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The Maoris in the Great War

Author's Preface

page II page III

Author's Preface

This narrative of the services performed in the Great War by the Maori soldiers of New Zealand has been written under instructions from the Maori Regimental Committee, approved by the Defence authorities. Official histories of the Dominion's war effort and a series of histories of the various Pakeha units have been published, and the present book supplies the completing volume of our regimental records. References to the Maori Contingent at Gallipoli and, after its organisation as a Pioneer Battalion, in France and Flanders may be found here and there in the official and regimental histories, in the eloquent despatches of Sir Ian Hamilton and the reports of other commanders, but a connected and detailed story of the gallant Maoris and their South Sea Islands cousins was required. This volume has been compiled mainly from the official War Diaries of the Battalion commanders, and has been augmented from various sources, chief of which are the excellent diaries kept by Major Peter H. Buck (Te Rangihiroa), D.S.O., M.D., who served continuously from 1915 to the end of the war. Lieut.-Col. W. O. Ennis, D.S.O., who was four years on active service, assisted with notes and kindly read the proofs and made useful suggestions. His death by accident in Auckland was an untimely end to a fine career, a tragedy deeply regretted by old comrades. Departmental files of the Hon. Sir Maui Pomare, Native member of the Executive Council and Chairman of the Maori Recruiting Committee and Regimental Committee, have also been drawn upon for information regarding the raising and organisation of the corps. My thanks are due to Sir Maui and his Committee and the New Zealand Regimental Canteen Funds Trust Board for the facilities given, and to Major L.C. Forgie, Secretary of War Records and Trust page IV Funds, Defence Headquarters, and Captain Jervis, in charge of the Records at Mt. Cook Barracks, for their kind help. From numerous Maori sources, too, came assistance in the compilation of this narrative of our Native countrymen's deeds on the hills of Gallipoli and in the great labour of pioneer duty with the armies in France.

The principal maps used are those which appeared in The History of the New Zealand Division in France, The New Zealanders at Gallipoli and The History of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade.

James Cowan.