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Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu

Portrait, Moana Nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu., detail from group photograph - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Moana Nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu., detail from group photograph - This image may be subject to cop …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa AWMM
  • Surname
    Ngarimu AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII 39784 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    7 April 1918 AWMM East CoastNew Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
    Hamuera Ngarimu and Marea Ngarimu of Ruatoria, East Coast Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 3 September 2015 - Research
  • Address before enlistment
    Ruatoria, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mr Hamuera Ngarimu (father), Ruatoria, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    North Africa AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 39784 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Victoria Cross (VC) AWMM
      War Office, 4th June, 1943. The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the VICTORIA CROSS to: — Second-Lieutenant Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu(39784), New Zealand Military Forces. During the action at the Tebaga Gap on the 26th March, 1943, Second-Lieutenant Ngarimu commanded a platoon in an attack upon the vital hill feature, Point 209. He was given the task of attacking and capturing an underfeature forward of Point 209 itself and held in considerable strength by the enemy. He led his men with great determination straight up the face of the hill, undeterred by the intense mortar and machine-gun fire which caused considerable casualties. Displaying courage and leadership of the highest order he was himself first on the hill crest, personally annihilating at least two enemy machine-gun posts. In the face of such a determined attack the remainderof the enemy fled, but further advance was impossible as the reverse slope was swept by machine-gun fire from Point209 itself. Under cover of a most intense mortar barrage the enemy counter-attacked, and Second-Lieutenant Ngarimu ordered his men to stand up and engage the enemy man for man. This they did with such good effect that the attackers were literally mown down, Second-Lieutenant Ngarimu personally killing several. He was twice wounded, once by rifle fire in the shoulder and later by shrapnel in the leg, and though urged by both his Company and Battalion Commanders to go out, he refused to do so saying that he would stay a little while with his men. He stayed till he met his death the following morning. Darkness found this Officer and his depleted platoon lying on the rocky face of the forward slope of the hill feature, with the enemy in a similar position on the reverse slope about twenty yards distant. Throughout the night the enemy repeatedly launched fierce attacks in an attempt to dislodge Second-Lieutenant Ngarimu and his men, but each counter-attack was beaten off entirely by Second-Lieutenant Ngarimu's inspired leadership. During one of these counter-attacks the enemy, by using hand grenades, succeed in piercing a certain part of the line. Without hesitation this Officer rushed to the threatened area, and those of the enemy he did not kill he drove back with stones and with his tommy-gun. During another determined counter-attack by the enemy, part of his line broke. Yelling orders and encouragement, he rallied his men and led them in a fierce onslaught back into their old positions. All through the night, between attacks, he and his men were heavily harrassed by machine-gun and mortar fire, but Second-Lieutenant Ngarimu watched his line very carefully, cheering his men on and inspiring them by his gallant personal conduct. Morning found him still in possession of the hill feature, but only he and two unwounded other ranks remained. Reinforcements were sent up to him. In the morning the enemy again counter-attacked, and it was during this attack that Second-Lieutenant Ngarimu was killed. He was killed on his feet defiantly facing the enemy with his tommy-gun at his hip. As he fell, he came to rest almost on the top of those of the enemy who had fallen, the number of whom testified to his outstanding courage and fortitude. (London Gazette, 1 June 1943) VC. New Zealand Gazette 1941 No. 80 p. 1142 AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service 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
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Second Lieutenant Ngarimu was the son of Hamuera Ngarimu and Marea Ngarimu of Ruatoria, Gisborne.

    Victoria Cross held by the Tairawhiti Museum, Gisborne, New Zealand AWMM


About death

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  • Death
    27 March 1943 AWMM
    Age 24 AWMM
    TunisiaNorth Africa AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Sfax War Cemetery, Tunisia AWMM Plot 10, Row E, Grave 14 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM
    • Dunedin, Victoria Cross winners' plaque, Queens Gardens, Dunedin, New Zealand AWMM
    • Gisborne First World War Memorial, The Esplanade, Kaiti, Gisborne AWMM

Roll of Honour

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Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu

Leave a note

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  • Kaore matou e warewaretia, ka mahara tonu tatou mo ake tonu. Forever grateful for their ultimate sacrifice ❤️
    Public - Hariata - Other relative - 25 April 2020
  • E te ope tuatahi
    O te ropu Maori e,
    Haere mai ki te hui
    o Ngarimu e

    I te wa o te oranga
    Kei te piri tahi e,
    No te matenga ka mokemoke e

    I hinga mai i Tunihia,
    Ka ara mai i Tunihia,
    Ko te tohu nui,
    Ko te wikitoria!
    Public - Kimihia - Other relative - 23 April 2020
  • Remembering our toa rangatira, who led the way through their actions so that we too can stand confidently and proud. Etu stand proud 'Kia Kaha' say it loud.
    Public - zane - Researcher - 21 April 2020
  • okioki i te rangimarie
    Public - paikea - 16 November 2018

  • All ways remember with love
    Gallant men of war
    Thank you that we have Freedom of Choice
    Public - Roxanne - Other relative - 25 April 2018
    I am young Maori "Ngarimu"
    Climbing Tebaga Gap,all of hail I see through.
    Their spraying in fire,overly mortar entire
    For 209 our reach,my platoon stages ever higher.
    Passing gunners posts I have taken them dire!
    The dark has fallen'enduring' bitter attacks
    We will cut them with order;of"Ngati Porou" flack.
    They flank us only twenty rocky shard
    The morn will rival,we rally marred.
    I have my 'tommy' I will hold him near
    Stones a throw,no more ammo spear!
    I stand before the enemy tall
    My"Hana Maraea" a light her call
    Ake,Ake in pride I fall!

    Copyright:N.J.Deller 30/6/017 "Maori first victory we thirst"
    Public - Nathan John - 2 July 2017
  • Aroha nui
    Public - te manaia - Other relative - 13 February 2016
  • E kore koe e warewaretia. Na Amelia-Jean French Hiku, e 4 aku tau.
    Public - Amelia-Jean - Other Relative - 18 June 2015



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Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
09 September 2023Lorraine MonaGisborne Researcher
06 May 2022Jonathan MalachiMolendinar, Queensland, AustraliaOther relative
01 January 2022Ian Banks Taumarunui New ZealandResearcher
25 April 2020HariataTe KahaOther relative
23 April 2020KimihiaAuckland NZOther relative

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