Thomas Peter Waiata AWMM
Also known as
Tom Peter Waiata AWMM
Date of birth
Place of birth
Address before enlistment
Unknown AWMM Okaihau Rural Delivery, New Zealand AWMM
Post war occupation
Next of kin on embarkation
Mr E.N. Bryers (father), Rural Delivery, Okaihau, New Zealand AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
Corporal Tom Bryers is listed in the Roll of Honour in the Official History of 28 (Maori) Battalion. He is also commemorated in the Hall of Memories at Auckland War Memorial Museum. He died in the battle for Takrouna.
Before going overseas he farmed in the Daragaville and Maungakaramea Districts.
Tom Bryers was the son of Eric Nehua Bryers and Annie Bryers, Okaihau, New Zealand.
The Rock of Takrouna was a key point of the enemy's defence line.Nestling on the northern slopes was the village of Takrouna, uninhabited at the time but normally the home of about 500 people.The countryside between the troops and this strategic feature though fairly flat and undulating was a natural death trap.One of the worst features being impenetrable walls of cactus which, it transpired, had been heavily mined.On the night of the attack each assaulting battalion was allotted three Crusader tanks for the purpose of smashing through the cactus.Machetes were also issued to the men. The New Zealand Division's intention was to attack and capture the Djebel el Froukr and Djebel el Ogla features and exploit to the north-west and north.In other words, they were to secure the end of a ridge and exploit into the hills.Fifth Brigade on the left of the New Zealand sector had for its first objective the capture of Djebel Cherachir which lay beyond Takrouna and Djebel Bir.The final objective, Djebel Froukr, lay a mile further north. The Enfidaville-Zaghouan road ran between Cherachir and Takrouna and was the final objective for the first phase of the attack - the responsibility of 28 Battalion, on the right and 21 Battalion on the left. The 21 Battalion was to reach the road by moving around the left or western side of Takrouna.Takrouna hill itself and Djebel Bir were to be taken by the 28 Battalion. For a detailed account of the whole event refer to 28 (Maori) Battalion by J.F. Cody Chapter Tunisia, April 1943. Through the hot afternoon we heard
the drone of engines,
but in the middle sky
only a fluttering skylark,
and through the distant anti-aircraft guns
a shrill song.
At one end
of our interminable grove of olives
is the road;
it leads through Enfidaville to the mountains;
it leads to the front line,
and to the enemy,
and fear dropping like a curtain
with the dawn's barrage.
Impregnable in his three-motored Caproni,
thought his bursting bombs
looked like flowers opening;
but the bomb we saw hit our supply column
threw into the air a black
tumour of smoke,
a fungus of destruction. AWMM
- Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM
- Okaihau First World War memorial gates, Horeke Rd, Northland AWMM
- Kaikohe War Memorial Hall, Memorial Drive Kaikohe Far North AWMM
Roll of Honour
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Thomas Peter Waiata Bryers
- Auckland Museum. Roll of Honour, Auckland Province, 1939 - 1945. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 93/139. AWMM
- Northland roll of honour and servicemen of WW II [electronic resource]. (2002). Whangarei, N.Z.: Returned Services Association. AWMM
- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 3 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1940 to 31st March, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
WW2 3: WW2 61 AWMM
- Cody, J. (1956). 28 (Maori) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
p. 288. AWMM
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