Friday, 27 February 2015

WW1 : We will Remember Them

Rotorua District Library and the Rotorua Museum WW1 Hero Competition

This library guide provides information on resources relating to New Zealand in WW1 with a list of useful books, websites and databases available at the Rotorua District Library. It is not a complete list but is intended to help you get started with your research. Books about WW1 can be found at these dewey numbers 355's and 940's. WW1 websites and databases can be accessed here.

Come along to the library for one of our weekly workshops for help with the WW1 research competition.
Where:  2nd floor – Information Services
When:   Every Thursday from 4 Feb – 26 March
Time:     3:30pm – 4:30pm

The Arawa were the first to enlist in the New Zealand Army in 1914.

"In Rotorua there were scarcely any but older people, the women and children, every Arawa who could pass the doctor and look fit to carry a rifle and swag went into the camp to train for the great adventure. The age limit was liberally construed. There is a young maori at Matata who enlisted with the Arawa in the 1st Maori Contingent, fought at Gallipoli in 1915 was invalided home where he married an Arawa girl and volunteered for further service abroad when his wife stopped his wandering by informing the authorities that he was only seventeen!"

"The Arawa and the Ngati Kahungunu of Te Wairoa were the first to volunteer to go to war for the British. They were organised into B Company and Platoon's 5 to 8 were shipped out to Auckland firstly on the troop-steamer 'Warrimoo' to Wellington where they took part in a Parade at Newtown Park before leaving for Gallipoli on 15 February 1915"

1st Contingent : B Company, Platoon 5 = Te Arawa ; Platoon 6 = Te Awa-a-te-Atua to the East Coast and Waiapu ; Platoon 7 = Uawa (Tolaga Bay) and Gisborne ; Platoon 8 = Ngati Kahungunu from Te Mahia to Napier and Wairarapa.   

Captain Roger Dansey, whose dash has already been mentioned, himself killed three Turks with the bayonet. An anecdote of his alertness...was narrated by by one of his men long afterwards. "Captain Dansey", he said is as good a fighter as he was a footballer. Once a big Turk jumps up ahead of him he levels a rifle at his head. But Dansey just ducks and goes in for that Turk low down; the bullet goes over his head..."

Excerpts from James Cowan's 'The Maori's in the Great War'

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