Libyan campaign, Part 7 - Padre Harawira


Padre Kahi Harawira continues his description of the activities of the Māori Battalion in Libya during December 1941.  As the Battalion advanced it was unsure of the location of the Germans until they began shelling.  They kept driving forward on their vehicles somethingthe Italians had not seen beforer. The Italians were stunned and surrendered, moere than 600 of them. On the 12th the Battalion moved forward again onlt to come under fire again,

The padre mentions that Major Royal has been injured and Captain Tiwha Bennett is now leading B Company with other officers' including his brother Captain Charles Bennett, Ruhi Pene, Eddie Morgan, Kuru Waaka and Meta Francis.

He then introduces Captain FT Bennett whose recording can be heard here.


[Macrons are not shown as users have the advantage of listening to the recording to see which vowels require emphasis.]  

I a matou e haere nei, kore rawa e mohiotia pehea te mamao o te hoariri.  Na te pakaru ra ano ko te mahi a te shell ki waenganui o matou taraka, katahi ano ka mohiotia na tata ano ia te hoariri.  Otira kahore i taea te hoki ki muri.  Engari ka kaha ke te haere o nga taraka ki roto i te mura o te ahi.  He kokiri hou tenei, kahore ano tona rite i mua ano. No te tino piringa ano katahi ano ka pekepeke ki raro i nga taraka, takoto tapapa ai ki te whenua tatari ai ki te wa tika hei kokiritanga.  Otira, kahore te hoariri tatari ki taua kokiri.  Ka putaputa mai ki waho i o ratou rua, me o ratou ringaringa ki runga tu haere mai ai.  Te ingoa o tenei wikitoria "he waimarie."  E ono rau nuku atu ranei nga herehere i konei.  Tekau ma rua o nga ra ka haere whakamua ano matou.  Kahore i mamao te haeretanga atu, ka timata ano te puhia mai e nga pu nui o te hoariri.  No konei ka mau mai te noho a te hoariri.  Ka mohiotia atu koia nei to ratou pa uaua.  Ka mauria ake nga pu nunui hei awhina i a matou. No tenei wa ka tu a Major Royal. Na reira ko Captain F.T. Bennett hei arahi i a Te Arawa. Koia nei nga apiha o B Company inaianei.  Captain C. M. Bennett, Ruhi Pene, Eddie Morgan, Kuru Waaka, Meta Francis.  Koia tenei ko Captain F.T. Bennett e korero atu nei ki a koutou.


As we proceeded along we did not know how far away the enemy was. When shells burst among our trucks only then did we realise the enemy were close at hand. Despite this we could not turn back. Instead we pressed on amidst the battle.  This was a new style of attack, its like had not been seen before.  When we were very close we jumped off and lay on the ground and waited for the appropriate time to attack.  However, the enemy did not wait for that attack.  They came out of their trenches with their hands raised as they approached.  The name of this vistory was "good fortune."  Six hundred or more were taken prisoners here.  On the 12th we went forward again.  We had not gone far when we were fired upon again by the enemy's big guns.  Here the enemy held their positions.  We knew this was their main fortress.  We brought up our big guns to assist us.  This is when Major Royal was wounded.  Thus Captain F.T. Bennett took charge of B Company.  These are B Companys' officers now: Captain C. M. Bennett, Ruhi Pene, Eddie Morgan, Kuru Waaka, Meta Francis.  Here is Captain F.T. Bennett to speak to you.


Sound file from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, ref: 15331. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright.

Image: M. L. Underhill et al., 1950, New Zealand Chaplains in the Second World War, War History, p.30

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