At the final farewell to Arthur Midwood, a foundation member of the 28th Māori Battalion, the phrase "We will remember them" echoed on Tunohopu Marae in Te Papaiouru.
Members of the 28th Māori Battalion sat in the front row to farewell their comrade and the last of the 39ers, Arthur Midwood.
Te Kei Merito says, “It was wonderful but also sad to see his fellow friends from the 28th Māori Battalion but only some were here today.”
Matt Te Pou says, “There is only 13 left and the fact that Arthur was the last of the 39ers the originals, it's a real sad moment.”
War veteran and Māori broadcaster Hemana Waaka paid tribute to Arthur Midwood and remembers their conversations.
Hemana Waaka says, “One memory I hold dear in our discussions was that he remembered the strong bond within the 28th Māori Battalion. Soldiers of Te Arawa, Tūhoe and Ngāti Awa didn't separate themselves tribally within B Company. They were very close."
Arthur Midwood, a greatly respected elder and soldier, is being taken to Muruika where Te Arawa's famous soldiers are buried.
The last soldier was laid to rest here in 2005.
Te Ururoa Flavell says, “He carried the pain of those who've passed in recent years. It's sad to know that someone of his calibre is no longer among us.”
Arthur Midwood passed away last weekend surrounded by his loving whānau at Taupō Hospital. He was 96 years old.