William Kaehau Maopo

Ingoa whānau
Ingoa tuatahi
William Kaehau

World War 1

Tau Rangatū
Wāhi noho
Taumutu, Leeston, Canterbury, New Zealand, Taumutu, Leeston, Canterbury, New Zealand
Whanaunga tino tata i te wā o te kuhunga
Aterea Maopo, Taumutu, Southbridge, Canterbury, New Zealand, Aterea Maopo, Taumutu, Southbridge, Canterbury, New Zealand
Rōpū whakaeke
2nd Maori Contingent

Takupu (2)

A Maori Soldier's Letter. PREPARING TO DO HIS "LITTLE BIT." Ellesmere Guardian 8 January 1916Among the young men who joined the reinforcements for the Maori Contingent was a member of a well-known Taumutu family, Private William K. Maopo. By a recent mail a scholar of the Sedgemere School received a letter from Private Maopo, from Zeitoun Camp, Egypt, in the course of which the writer says:Having a little spare time at my disposal, I now take the opportunity of dropping you a line to let you know that I am doing well. We are getting a lot of hard work—out drilling on the desert from 6 to 8.30 in the morning, route marching from breakfast till dinner time, then, rifle shooting! We are leaving shortly for an island in the Mediterranean Sea called Lemnos, where many of our New Zealand boys of the first contingent are having a spell until we are sent to reinforce them. I have been told that Harry Pohio is there. Joe Teihoka, I hear, has died of sickness, but I am not able to say whether this is corrector not. I am always on the look-out for boys from Canterbury. Allan Lamont is the only chap from the Ellesmere district I have met so far, and I had a great chat with him. Cairo is about eight miles from our camp and we are often there sight-seeing. There are some great buildings in Cairo, but I am not greatly struck with the town. The chief inhabitants are Arabs, Egyptians and blacks and many of the people are very low class. The native quarter is very filthy and the natives try to sell fruit that one wouldn't have the heart to give to the pigs in New Zealand. They don't forget to ask big prices for every thing.Last Sunday I visited the Soldiers' Home in Cairo, which is a very big building. All sorts of nice drinks, and fruit can be had there and there are plenty of games to indulge in. There are also plenty of New Zealand papers to read. By the time you get this letter I shall be at the front doing my bit. I would like to be home for Christmas, but better luck next time, perhaps. I am looking forwardto a lot of [news] from home. Have to go out on picquet to-night, so good-bye."Private Maopo was employed for a number of years by Mr H. E. Fincham, of Willowglen, and in a postscript to his letter he makes inquiries concerning Mr Fincham's stud Clydesdales and their successes in the show rings.

In the previous post, William Maopo writes about hearing that Private Joe Teihoka, also of Taumutu, had died of sickness, but he wasn't sure of the accuracy of the report. The following article was found on page 3 of the Ellismere Guardian, 9 February 1916:Football Matches in Egypt — RED CROSS BENEFIT.The following items of interest are taken from a letter received by Miss V. Fincham, of Sedgemere, from Private W. K. Moapo [sic], a Sedgemere lad who joined the Maori Contingent Reinforcements. The letter is especially interesting on account of the fact that Private Moapo reports having seen Private Joe Teihoka, who was recently reported to have died.The writer says: I enjoyed the trip over here very much and at present am enjoying the very best of health. Yesterday (18th December) I was very much surprised to meet Joe Teihoka in the N. Z. General Hospital at Pont de Koubeh, near Cairo. He was overtaken by an attack of dysentery and had to leave the firing line, so he told me. He has been in hospital two weeks today and is looking very sick and thin—he never was very stout, but at present he is a mere skeleton. He told me that Harry Pohio was still on the Peninsula when he left. Joe and I naturally had a good old chat about old times and the people we love so well in dear old Taumutu, and for whom we are proud to have the opportunity to fight.I have met several Ellesmere boys, including Ralph Coe, who is looking very thin having just recently left the hospital where he was suffering from pneumonia. He is now doing light duties. It is very cold here at nights just now, this beng winter time. I saw a copy of the Ellesmere Show prize list and it made interesting reading.A fortnight ago I went to see a football match in Cairo, in aid of the Red Cross, played between our boys and a team of N.Z. Artillerymen. Our boys won by 14 points to 10, and it was a very hard fought battle. On Friday, December 17th, our boys played the N.Z. Seventh Reinforcements, sufferiing defeat by five points to three. There are some beautiful sights in Cairo, but I am not in love with the place, as much of it is very dirty.I will close with best wishes and Arohanui; Kia Ora."