World War 1
World War 2
Read a biography of Te Rangiataahua Royal, in English and te reo Māori, on the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography = Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau website.
Read this brief profile about Rangi Royal here.
This article appeared in the April 1992 NZ 28 Maori Battalion Reunion booklet.
No. 5096 - Major Rangi ROYAL, MC and Bar, of Ngati Maru, Pai o Hauraki, Paeroa
Rangi Royal enlisted in 1917 for the 1st World War and served one year in New Zealand and one and a half years overseas. He was a fine rugby player and played against English teams and after the cessation of war, for Hokowhitu-a-tu.
He took his discharge in May 1919 and commenced that year working with what was then called the Native Department. He continued playing rugby and represented Rotorua and Bay of Plenty.
At the outbreak of World War II he enlisted and was appointed to the rank of Captain after completing an officer's course 25th November 1939. He became OC of B Company of the newly formed Maori Battalion.
Rangi served overseas in Greece and Crete and was awarded the Military Cross for "initiative, coolness and judgement." When serving in the first Desert Campaign of November December 1941 he was wounded at Gazala. For this action he received a bar to his M.C. He was recalled to New Zealand at the request of A.T. Ngata, to help train the reinforcements for the Battalion.
Discharged in 1944, he returned to the staff of Maori Affairs in Rotorua. He transferred to Wellington and was appointed Controller of Maori Social and Economic Welfare, a position he held until he retired. Rangi died in 1965, survived by his wife, Puhi, three daughters and two sons. Both sons served overseas, one in the Air Force, the other in the last reinforcement to the Maori Battalion.
CAPT. RANGI ROYAL MC - BAR TO MC
Captain Royal, a senior officer and company commander of the Maori Battalion, has continuous records in Greece, Crete and Libya of bold and fearless leadership. In the last action at Gazala he led his men in the night attack on Point 181. After sweeping through the first fort he reformed his men to the right and went through the main fort, taking the troops which were resisting, ‘A' Company in the rear. He was then left in charge of organising the position against a counter-attack. This he did effectively, himself occupying the most forward and dangerous position, where, during the next day, he was wounded.