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William Rakeipoho Bennett

New Zealand National Party. New Zealand National Party: Pooti kia Wiremu Rakeipoho Bennett. Kia whai reo ai taua i tenei Kawanatanga [1954]. New Zealand National Party: Political pamphlets, fliers, and election propaganda. Ref: Eph-A-NZ-NATIONAL-1954-06. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/42302324

New Zealand National Party. New Zealand National Party: Pooti kia Wiremu Rakeipoho Bennett. Kia whai …

All Rights Reserved AWMM


  • Title
  • Forenames
    William Rakeipoho AWMM
  • Surname
    Bennett AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Wiremu Rakeipoho Bennett AWMM
    • aka Toby Bennett Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 12 March 2016 - Research
  • Service number
    • WWI 16/389 AWMM
    • WWII 801890 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    1895-1900 Military personnel file
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
    Moawhango, Manawatu, New Zealand Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 12 March 2016 - Military Record
  • Birth notes
    son of Henry Dargaville BENNETT & Ngapera nee' PINE Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 12 March 2016 - Research
  • Address before enlistment
    WW1 Pre 25 October 1914 AWMM Taihape, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • WW1 H.D. Bennett, P.O. Box 20, Taihape, New Zealand AWMM
    • WW2 H.W. Wanganui AWMM
  • Relationship status
    • Pre 14 February 1915 AWMM Single/WWI AWMM
    • 1940 AWMM Married/WWII AWMM
      Married, 4 children AWMM
    • 1920 married Hiira Wharawhara Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 12 March 2016 - Research


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • 1914-1916 Egypt AWMM
    • 1915-1916 Gallipoli AWMM
    • 1914-1919 Western Front AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    • WWI 16/389 AWMM
    • WWII 801890 AWMM
  • Military service
    • Territorials (7 months) AWMM
    • 43 Company - Senior Cadets AWMM
    • 2nd Maori Battalion Nom Roll. 2nd Maori Battalion
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    • WW1 25 October 1914 Military personnel file
      Age 19 AWMM
      Farmer/Civilian Military personnel file
      Military personnel file
    • WW2 1 October 1940 Military personnel file
      Age 40 AWMM
      Transport driver/Civilian Military personnel file
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on 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
    • 22 October 1914 AWMMHeight, WWI AWMM
      5 feet 9 inches AWMM
    • 22 October 1914 AWMMWeight, Unknown Period AWMM
      161 pounds AWMM
    • 22 October 1914 AWMMComplexion, WWI AWMM
      Dark AWMM
    • 22 October 1914 AWMMEye colour, WWI AWMM
      Brown AWMM
    • 27 September 1916 AWMMHospital Diseases , Wounds, WWI AWMM
      Wounded in France at Somme Front, he was charging a bomb when it was hit by German schrapnel. The bomb exploded in his left hand before he could throw it away. AWMM
    • Oct 1916 AWMMWounds Diseases Etc., WWI AWMM
      Lost tip of thumb and three fingers of left hand AWMM
    • 3 October 1916 AWMMWounds Diseases Etc., WWI AWMM
      Evacuated to England, admitted Brockenhurst AWMM
    • 28 October 1916 AWMMWounds Diseases Etc., WWI AWMM
      Invalided to NZ on the HS Maheno AWMM
    • Height, WWI AWMM
      5' 9" AWMM
    • Weight, WWI AWMM
      161 lb AWMM
    • Other, WWI AWMM
      Nature of Injury: G.S.W. left hand Pension: 10/- Percent of disability: [Not stated] Source: New Zealand. Army (1920). List of the names of all ex-members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, suffering permanent disability from 20% to 100% AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Son of Henry and Wereta Bennett (nee Pine).

      In WWI his birth date is listed as 1895, enlisting for World War 2 he gave his date of birth as 16 April 1900

      World War I Service record: New Zealand - 108 days service, 25 October 1914 - 9 February 1915; Egypt - 11 days service, 26 March 1915 - 5 April 1915
      World War 2 Service record: 1 October 1940- 1 January 1941; 24 February 1941- 16 March 1943. Three years, 3 months, 20 days.

      Discharged on account of being unfit for service due to wounds received in action.

      At this point Mr Bennett had rendered a total of 2 years and 86 days service to the Army, 1 year and 310 of these days being served overseas - Egypt and Western Europe.

      He did not embark from New Zealand for WW2.

      He is mentioned twice in James Cowan, Maori in the Great War : reference to his Military Medal and the the events surrounding his wounding in France. Medals dispatched from Wellington.

      Medals: Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

      Present address (as listed in New Zealand. Army (1920). List of the names of all ex-members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, suffering permanent disability from 20% to 100%): Taihape

      Maori politician for Te Tai Hauāuru with the National Party. AWMM
    • DEEDS OF GALLANTRY - Pioneer Battalion Sergt. R. Angel, Private H. Rawhiti, Sergt, W R Bennett, Sergt. Rotoatara, Corporal R H Flutey, Corporal T. P. Sidney, Corporal R. Otehe. - awarded the Military Medal Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 18 January 2016 - Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLIII, Issue 14169, 11 December 1916, Page 5
Read more


About death

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  • Death
    18 August 1974 AWMM
    Age 74 AWMM
    RotoruaBay of Plenty 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

Roll of Honour

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Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of William Rakeipoho Bennett

Leave a note

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  • Kia ora Koro
    I am constantly thinking of you and our tūpuna as I produce my mahi. You are a constant source of inspiration and I feel you, nan and our whānau near. I constantly aim to be as upstanding as you and to inspire our children to be great, knowing we are descended from a line of great people such as yourself and that your courage, wisdom and dignity can inspire these traits in ourselves.
    Rafi has your plane on his wall and we see it every day, inspiring us to follow our passions and aim high.
    Ngā mihi nui Koro
    Public - Valetta (Kirstin) - Direct descendant - 12 January 2023
  • You, Mum and Dad, have been very much on my mind today. 100 years ago the New Zealand (Māori) Pioneer Battalion returned home. Of course you had already returned due to the injuries you had received in action, but this time of the year, as we get ever closer to ANZAC Day my memories always include you. Forever grateful for the sacrifices our Armed Service personnel have made so we can enjoy life in a Country where we can achieve so much and live in peace.
    I know it has not necessarily felt as peaceful because of the dreadful event in Christchurch. However we must honour the memory and sacrifice of our service personnel and their whanau. We owe it to you all to do what we can to help our fellow man, to repel evil, to always do the best we can, to be kind, to be respectful, to be the best human beings we can be. Love you Koro
    Public - Shona - Direct descendant - 5 April 2019
  • Shona (daughter of Divinia) and Robyne (daugher of Pearl). visiting the Auckland Museum to view the New Zealand. Army. 1st Maori Contingent. Scroll of the 1st New Zealand Maori Contingent, 1915. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS-624. No known copyright restrictions which has our Koro's signature on.
    I will post a link to this on the William Rakeipoho & Hirawharawhara page later.
    Having alovely day out together and making time to look up some of our whakapapa.
    Public - Shona - Direct descendant - 12 August 2017
  • You are amazing Koro, and you are my biggest inspiration for wanting to leave behind something good in this world. I hope that I can make you proud in my lifetime by showing the same degree of courage and bravery that you displayed when you were here. I pray that the same level of boldness that you had will be able to come through in me to help me to stand up for what is right and speak out against injustices, and serve those around me by defending those who need defending and helping those who need help. When I am faced with enemy fire in any fight against evil, I will think of you standing your ground continuing to fire back until the enemy has withdrawn, and I will try and do the same. I am looking forward to seeing you again, with Jesus, at the end of my time and we can share stories again xox PS: Joey says you are Boss ;) Gods people are as bold as lions - Proverbs 28:1
    Public - Jeni - Direct descendant - 27 February 2017
  • Hello, My name is kelsey, William Bennett is my Great Grandfather from everything i have heard as a child growing up he was a very extraordinary man, i am now following in his and my grandfathers foot steps and have also joined the new zealand army Hello,my name is Jizelle, William Bennett's great great grand-daughter. I didn't get to meet him but he sounds like a really cool man.
    Public - Kelsey & Jizelle - Other relative - 24 October 2015
  • Eldest grandchild of this man. He and his wife Hira brought me up in Whanganui and Taihape. Miss you both
    Public - viv - Other Relative - 2 September 2015
  • Kia ora I am one of so many grandchildren (mokopuna) of our Koro Wiremu Rakeipoho Bennett may he rest in peace forever and ever Amen.
    Public - Sharon Hinekura - Other Relative - 25 April 2015
  • Wiremu Rakeipoho Bennett is my grandfather....Koro... May he rest in eternal peace....God Bless Koro... Arohanui June and all your other mokopuna.
    Public - June - Other Relative - 24 April 2015
  • William Rakeipoho Toby Bennett is my Great Grandfather.
    Public - Nicole - Other Relative - 17 April 2015
  • Wiremu Rakeipoho is my Grandfather, my Koro. E tōku koroua, tēnei tau mokopuna e tangi hotuhotu nei. Katahi ka panui ngā korero e pā ana ki ngā pakanga e rua. Ka tangi. Nau i haere ki tawahi hei whawhai i ngā whawhai ma matou, ma au tamariki, au mokopuna. E kore e mutu te aroha. Kaati. Hoki wairua atu ra, moe mai, moe mai, okioki ai. Nau nei au Kahurangi
    Public - Elayne Kahurangi - Other Relative - 11 March 2015



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  • External links
  • References
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1914-1919). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Volume I. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      Vol1: 50 AWMM
    • McDonald, W. (2001). Honours and awards to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Great War, 1914-1918. Napier, N.Z.: Helen McDonald. AWMM
      p. 29 AWMM
    • NZEF Peter Dennis, UNSW Canberra AWMM
    • New Zealand. Army (1920). List of the names of all ex-members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, suffering permanent disability from 20% to 100%, compiled from returns supplied by the Commissioner of Pensions, in respect to: a) Permanent War Pensions, and from returns supplied by the Director-General of Medical Services, regarding: b) Discharged and undischarged hospital patients, assessed as suffering permanent disability, but not yet in receipt of a pension at date (28-4-20). New Zealand. Director-General of Medical Services. NZ Times Co. (Printer). AWMM
    • Soutar, M. (2019). Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E!: Maori In the First World War. New Zealand: David Bateman Ltd. AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • Ko te Reo Huringa Tau o te Ope Maori Tuarua, i noho ki Remuera, Ohaeawai, 1942-43: The Anniversary Magazine of the Second Maori Battalion, Remuera, Ohaeawai 1942-1943. Patrick Smyth Papers, MS-2002-147, Auckland War Memorial Museum. AWMM
    • Nominal Roll of Members of the 2nd Maori Battalion, 26th January 1943. Part of the 2nd Maori Battalion Anniversary Magazine. (MS-2002-147). Auckland War Memorial Museum. AWMM
    • McDonald, W. (2013). Honours and Awards to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Great War, 1914-1918. (3rd ed.). Hamilton, N.Z.: Richard Stowers. AWMM
    • Father was Henry Dargaville Bennett, Mother was Ngapera Tu Huiarei Pine Public - Jay Ross - Direct descendant - 29 October 2016 -


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
16 March 2024ClaireMartonOther relative
12 January 2023Valetta (Kirstin)MotuekaDirect descendant
05 April 2019ShonaAuckland New ZealandDirect descendant
12 August 2017ShonaAuckland, New ZealandDirect descendant
27 February 2017JeniPalmerston NorthDirect descendant

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