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No bayonet needed / E hara te pēneti i mau

Captain Pirimi Tahiwi of Te Hokowhitu a Tū, the Māori Battalion, describes how he and Captain Roger Dansey led a charge on Sari Bair, Gallipoli in 1915. Te Rauparaha’s famous war cry “Ka Mate, Ka Mate” rang out as they cleared the Turkish trenches. Tahiwi says there was no need to use the bayonet as the Turkish troops fled for their lives.He was wounded in the neck and evacuated to England to convalesce. After an outstanding military career he attended the 50th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings as the sole surviving officer to serve in Te Hokowhitu a Tū, the Māori Pioneer Battalion. Tahiwi laid a mere pounamu, a symbol of both peace and war, on the memorial at Chunuk Bair.

Year:1915 (Recorded in 1968)

Location:Gallipoili, Turkey

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No bayonet needed / E hara te pēneti i mau

Captain Pirimi Tahiwi of Te Hokowhitu a Tū, the Māori Battalion, describes how he and Captain Roger Dansey led a charge on Sari Bair, Gallipoli in 1915. Te Rauparaha’s famous war cry “Ka Mate, Ka Mate” rang out as they cleared the Turkish trenches. Tahiwi says there was no need to use the bayonet as the Turkish troops fled for their lives.He was wounded in the neck and evacuated to England to convalesce. After an outstanding military career he attended the 50th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings as the sole surviving officer to serve in Te Hokowhitu a Tū, the Māori Pioneer Battalion. Tahiwi laid a mere pounamu, a symbol of both peace and war, on the memorial at Chunuk Bair.


Year: 1915 (Recorded in 1968)

Length: 03:24

Source: Radio New Zealand Collection, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Catalogue Reference: 247036 [Captain Pirimi Tahiwi who served with the Māori First Native Contingent, talks about Gallipoli].


People: Pirimi Pererika Tahiwi (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Whakaue)

Location: Gallipoili, Turkey


Image Title: Newspaper article from the Horowhenua Chronicle reporting on Captain Tahiwi's hospitalisation

Image Source: Horowhenua Chronicle, 1 March 1916


Pirimi Pererika Tahiwi was born in Ōtaki 16 September 1890, and studied at Teacher’s Training College in Wellington before returning to teach at Ōtaki Native College as a resident master. He played 12 years of representative rugby for Horowhenua and was capped as a New Zealand Māori player in 1913.

Tahiwi’s military career began when he signed up for the Territorial Force with the 7th Battalion (Wellington West Coast) Infantry Regiment in May 1911. He was promoted to sergeant in August 1914 and within a month received a commission to second lieutenant. When war was declared he enlisted in the Māori Contingent of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. In February 1915 the Contingent arrived at Malta and by April Tahiwi was given the rank of captain.

While recovering in England from a wound, he led New Zealand troops in the first ANZAC parade in London in April 1916. In November of that year he returned to New Zealand to train Māori reinforcements. By July 1917 he returned to the battlefields of France with the 20th Reinforcements, Māori Battalion and in October joined up with the New Zealand Māori (Pioneer) Battalion. By December 1917 he had assumed command of the Battalion’s D Company.

In World War Two Tahiwi again volunteered for service, and became adjutant to the 28th Māori Battalion. In 1940 he was appointed to the New Zealand Temporary Staff as captain, and became company commander of the training battalion at Papakura Military Camp.