More material wanted for 28 Māori Battalion’s B Company Book

By Wena Harawira
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Photos and information are still being sought for the book about soldiers who fought in the 28 Māori Battalion’s B Company.

The soldiers of B Company, nicknamed 'The Penny Divers', came mainly from Te Arawa and the Mātaatua tribes but also included men from the Hauraki district. They fought in more engagements and received more decorations than any other company of the Māori Battalion.

Sir Wira Gardiner has finished writing a draft of the book, 'Ake Ake Kia Kaha E', which will be published this year. But he’s still encouraging families of the 850 soldiers who made up B Company, to provide him with photos and information.

"We’ve still got 300 photos of individual soldiers to find and that’s the major task that we have in front of us over the next 3 months, to make contact with iwi, whānau, hapū and organisations to help us locate those photos," said Sir Wira.

"Until we put this book in the can there’s always room for me to shift a chapter to include another relation."

Sir Wira says he plans to approach iwi and Māori organisations to fund free copies of the book for the family of each soldier of B Company.