Potene Tuhoro was just 17 years old when his soldier's journey brought him to Hampshire.
One day in early December, the hospital ship, St. David, steamed down Southampton Water to its waiting berth. Potene Tuhoro was amongst the seriously ill passengers on board, evacuated from the No. 7 General Hospital at St. Omer. As a member of the Maori Pioneer Battalion he had been posted in August 1916 to help construct communication trenches at the infamous Somme battle of Flers-Courcelette, in the vicinity of High Wood. By October, the associated horrors and intensity of trench warfare had made him seriously ill from debility which developed into tuberculosis and pneumonia.
His destination now was the small and idyllic New Forest town of Brockenhurst where the No.1 New Zealand General Hospital had established itself in June 1916. He most likely was carried by stretcher on to a waiting train at Southampton Docks and taken the short ride to Brockenhurst station, where an ambulance carried him the final few hundred yards to the hospital.
Here Potene Tuhoro saw out his last days, many thousands of miles from his New Zealand home, and cared for by staff from the New Zealand medical corp.
He died of tubercular peritonitis on 13th January 1916 and is buried at the Commonwealth War Grave at St. Nicholas, his ultimate sacrifice marked by a small white headstone engraved with the words: 'Private Potene Tuhoro. New Zealand Pioneer Battalion Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 12 February 2016 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRWeCJ-MyX4