As Anzac Day approaches, the surviving soldiers of the 28th Māori Battalion are mourning the loss of a comrade, Private Hingangaroa Smith who passed away in Auckland this morning.
The Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, Ngāti Porou and Ngāi Tahu descendant leaves behind his family and friends and C Company comrades Archbishop Brown, Nolan Raihania, Epeneha Ratapu and William Hei Walker (also known as Pom Walker).
As a child, he was raised in Tolaga Bay under the name Major Jackson, but when he went to source a birth certificate to enlist for the 28th Māori Battalion he found out he was a whāngai and his real name was Hingangaroa Smith.
At 14-years of age he enlisted with D Company but told them he was 16-years-old, once his brothers who were also in the battalion found him, he was quickly repatriated to the C Company.
Details for his funeral arrangements are still being discussed by the family. Mr. Hingangaroa Smith leaves behind five children, many mokopuna, and great-grandchildren.