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Waihora Paora

Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War II Hall of Memories Panel  P_001. Image taken June 2020.

Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War II Hall of Memories Panel P_001. Image taken June 2020.

© Auckland Museum CC BY AWMM


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Waihora AWMM
  • Surname
    Paora AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Waihora Paora Kira AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 25970 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Motatau, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs K. Paora (wife), Matauri Bay, Motatau, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Married AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    North Africa AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 25970 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
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Waihora Paora was the son of Paora and Kawhena Parora of Wainui, North Auckland. His wife was Kate Paora of Wainui.

    Private Paora is recorded in the 28 (Maori) Battalion History as having died on 14 December 1941. The War Commission Register records the date as 5 December and his parents address as Wainui, Canterbury. However it seems more likely to have been North Auckland. His father's name was Paora, not Paona as in the War Commission record.

    It seems likely that the action in which Corporal Paora was killed was as part of the platoon of D Company which was fired upon in the vicinity of Point 181 (see map, page 164 of Cody) which resulted in the capture of 382 enemy (including the commander). However 28 Battalion lost three dead and and twenty-seven wounded and missing in the operation.

    During 1941 and 1942 North Africa was the scene of much military activity as the war raged in Egypt, Syria and Libya.In the Western Desert the 7th Armoured Division was being re-equipped and preparations were being made for a fresh drive westwards to recapture Cyrenaica and relieve Tobruk.As a result of the fighting during May, the Germans established themselves at the Halfaya Pass, which they proceeded to prepare for defence. Although the two armoured brigades of the 7th Armoured Division were both lacking one regiment, and although they were equipped with different types of tanks whose actions could not easily be co-ordinated, an offensive was launched on 15 June 1941.One column advanced along the coast towards Sollum, while a second, climbing the escarpment to the south, moved along it, occupied Capuzzo and was intended to take Halfaya with the aid of the coastal force.A third column still farther south was to protect the left flank and threaten the rear and supply columns of the Axis armies.On 15 and 16 June progress was fairly satisfactory, although neither Sollum nor Halfaya was taken;but on 17 a critical situation developed, when strong enemy columns advanced southwards from Bardia and eastwards from south-west of Capuzzo, from Sidi Omar. Operations came to a standstill for some months following this brief sally, recommencing in November. The early strages of the battle were fought out between 30th Corps and the German and Italian armoured forces in the vicinity of Sidi Rezegh, south-east of Tobruk, on the desert track known as the Trigh Capuzzo. The New Zealand Division and the Tobruk garrison had been making headway in the vicinity of Sidi Rezegh. On the night of 25/26 November the New Zealand Division captured that much-disputed point, and the following night saw the first contact between the Tobruk garrison and the Eighth Army.This had caused the Germans to call back their armour from its thrust into Egypt, and by the afternoon of the 28th it was obvious that the positions held by the New Zealand Division would be strongly assaulted.The expected attack came the following day, and as a result the Sidi Rezegh ridge fell once more into the hands of the Germans, the 6 New Zealand Brigade being overwhelmed by superior numbers on 30 November. The New Zealand Division had by now suffered very heavy casualties and was withdrawn to the Egyptian frontier which it reached on 2 December. February, March and April of 1942 were taken up with preparations for the defence of Tobruk, with the consolidation of the Gazala line as a secure base from which it might be launched.The offensive began on 26 May. The Eighth Army had not held a continuous front over the forty miles from Gazala to Bir Hakeim, but rather a series of strong points, known as 'boxes', protected by a deep minefield. Fierce fighting took place in June. During the month of July, both sides were occupied in bringing up reinforcements and in strengthening their positions.The Eighth Army Commander, realising that Rommel's supply lines must be extended to their limit and that in spite of their successes, the Germans had suffered considerable casualties and were weary, was determined not to yield another inch, but to maintain pressure and to attack wherever opportunity offered - a policy which resulted in some fierce fighting.By the end of July the Eighth Army had not only prevented further enemy advance but had improved their own position, having gained a notable advantage by taking the mounds at Tell el Eisa, on the railway just west of El Alamein, besides valuable ground on the Ruweisat Ridge in the centre of the front.After the end of July no fighting of importance took place on the Alamein front. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    14 December 1941 AWMM
    Age 24 AWMM
    Western DesertNorth Africa 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
    • Alamein Memorial, El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt AWMM
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM

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  • External links
  • References
    • Cody, J. (1956). 28 (Maori) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      Auckland Museum. Roll of Honour, Auckland Province, 1939 - 1945. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 93/139. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 4 (Embarkations from 1st April, 1941 to 30 June, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 4: WW2 273 AWMM
    • Auckland Museum. Roll of Honour, Auckland Province, 1939 - 1945. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 93/139. AWMM

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