Waitomo News : April 17 2014 ANZAC
was compiled by: STORIES Robbie Kay, Todd Ward, James Paul ADVERTISING Rochelle Wolland, Sam Baggott, Janis MacDonald DESIGN Nicole Ellis PRODUCTION Michelle Freebairn, Ashley Cressy SUB-EDITOR Jo Meads EDITOR Sue Sarich in our defence 2 IN OUR DEFENCE Thursday, April 17, 2014 filling in the gaps THE previously unknown stories of more than 350 returned World War l servicemen connected with the Waitomo district have seen the light of day for the first time. After almost a year of painstaking and patient research by a small group led by Te Kuiti genealo- gists Sheryl Baker and Michal Were, files have been created for men and women who fought for New Zealand in ‘The Great War’, but were largely over- looked after they returned home. While there are many memorials throughout the district to the young people who died for ‘King and Country’, until now, there has been no proper record of those who went to war and came back. “Some came home and disappeared back into everyday life, perhaps never talked about their experiences,” says Sheryl. “Some returned shell-shocked or injured and led much changed lives after that.” A lasting record of these brave souls, which includes some women, is being compiled for future generations by the Te Kuiti Genealogy Group to mark the centenary of the beginning of WWI. (Waitomo News, May 16, 2013) The main source of information has been the cenotaph website – Ancestry.com – archives, elec- toral rolls and cemetery records. The genealogists started by checking the website for everyone who enrolled in Te Kuiti to serve their country, then checking off the names of those with a known history. Recently published books about local areas such as Kawhia, Mokauiti, Mahoenui, Waitunguru as well as the histories of pioneer families are rich informa- tion sources. “These are tremendous resources for projects like ours, especially when you’ve got several people with the same name and you’re trying to sort out who’s who,” says Sheryl. > UNKNOWN WARRIORS: Te Kuiti genealogists Michal Were (left) and Sheryl Baker are piecing together previously unknown information about the brave men and women con- nected with the Waitomo district who fought in World War l but were largely overlooked after they returned home. All re- cords will be kept in the genealogy group’s rooms in Te Kuiti. They are available to anyone researching family history. BY ROBBIE KAY By SUE SARICH BY JAMES PAUL NEW Zealand may be a small country, but that has never stopped thousands of brave Kiwis from making the ultimate sacrifice on the world stage. On ANZAC Day – Friday, April 25 – New Zea- landers throughout the country will remember, honour and mourn those who served and died to protect our country and its freedom. This year also marks the 100th anniversary since England and its empire declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914. People will gather at services to commemo- rate not only those who served and died in World War I and World War II, but other global conflicts throughout the country’s proud his- tory. It is also a time to salute those who cur- rently serve in the New Zealand Defence Force. OTOROHANGA North King Country residents can pay their respects in Otorohanga at the dawn service, timed to coincide with the ANZACs landing at Gallipoli on Friday, April 25. At 6am returned servicemen and women will assemble outside Otorohanga Butchery on Maniapoto St before marching to Memorial Park at the north end of the street. Wreaths will be laid before RSA president Rob Lupton reads the commendation. Fellow RSA members Rob Gordon, Bill Walsh, Ray Lovell and John Jacobs will then speak about WWI, WWII, the Boer War and Korea/ Malaysia/Vietnam theatres respectively. Commemorative ribbons have again been prepared for the civil ceremony which will also be held at Memorial Park at 10am. Local RSA members are also participating in a nationwide White Crosses Project and will plant a Garden of Remembrance to greet the more than 400 people expected at the parade. In honour of WWI’s centenary, crosses will be planted in a garden opposite the park to represent fallen soldiers. Te Kuiti and Districts Highland Pipe Band will lead the march from the Village Green to Memorial Park for the civil ceremony. Mr Lupton is the master of ceremonies with Reverend Peter Conventry addressing those gathered first. Other guest speakers include Otorohanga mayor Max Baxter, RSA executive member Mike Smith and Otorohanga College head students Arorangi Cooper and Vilati Narbey-Nimeti. If wet, the service will be held in the Otoro- hanga Club on Maniapoto St. KAWHIA Residents of the coastal community will honour their district’s 25 fallen soldiers at a parade at 1pm, marching from the Kawhia Community Centre in Jervois St to the ceno- taph. Te Awamutu and Districts Highland Pipe Band will lead the march. Veterans, family and residents are invited to the Kawhia Sports Club on Rosamond Tce for refreshments at the conclusion of the service. TE KUITI Te Kuiti’s ANZAC Day commemorations begin at 7am with family of returned servicemen and women and other personnel asked to assemble at The Lines Company corner (Taupiri St and King St East). Te Kuiti and District RSA members, local emergency service organisations, Guide and Cub members, residents and students from lo- cal schools will also attend. Te Kuiti and Districts Highland Pipe Band will lead the parade at 7.15am to the Waitomo Cultural and Arts Centre for a combined memo- rial service hosted by the RSA and Waitomo District Council. Terry Tutty of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church will officiate at the service which begins at 7.30am. Lance Corporal Paul Gernhoefer of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, who has recently served in Afghanistan, is returning to Te Kuiti from Christchurch’s Burnham Military Camp to be a guest speaker. Piopio College head students Vaida Poole and Francois Turner will also address the ANZAC Day audience. Wreaths will then be laid at the cenotaph at the conclusion of the service led by RSA president Val Brett. Other community organisations and schools’ representatives will also lay wreaths. The entire service, including the laying of the wreaths, will be held inside the centre if it is wet. PIOPIO ANZAC Day services in Piopio begin at 10.45am. Local service organisations and members of the public will gather at the Piopio Senior Citizens Club on Weka St. From there they will march to the cenotaph at the Piopio War Memorial Hall at 11am, with the service, led by Reverends Kay Taitoko and Carol Hancock, at 11.10am. Former corporal of the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment Blair Benefield is guest speaker. The Waitanguru and Districts branch of Rural Women New Zealand will supply refreshments at the conclusion of the service. NEWS OF THE DAY anzac services in the north king country “I get obsessed with the detective work. “You just keep plugging away, looking under every stone, following every lead, to see what you can find. “It’s unfinished business and tying up all the threads and seeing the complete characters emerge gives me goosebumps.” The genealogy group is trying to be inclusive. Some recruits from Waitomo may have been born, bred and buried here, but actually enlisted somewhere else simply because they were working away from the Waitomo district, in the early years of the war. At the same time, some will have enlisted in Te Kuiti simply because they were training at an Army camp in the area. Others may have embarked elsewhere, but settled here after the war and had families, so these names are now a part of the fabric of the North King Country community. PHOTOS, STORIES NEEDED Sheryl says it would be marvellous to have family photos and family stories to flesh out the discovered documents. “Many who went away to serve had official photos and family portraits taken before they left,” she says. “Those photos of great-grandfathers and great uncles are all sitting in family albums somewhere, perhaps with letters and treasured mementos. “If people would like to share these treasures for our book, we have the facilities to immediately scan the im- ages and return them.” The genealogists intend to publish a book about the returned servicemen and women. “At this point we have some way to go but we believe it’s important to acknowledge those who have previously slipped through the gaps.” A new dictionary will need to be compiled after The Great War. For new words are among the things that have been born of this war. And the greatest of them all is ANZAC. – Sydney Morning Herald, April 26, 1918 MANY New Zealanders of today will know little about World War I. Why it happened, who it involved, where battles took place, how many lives were lost and what was learned . . . are now relegated to the pages of history. Sparked by the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Arch- duke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, it ended after enveloping almost the entire planet, leaving hundreds of thousands dead. The King Country Chronicle – one of our two predecessors – had scant news of the war. We live in an age where information is sent at the push of a button, so it would be hard for anyone under the age of 30, probably, to fathom that the declaration of war by England against Germany on August 4, 1914 wasn’t really announced in newsprint locally . . . until August 12. Even then there were no great headlines proclaiming ‘WAR DECLARED’. Page five of that issue gave notice that the first men from this region were being enrolled for New Zealand’s first expeditionary force and a public farewell was to be held that night in the Te Kuiti Municipal Hall. The contingent left by train the next day. Coverage from then on was published the same way we publish news briefs today – two to three paragraphs of developments as the Allied efforts battled against German forces in what was labelled ‘The World’s Battle Ground’. In this year’s In Our Defence, we feature a handful of those brave souls who fought in WWI. Members of the Te Kuiti Genealogy Group have managed to compile records on 350 servicemen from the Waitomo district for the first time. We also feature WWII servicemen, and a special story about a local man who has won a ballot to attend the dawn service at ANZAC Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey in 2015 – 100 years on from that fateful landing. Last year, we published for the first time, the full story of former Te Kuiti resident and mayor, Les Munro – DSO, DFC, Squadron Leader 97 & 617 Squadrons, Bomber Command, Royal Air Force – and the famous Dambuster raids. In it, he raised the question: “Do all those who take part in ANZAC Day give thought to what they as individuals can do to prevent further wars? It worries me that we hold a service to honour the fallen with no further commitment to promote world peace.” What commitment will we make this year, and how will we be reporting that next year, I wonder? As I write, there are currently 318 New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed on 15 operations, UN missions and defence exercises in 12 countries.
24 April 2014
15 April 2014