November 15, 2012
Battalion wind-up decision for veterans
The 28th Māori Battalion Association is preparing to wind up, but the battalion will remain to the last man standing.
Matt Te Pou, who is organising the association's final hui in Wellington on 1st and 2nd of December, says the death on Sunday of stretcher bearer Kepa Kepa highlights how the time for a formal structure is over.
He says it's a decision the veterans have made themselves.
"The 28th Māori Battalion was very clear from the veterans that the 28th Māori Battalion will remain till the last man standing. Their numbers now are 25, with the passing of Kepa Kepa. It’s very sad; it’s very difficult and very hard to make the call. Bob Gillies is the one, he’s a veteran from Te Arawa B Company, that tabled the resolution that they should wind up. He said that it’s inevitable so the time had come," Mr Te Pou says.
Some 3600 men served with the Battalion during World War Two.
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