Last surviving commissioned officer of the Māori battalion has died.
He was a Dinkum Purler and in a Radio series of that name he speaks of his years growing up in the Chatham Islands, of his early Moriori ancestors and his time with Colonel Awatere at Casino during WWII and the horrors of that war.
I interviewed him just before the Millennium, and he was the most wonderful man, modest, unassuming, with a great sense of humour.
Wake up with me, Dinah Priestley, travelling from Wellington to London in an accident-prone WW2 truck called Leviathan. Friends said to us “You are mad! Those toddlers of yours will be dead before you reach London.” But we were lucky.! We survived, with help from peasants and prostitutes, missionaries and maharajahs.