008

Gisborne is the venue on Saturday for a re-enactment of a special day 62 years ago.

It's part of the launch of Nga Tamatoa, a book containing oral histories about C Company of the 28 Maori Battalion, known as the "Cowboys" because of its recruitment from the East Coast.

Author Monty Souter says it's the realisation of a challenge by Sir Apirana Ngata in 1946, that the battalion's efforts be properly chronicled.

Waatea News reports descendants of battalion members will on Saturday re-enact a march by returning troops from the Gisborne railway station to Te Poho O Rawiri marae.

Dr Souter says 1000 descendants will march to the marae, carrying photos of each of those who served in Wolrd War II from the region.

He says three out every four who fought for C Company never returned.