Kōkiri 16 – He Kotahi Rau Tau Te Pakeke

Published in Kōkiri 16, Mahuru - Whiringa ā Nuku 2009

Ingoa: William Bill Wī Te Koha Williams Rōpū: 28th Māori Battalion - 62705 Wāhanga: A Company, 7th Reinforcement

Kotahi rau tau te pakeke o Bill Williams nō Hauraki, he koroua humārie kua roa nei e pakanga mō te oranga tonutanga o te iwi Māori.

I whānau mai a Bill i te 28 o Whiringa ā Rangi 1908 i Papa Aroha i Hauraki i raro i tētahi rākau Pūriri. Ko Hera Maraea Tauteka Kauikaroa tōna māmā, ko Jack Hovell tōna pāpā.

He mōrehu koroua tēnei nō Te Patariana Māori o Te Rōpū Rua Tekau mā Waru.

I te pakarutanga mai o te pakanga tuarua o te ao, i te pāmu o Angus Denize a ia e mahi ana ki Waikawau.

Nō te koroua te hiahia ki te hono atu ki te ope tauā o Aotearoa, nā, i te tau 1940 ka haere ia ki Paeroa rēhita ai. I te tuawaru o Kohitātea 1941 ka tuhono atu ia ki te ope tauā o Aotearoa i Papakura.

I whakawhiti atu a Bill ki Te Patariana Māori o Te Rua Tekau mā Waru ko tana rōpū te tuawhitu o ngā kapa tautoko i te patariana nei.

I te 13 o Mahuru 1941 ka tere atu ia ki te whenua o Egypt hei wāhanga o te ope tauā tuawaru rongonui o Montgomery’s.

I mau a Bill rāua ko tana hoa i te hoariri, i reira ka tūtaki atu ia ki a Desert Fox Rommel. I taua wā, ka karangahia a Rommel kia hoki atu ia ki Tiamani.

Nō te rongohanga a Bill i taua kōrero, ka mōhio tonu ia, kāore e roa tana noho ki reira.

Nā Rommel te whakahau, kia whāngaihia rātou ki te kai, kia aratakina hoki rātou ki ngā māra maina.

E ai ki a Rommel i taua wā, mēnā i a ia tētahi ope tauā pērā i tō te Rua tekau mā Waru, kua riro katoa te ao i a ia.

I haere tonu te whawhai a Bill ki Ihipa, heke iho ki Itari, tae atu ki te Ohu Whakapono o Monte Casino.

I konei ka kōhurutia ngā hōia e ngā pū hiko a Tiamani. I konei hoki ka mutu ngā mahi whawhai a Bill, ka tukuna ia ki te hōhipera tauā i Alexandria mō ana taotū.

Ko te Sergeant Major, Lance Corporal me te Acting Warrant Officer ngā momo tūranga o Bill i a ia i roto i te ope tauā. Nō te 30 0 Mahuru i te tau 1945 ka hoki mai ia ki te wā kāīnga nei, ka mutu ana mahi mā te ope tauā i te 12 o Kohitātea 1946.

I mua i tana haerenga ki rāwāhi mō te ope tauā o Aotearoa i Papakura ka tūpono noa atu a Bill ki a Alice Griffiths, tana hoa rangatira ki tētahi kanikani i Ellerslie.

I mārena rāua i te 5 o Whirnga ā nuku 1945.

I hoki atu rāua ki Waikawau, ā, kei reira tonu a ia e noho ana me tōna whānau. Tokowaru ā rāua tamariki, tokomaha ā rāua mokopuna, mokopuna tuarua hoki.

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