Joined: August 5, 2009, 2:14 pm
Last Active: August 7, 2012, 8:00 pm
My father William Ratahi Pitman aged ninety four years of age passed away peacefully at my residence in Tikipunga on the 21st June 2012. I have many wonderful memories of my fathers comrades especially from 'A' company. Dad's Army number is 28982, he was a Private and was 22 years old when he left for overseas. Three of his brothers also enlisted in the Maori Battalion, John (killed on active service and interred in Acroma War Cemetery, Libya), David (39er), Edward who got over to Italy but was sent back when he was sprung as being too young at only 16 much to his annoyance, he later served in the J Force. Another brother, Maketu served in the Navy during the war. The brothers have all passed on now. Dad's parents were Tame & Matiria Pitman of Tamaterau and he was the 9th of 18 siblings. He is the last survivor of that whanau. My name comes from a place in Libya that the men spent a Christmas, Dad & his cousin Peter Rata, said to each other if they ever had a daughter, this would be her name, Dad kept his word! Although he spelt it differently, "Naphelia" that story has been with me all my life. I was privileged to accompany dad on a trip to Italy in 2005 & we were so near yet so far to visit my namesake, Nofilia.