John William Pene

Ingoa whānau
Ingoa tuatahi
John William

World War 2

Tau Rangatū
Wāhi noho
Wairapakau, New Zealand
Whanaunga tino tata i te wā o te kuhunga
Miss Ida Pene (sister), Whakarewarewa, New Zealand

Takupu (3)

i believe this to be a great grand father of mine and was always told by my grandmother and mother that he was one of the youngest members of the Māori Battalion. Can anyone confirm this?

Dad strived to be a good dad, he was a humble man who was gifted with some great talents. When I was young dad brougt home some phtoto he was a sargent in the Army at time he was walking on a wire rope and doing gymnastics, he was good with race horses,kai mahi trout from Tarawera and maketu mussels. He went to the 2nd world war at the age of fourteen, died at the age 59.Kia Kaha dad.

i first came across JP, as he was known to me and my collegues, in the mid-1950’s during my sojourn as an unwilling inductee into Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

As a CMT trainee after completion of basic and core training I was posted to B Company 1st Hauraki Battalion. JP was my sergeant. His favourite name for me was ‘boot full of ar——holes’  due to the state of my boot laces that always seemed to poke out from under the putties/garters; not what a sergeant wanted on his parade. I think it was an affectionate response to an awkward soldier as we always got on well in civilian life.

In the mid 1980’s Government policy was to return Maori Land back to the control of Maori and land trusts were formed to administer the blocks.

JP was appointed as one of the trustees of the Tumunui Lands Trust and he along with the other trustees appointed me as the trust’s secretary-accountant an appointment that continued up to my retirement on the 1st April 2017. 

Other WW2 veterans who became trustees of Tumunui and with whom I worked were, Kuru Waaka, Paurini(Boucher) Mutu, Tene Anaru and of course JP. They were interesting men and at the conclusion of board business and during the lunch break it was worthwhile listening their tales of there more pleasurable exploits during their time overseas. 

I was never treated as an outsider as they all knew my Uncle Boysey Merriman who had fought alongside them as a B Company man.