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Thomas Richard Porter

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  • Service number
    4124 AWMM
  • Also known as
    • Tom Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Military Record
    • Tame Poata & Tahati Poata Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Research
    • Also known as Tamati Poata Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Research
  • Armed force / branch
    1893: Rhodesia F C; 1895: 19th Hussars; 1895: BSA Police; 1899: NZ Mounted Rifles Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Military Record
  • Last rank
  • War
South African War Memorial, on a wall near RSA entranceway, Gisborne. "Volunteers from Poverty Bay who served in the Sth African War 1899-1902". Image kindly provided by Paul Baker (December 2008). Image has no known copyright restrictions.

South African War Memorial, on a wall near RSA entranceway, Gisborne. "Volunteers from Poverty Bay w …

Identity

  • Title
    Sergeant Major Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Military Record
  • Forenames
    Thomas Richard AWMM
  • Surname
    Porter AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Tom Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Military Record
    • Tame Poata & Tahati Poata Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Research
    • Also known as Tamati Poata Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Research
  • Service number
    4124 AWMM
  • Gender
    • Male AWMM
    • Male Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Military Record
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
    Te Whanau-a-Ruataupare & Te Whanau-a-Apanui Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 12 August 2015 - Research
  • Waka
    Horouta & Takitimu & Mataatua Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 12 August 2015 - Research
  • Rohe
    Te Tai Rawhiti & Eastern Bay of Plenty Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 12 August 2015 - Research
  • Religion
    Church of England Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Military Record

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    1869 Noel Smith Research Project
  • Date of birth
    abt. 1869 Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Research
  • Place of birth
    Waiapu, East Coast Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Research
  • Birth notes
    Son of Col Thomas Porter Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Research
  • Address before enlistment
    Heatherlea, Kaiti, Gisborne Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Military Record
  • Post war occupation
    Farmer Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Military Record
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    father - Lt Col T W Porter, Defence Office, Wellington Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Military Record
  • Relationship status
    single Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Military Record

Service

Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    Transvaal & O R C Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Military Record
  • Armed force / branch
    1893: Rhodesia F C; 1895: 19th Hussars; 1895: BSA Police; 1899: NZ Mounted Rifles Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Military Record
  • Service number
    4124 AWMM
  • Military service
    • 7th NZ Contingent & Cornation Contingent Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Military Record
    • 1899-1902 Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Military Record
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Kings & Queens Medals with clasps Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Military Record

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    1893: Rhodesia F C; 1895: 19th Hussars; 1895: BSA Police; 1899 Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Military Record
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    • South Africa Farmer/Civilian Ministry for Culture and Heritage
      GisborneNew Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage
    • 1st = 1900
      7th = 7 Feb 1901 at Gisborne & 25 Feb 1901 at Wellington Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Military Record
  • Occupation before enlistment
    Farmer Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 July 2015 - Military Record
  • Age on enlistment
    1st Cgnt = 37 yrs; 7th Cngt = 38 yrs Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Military Record

Embarkations

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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
    Sergeant Major Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Military Record

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • THOMAS RICHARD PORTER

    On 25 February 1901Thomas Richard Porter attested to join the New Zealand Volunteers to serve with Imperial troops in South Africa . According to his attestation form he had been drafted from the Bechuanaland Police Force. His age was 32 years 1 month which would make his date of birth around January 1869. He was given the regimental number 4124. He gave his address as Heatherlea, Kaiti, Gisborne. Thomas’ rank was sergeant and he had been in service 18 months. His description was given as 5 foot 8 1/2 inches, 38 inch chest, dark complexion, dark brown hair and black hair. His trade was farmer. He was discharged on 15 September 1902 having been invalided to New Zealand after serving with Seventh Contingent NZMR reaching the rank of Sergeant Major and receiving the Transvaal and ORG clasps. He had served for 322 days and was given a war gratuity. On 16 February 1907 he signed for a clasp for South Africa in Opotiki and Olive Porter was his witness.

    From the book “Moko” – Maori tattooing in the 20th century by Michael King we learn that Thomas Richard Porter became known as Tame Poata. He was the eldest of nine children born to Colonel Thomas William Porter and Herewaka Te Rangi Paia. Tame was born in a sailing scow off Tuparoa as his mother was hurrying back from Gisborne to the Waiapu district to have her first child among her own people. His relatives brought him up at Waiapu and according to his son, Tame identified more closely with his Maori side. He worked on the land around Tokomaru Bay and occasionally on the wharves at Gisborne. But at the same time he became an authority in most aspects of Maori lore, especially carving. In 1919 he published a book called The Maori as a Fisherman and his Methods.
    From about 1920 onwards Poata earned a living almost entirely from carving and tattooing. His son Tom Porter remembers his father being trained to do chisel tattooing by one of his tipuna (he thinks it could have been Herewini).” Dad only tried two chisel tattoos, but he reckoned it was no good. The blood always beat him- it washed the lines away before he could fill them up. He had to do one woman again because the lines didn’t connect.
    Poata then took up needle tattooing and became the first and only truly itinerant moko artist. He did not restrict himself to any particular tribe or region. From 1928 until his death in 1942, he travelled by car, train and horseback throughout the East Coast, Urewera, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Waikato districts. His moko were distinctive. They were darker and sharper in outline than other needle tattoos and some of the East Coast and Urewera ones were far more elaborate than those attempted by his fellow artists.(More on his methods).
    There is a photo of a young Tame Poata in soldiers uniform sporting a moustache.

    From the book “Ta Moko,the art of the Maori Tattoo” by D R Simmons there are some paintings of two women who were tattooed by Tame Poata. We don’t learn anymore about him in this book.
    Written by Coralie Smith of Motueka (descendant of the Poata (Porter) Family Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Coralie Smith's Family Research
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    18 November 1938 Noel Smith Research Project
    Age 69 AWMM
  • Date of death
    1942 Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Research
  • Age at death
    78 yrs Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Research
  • Place of death
    • Waihi, NZ Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 July 2015 - Research
    • Mataora Bay, NZ Public - Leah - Direct descendant - 8 November 2015 - Family papers
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    East Taieri Cemetery AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • Thomas Richard Porter is my mother's grandfather.
    Public - Ruby Frances - Direct descendant - 12 November 2015
    Report 

Sources

Sources

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  • External links
  • References
    • Stowers, R. (2009). Rough riders at war : history of New Zealand's involvement in the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 and information on all members of the 10 New Zealand contingents. Hamilton, N.Z.: R. Stowers. AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • Soutar, M. (2019). Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E!: Maori In the First World War. New Zealand: David Bateman Ltd. AWMM
    • This record was partially completed by information provided by Noel George Smith (2020-2021). AWMM

Contributors

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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
12 November 2015Ruby FrancesAuckland New ZealandDirect descendant
18 August 2015Lorraine MGisborne, NZResearcher

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