WW1: 16/415 Hoani Sullivan 1914-1918 and WW2: 6119 John Sullivan 1939-1945
He was known as Hoani Sullivan in World War one and John Sullivan in World War two.
As Hoani Sullivan he was a former member of the Wairoa Mounted Rifles and then he joined the Pioneer Battalion 1914-1918 having served in Egypt, Gallipoli and the Somme. He suffered injury to his jaw line which needed surgery and the following year he suffered shell fractures to his left buttock and hip. He suffered with these injuries from 1916 with the addition of asthma attacks. These were the physical scars and symptoms he carried until his death in 1942.
In the year 1939 he signed up for WW2 to rejoin the forces in the 28th Maori Battalion. He was able to join the second World War but only for 33 days. His past injuries of 1914-1918, started to reoccur again and his health pains began to increase, however he regained his strength and was able to march out 33 days later with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He continued on lighter duties working for the homeguard in Waitotara. He also signed up as first class interpreter and recruiting officer in charge of the South Taranaki region and he was also Chief of Ngaa Rauru and Ihupuku pa, Waitotara. He was also a member of the Taranaki Maori Council and the Aotea Maori Association. He was well respected by Pākehā and Māori.
He passed away at his residence in Kaipo on the 15th September 1942 surrounded by family members. He had one of the biggest military funerals ever seen in Waitotara. He was carried up the Ihupuku cemetery hill by his sons and given the military guard of honour. Bugler Pfeffer played the bugle as they lowered Hoani /John Sullivan also known as Tatara Tarawene into his final resting ground Ihupuku Cemetery Waitotara. The service was performed by Rev Matarae Tauroa of Okaiawa.
Waitotara , Ngati Hinewaiata Hapu, Ihupuku Marae G - Virginia Hina.