World War 2
This article - about William Vercoe's father, Henry Te Reiwhati Vercoe - appeared in the April 1992 NZ 28 Maori Battalion Reunion booklet.
Stalwarts of B Coy - Major Henry Te Reiwhati VERCOE, DSO, DCM, OBE
Major Vercoe was a highly decorated soldier of three wars. He served in the Boer War 1899-1902, World War I (he was at Gallipoli) and World War II. He was the Officer Commanding North Island Home Guard in charge of fund raising etc. for the Patriotic Board. He also played a significant part in the formation of the Maori Battalion.
After the War he was instrumental in settling many ex-servicemen on farms. He was a member of the Arawa Trust Board 1945-1957 and Chairman 1951-1954.
Two of Major Vercoe's sons served with the Battalion. Henry was killed in Crete, William wounded, and was invalided home.
Two Grand-nephews Christopher and Ted (Gunner) Ruhi were both "39'ers" - founding members of the Battalion. Bishop Vercoe is another newphew.