A new D company book needs whānau photos and stories

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

D company historian Harawira Craig Pearless is piecing together a book on the Māori Battalions D Company, and he's putting the call out to whānau to be a part of it by sharing their photos and stories. 

"The thing that hurts is where our māori soliders, our ancestors of this company are lying, I've searched and I've gone to visit the grave sites overseas around 155 of them are still overseas," says Pearless.

He's collecting stories from all over the country but now focusing on sourcing information from the Kahungunu area.

"For me right now I am collecting the stories from the 16th Battalion stretching from Te Mahia right down to Wairarapa, there are so many of our soldiers from D Company from there and grew up in this region."

Pearless has interviewed as many people as he can including the last officer of D Company.

"That is Lieutenant Bunty Priest is the last surviving officers of the 28th he lives in the Chatham Island and is still alive, he is the one who has been guiding us throughout this research."

D Company is a large area that covers all different parts of the country that reaches as far down as Ngai Tahu in the South Island.