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Kingi Areta Keiha

Group of 28 Maori Battalion Officers at dinner, Hotel St George, Beirut, 1930 hours, 5 June 1942. From left to right: Colonel Edward Te Whiti Love, Rev. Captain Takimoana Kahi Harawira, Lieutenant Paikea Henare Toka, Captain Robert Cecil Shaw-Thompson, Captain Kereti Pau Mariu, Lieutenant Henry Colton Arundel Lambert, Mr Charles Basil Bennet, Lieutenant William Vercoe, WO1 Allan Campbell Wood, DCM, Lieutenant George Tuoro Marsden, John Richard Ormsby, Second Lieutenant Ian Graeme Howden, Major Sydney Freyberg Jackson, Captain Waipaina Matehe Awarau, Major James Clendon Tau Henare, CBE, Lieutenant Hupa Hamiora, Captain James Tuhiwai, mid, Lieutenant Kuru Waaka, Lieutenant Edward Morgan, Lieutenant Colonel Arapeta Awatere, Captain James Matahere, Second Lieutenant John College Reedy, Duncan McCrae, Lieutenant Dr Ronald Alexander MacDonald, Colonel W.W.Johnston, Ben Porter, CSM Rangi France Logan, Second Lieutenant Ehai John Ropata, Jumbo Joseph, Second Lieutenant Kingi Areta Keiha, Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Baker DSO. - This image may be subject to copyright
Group of 28 Maori Battalion Officers at dinner, Hotel St Geo … Read more


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Kingi Areta AWMM
  • Surname
    Keiha AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Reta AWMM
  • Service number
    39620 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    24 January 1900 AWMM GisborneNew Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM 7 Lytton Road, Gisborne, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mr Pare Keiha (father), Disraeli Street, Gisborne, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 1 May 1940 AWMM Married AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    39620 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Military Cross (MC) AWMM
    5 November 1942 AWMM
    "During the attack on the Deir El Munassib Depression on the night of 3/4 September 1942 this officer commanded the company which provided protection for the battalion until the final assault was made. This company met with resistance from strong positions at various points over a distance of 3500 yards, but overcame the enemy, thus enabling the main force to move to it's forming-up line with very little interference. Capt. Keiha prepared for his difficult task well, and executed it excellently. At all times he was there to inspire, control and direct his men under heavy machine-gun, mortar and artillery fire, and it was largely due to his leadership that the whole operation was successful.(L.G. 5/11/1942 (I)) The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Keiha, Kingi Areta. (Ref. WO 373/22/42). Military Cross. " AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Commanding officer of C Company

    Temporary Colonel commanding the Battalion from 22 April to 11 September 1943

    Significant and lifelong work with rehabilitation and the welfare of returned soldiers.

    Normally known as Reta

    Lt-Col K. A. Keiha, MC; Lower Hutt; born Gisborne, 24 Jan 1900; law clerk and interpreter; CO 28 Bn Apr-Sep 1943. (Source: Cody, J.F. 28 Maori Battalion. p.85.) AWMM


About death

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  • Death
    29 May 1961 AWMM
    HextonGisborne AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 2 (Embarkations to 30th June, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 2: WW2 100 AWMM
    • Soutar, M. (2008). Nga tama toa = The price of citizenship : C Company 28 (Maori) Battalion 1939-1945. Albany, N.Z.: David Bateman. AWMM
      Portrait published in Soutar (2008) AWMM
    • Cody, J. (1956). 28 (Maori) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.11, 41, 85, 98, 100, 109, 113-14, 119, 189, 192, 203, 216-17, 219-20, 228, 243, 256, 263, 311-12, 314, 316-17. AWMM
    • Stevens, W.G. (1962). Bardia to Enfidaville. Dept. of Internal Affairs, War History Branch, Wellington, N.Z. AWMM
      p.344. AWMM
    • Walker, R. (1967). Alam Halfa and Alamein. Dept. of Internal Affairs, Historical Publications Branch, Wellington, N.Z. AWMM
      pp.134-5, 137-8, 142, 148-9, 151. AWMM