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Arthur Midwood

Photograph of Private Arthur Midwood, 39097. Image kindly provided by Paul Baker (December 2018). Image may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Photograph of Private Arthur Midwood, 39097. Image kindly provided by Paul Baker (December 2018). Im …


  • Title
    Private Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 29 August 2015 - Research
  • Forenames
    Arthur AWMM
  • Surname
    Midwood AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    39097 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
    Rotorua, Bay of Plenty Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 29 August 2015 - Research
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    12 April 1918 AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 22 April 1905 AWMM Lake Road, Rotorua, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs Haehaetu Te Wao (mother), Rotorua, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    39097 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

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

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • My name is Arthur Wihiri Midwood (Ngāti Pikiao) and I am 93 years old and live in Rotorua. I am currently one of the Vice Presidents for the 28th Māori Battalion Association National Executive Committee and, the Patron for the Te Arawa Returned Services League of the Rotorua RSA. I am the last surviving thirty-niner of the original members of the 28th Māori Battalion.

    At the age of 22 years I joined the NZ Armed Forces on 26 January 1940, having been examined on 16 November 1939. We embarked for overseas service 1 May 1940 on the Aquitania and we travelled to Scotland, where we disembarked 16 June 1940. We travelled by train to England where we spent 8 months in the south England. On the 4th March 1941 the NZ Battalions left England for the Maadi Camp in Egypt. Later that month (25 March 1941) we embarked for Greece and Crete.

    As part of the allied forces defending Crete during the German invasion I recall the sensation of large numbers of German paratroopers descending, without knowing whether they would land in front or behind us and the difficulties this created.

    During this battle I suffered a penetrating bullet wound to the right side of my chest. I was grateful to receive a field dressing from the medical officer, but after that I was "on my own". I strongly recall the sense of having to look after myself, with my right arm completely useless. I also recall purchasing a bottle of water from one of the local Cretan villagers. After walking from Suda Bay, across the mountains, I reached Sfakia, the evacuation beach where there were other soldiers trying to escape. We were constantly under fire, particularly from Stuka bombers. One projectile hit an olive tree I was sheltering under, and a burning piece of metal landed on my leg, making me think that I had been shot again. I recall the extreme difficulty of the evacuation, getting on the boat with only one arm, with the attack from the air continuing. I remained lying on the deck of the boat until we reached Egypt the following day, where I spent several months convalescing.

    Another stressful event that I recall was in the African desert when I was in a slip trench with two comrades. A grenade landed at the back of the slip trench and exploded killing my two comrades, but with no injuries to me, although I was sitting between the two men who were killed.

    Also on the campaign in Africa, I was wounded in the right forearm by shrapnel from a shell, and also in the back of my left thigh on the same day.

    I remember the elation of returning home with the 28 Māori Battalion after the Second World War, but at the same time carrying the traumatic memories of my war experiences till this day. Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 29 August 2015 -
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About death

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  • Death
    23 March 2015 NZ Herald
    Age 96 AWMM
    TaupoWaikato NZ Herald
  • Date of death
    22 March 2015 Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 29 August 2015 -
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
    Taupo Hospital, NZ Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 29 August 2015 -
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    • Death Notice: New Zealand Herald, 23 March 2015. AWMM
    • "MIDWOOD, Arthur Wihiri. 39097 28th Maori Btn. B.Co. Original 39er, WW2. 12.04.1918 - 22.03.2015, Passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving whanau, at Taupo Hospital (of Rotorua). Loved husband of the late Mata (nee Marino). Loved brother and brother in law of Mary and Daniel Staite (Rotorua), loved father of Eric and Carol, and loved Koro of Anne- Marie and Benoir, Natalie, Eric Wihiri and Victoria, and great Koro of Wihiri, Whitirangi, Witerina, Chanelle, Leila, Jerico, and Shannon. Loved by all his whanau and many friends. Moe Mai Ra. Arohanui Papa. Tangi is being held at the Tunohopu Marae, Ohinemutu, Rotorua." Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 29 August 2015 -
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • 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 129 AWMM
    • Gardiner, W. (2019). Ake ake kia kaha e! : Forever brave! : B Company 28 (Maori) Battalion, 1939-1945. Auckland : Bateman Books. AWMM
    • Cody, J. (1956). 28 (Maori) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM


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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
29 August 2015Lorraine MGisborne, NZResearcher

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