April 20, 2016
Blood sacrifice remembered
The story of a family ancestor who fought in one of the bloodiest battles of World War 1 has been a voyage of discovery for Northland man Pita Pirihi.
In The Blood We Share, a documentary which ran on Maori Television on Monday, he shared the story of Ngawaka Pirihi with Stefan Tarr, whose great grandfather Reginald John Claude Jellie also fought at the Somme.
To reinforce the point, the producers started with the pair lying side by side donating blood.
Mr Pirihi says his tupuna joined the 1st Field Ambulance of the NZ Medical Corps rather than the Maori Pioneers and served for five years.
"Culture and colour doesn't come into it when you are fighting in the trenches, trying to protect one another and live for one another so the cameraderie would have been a huge plus for them to be able to get through such a harrowing experience, particularly when you had young tane coming into these makeshift hospitals and medical centres and the tane were asking him to give their messages of aroha and awhi and tautoko and everything else to their whanau if he could," he says.
The Blood We Share will be repeated as part of Maori Television's Anzac Day coverage.
Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com