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Charles Moihi Te Arawaka Bennett

Portrait, Sir Charles Bennett and his wife Elizabeth when he was Lieutenant Colonel in charge of 28 Maori Battalion (Source: New Zealand Herald 1998) - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Sir Charles Bennett and his wife Elizabeth when he was Lieutenant Colonel in charge of 28 …


Civilian life

About birth

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Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 6121 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
    Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
    Wounded severely 29 April 1943. AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Charles Moihi Bennett was the second eldest of 18 children of the Rt Rev. Fred Bennett. Mr Bennett was the first Maori Bishop of Aotearoa. His mother (the bishop's first wife) was Arihi Rangihoue Hamana. His great-grandfather was an Anglo-Irish colonial administrator and his great-grandmother a Maori chieftainess. Before the outbreak of World War 2 he worked as a teacher and radio announcer. In 1947 he married Elizabeth Stewart and they had two children, Piri and John. He was knighted in 1975 for services to the public, especially the Maori people.

    Commissioner in Malaya, 1959-63.

    President of NZ Labour Party, 1972-76.

    Waiata written by Tau Henare:

    Kua hinga te totara o te wao nui a Tane
    Te rata whakaruruhau
    Te toka tu moana akinga tai
    Te akinga ngaru
    Te murau o te tini te wenerau a te mano
    Haere e te uri o Tumatauenga, haere te rangatira o te Hokowhitu a Tu
    Kua tuhia koe ki te ngakau e kore e warewaretia

    The giant totara has fallen in the great forest of Tane
    The great sheltering rata tree is no more
    The rock that stands against the surging tide
    The rock that stands steadfast against the crashing waves
    Respected by the multitude and envied by the thousands
    Farewell favourite son of Tumatauenga, the god of war, the famed leader of the 28 (Maori) Battalion
    Your memory is imprinted in the hearts of every Maori

    Sound Archives Recording available. A recording made on HMS Maori DAT 121 Tk32. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    26 November 1998 AWMM
    Age 85 AWMM
    TaurangaBay of Plenty AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Kauae Cemetery, Ngongotaha, Rotorua, New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • Moe mai rā e te rangatira Charles.

    I tēnei wā tonu, torutoru noiho ngā Māori i te rāngai Aorere e matatau ana ki to tātou reo rangatira me ōnā tikanga - pēnā i a koutou ko Tia Barrett, ko Georgina Roberts mā. I a mātou e whai ana i o tapuwae, ka mau tonu ki to maharatanga. Nā reira, moe mai rā i raro i te manaakitanga o te atua e Charles.
    Public - John - 31 August 2019



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  • External links
  • References
    • Polaschek, A. (1983). The Complete New Zealand Distinguished Conduct Medal. Christchurch, N.Z.: Medals Research. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 2 (Embarkations to 30th June, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 2: WW2 17 AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Article. (1998, November 27). New Zealand Herald. AWMM
    • Gardiner, W. (2019). Ake ake kia kaha e! : Forever brave! : B Company 28 (Maori) Battalion, 1939-1945. Auckland : Bateman Books. AWMM
    • Cody, J. (1956). 28 (Maori) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
14 June 2024Lorraine Mona Gisborne Researcher
31 August 2019JohnWellingtonOther
07 September 2015Lorraine MGisborne, NZResearcher

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