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Whakahuihui Vercoe

Reverend Whakahuihui Vercoe with a clam shell for a baptismal font. Evening post (Newspaper. 1865-2002) :Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1957/3308-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23153020

Reverend Whakahuihui Vercoe with a clam shell for a baptismal font. Evening post (Newspaper. 1865-20 …


Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    4 June 1928 AWMM TorereBay of Plenty AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (GNZM) AWMM
      PCNZM. 2000 AWMM
    • Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) AWMM
      NZ Gazette Number 1 dated 15 Jan 70 CITATION Chaplain Vercoe was appointed chaplain to the New Zealand troops in South Vietnam in May 1968. He worked and lived with 4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment/New Zealand (ANZAC) Battalion in the 1st Australian Task Force at Nui Dat. He was also responsible in pastoral duties for the members of 161 Battery Royal New Zealand Artillery, personnel of Headquarters New Zealand Vietnam Force, Saigon, members of the New Zealand Services Medical Team at Qui Nhon and members of the New Zealand Civilian Aid Team. Chaplain Vercoe was extremely popular not only with New Zealand soldiers but also with Australian members of the battalion. His engaging personality, personal integrity, sincerity and wisdom encouraged soldiers to confide in him and many solved their problems with his help. In the wide field of welfare he also displayed his outstanding qualities. He organised and directed two very successful battalion concerts. He was also the leader of the battalion’s Maori concert party. His wholehearted and enthusiastic participation in many social activities further endeared him to all ranks. He took an active part in operations and was many times under enemy fire. During these actions he actively encouraged and maintained the morale of the soldiers. His comfort to the wounded was exemplary. Company commanders, both Australians and New Zealanders, welcomed and vied for Chaplain Vercoe’s presence in their company during operations such was the high esteem in which he was held by all ranks. Throughout his service in South Vietnam, Chaplain Vercoe won the admiration and respect of all members of the battalion by his outstanding example, zeal and dedication to his work. He was an inspiration to all with whom he came in contact. He played a prime role in maintaining the morale of the battalion at an extremely high level. Chaplain Vercoe was an excellent example of an Army chaplain in a war zone. His devotion to duty, demeanour, robustness and compassion reflect great credit on himself and the New Zealand Army AWMM
    • New Zealand Operational Service Medal AWMM
    • Vietnam Medal 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

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Husband of Doris Te Parekohe; father of Graeme, Andrew, Michael.

    Bishop of Aotearoa from 1981. Primate and Archbishop of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (Pihopa Matamua) in 2004 - to 2006

    Ceremony held at St Faith's Church, Rotorua and his tangi held at Torere Marae

    Read citation for MBE. Later awarded PCNZM. Buried in urupa Ngai Tai, Torere, Bay of Plenty.

    Photo of Ch Cl IV W. Vercoe in The Officers, 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Regiment (Malaya 1962) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    13 September 2007 Death Notice
    Age 79 AWMM
    RotoruaBay of Plenty Death Notice
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    urupa, Ngai Tai, Torere, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Obituary: The Independent, 20 September 2007

    Obituary: New Zealand Herald, 15 September 2007 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
  • References
    • Subritsky, M. (Ed). (1995). The Vietnam scrapbook: The second ANZAC adventure. Papakura, N.Z.: Three Feathers Publishing Co. AWMM
      p. 292 AWMM
    • Taylor, A. (1998). The New Zealand roll of honour : New Zealanders who have served their country in peace and war : 150 years, 1845-1995. Auckland, N.Z.: Roll of Honour Publications. AWMM
      p. 1095 AWMM
    • Rev. M. L. Underhill ... [et al.] (1950). New Zealand chaplains in the Second World War. Dept. of Internal Affairs, War History Branch, Wellington, N.Z. AWMM
    • 1NZR Roll 1961-1963 - Bill Russell, Malayan Veterans Association Scrapbook – 40th Anniversary edition. AWMM
    • DECEASED, 1 NZ Regiment, 1961-63 – Internet resource. AWMM
    • This record was partially created from Cemetery research completed by Carol Foster (2021). AWMM
    • Fry, P., & New Zealand. Army. Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. Battalion, 1st. (1983). The First Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment : Journal / [P.J. Fry, editor] (25th anniversary commemorative ed.). Singapore: The Regiment. AWMM
    • Malayan Veterans Assn. (2004-). Selamat : Newsletter of the Malayan Veterans' Association Inc. AWMM

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