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Kiro Luke Adam

Roll of honour, listing World War 1 soldiers from the Cook Islands. Ref: 1/1-006732-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. This is one of two honours boards. The second relates to the Fourth and Fifth contingents. Both are now housed in the Pioneer Lounge of the Cook Islands RSA. The Two boards originally stood in the old courthouse, but were moved just before a fire destroyed the building. (Information from Henry Wichman of Rarotonga, 2010). /records/22480864

Roll of honour, listing World War 1 soldiers from the Cook Islands. Ref: 1/1-006732-G. Alexander Tur …

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  • Title
  • Forenames
    • Kiro Luke AWMM
    • Kiro Public - Wesley - Other relative - 20 April 2019 - Family oral history
  • Surname
    Adam AWMM
  • Ingoa
    Atamu Public - Wesley - Other relative - 20 April 2019 - Family oral history
  • Also known as
    Kiwi Luke AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 16/1007 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    1 June 1893 AWMM RarotongaCook Islands AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW1 H. R. Bloomfield, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW1 Manuel Luke (stepbrother), Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Pacific Islands AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 18 September 1915 AWMM Single/WWI AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 16/1007 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 Gardener/Civilian AWMM
  • 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
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Kiro Adam was the step-brother of Manuel Luke Awarua, of Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands. AWMM
    • In the early 1900’s Kiro Luke ADAM sailed from Rarotonga, Cook Islands to work as a gardener in Parnell, Auckland. He was the youngest of two brothers and two sisters.

      He enlisted to go to war on the 1st July 1915 in Takapuna and his declared age at that time was 21 years old. He was 1,70 m and his weight was about 75 kg. His military record (one sheet) gives 1 June 1893 as the date of birth. In that case, he was 22 years old.

      He joined the 2nd Māori Contingent. They departed New Zealand for Suez on 19 September 1915 on board of the ship Waitemata. In his military record, it appears that Kiro was attached to the 2nd Auckland Infantry Battalion on 19 Jan 1916 in Moascar, Ismailia.
      On 20 February when the NZ Pioneer Battalion was authorized he became an NZ Pioneer.

      On the 9th of April, he sailed from Port Said to France on board of the Canada, altogether 28 officers and 948 other ranks who arrived in Marseilles on 14 April 1916. On the 15th and 16th they were transported by train to Steenbecque, Northern France and marched into a small village known as Morbecque.

      On the 17th they moved again to Sercus and later that month the NZ Pioneers were split to different places and different work. On May 15, 1916 the Battalion moved to Armentieres.
      D Company of the NZ Pioneer Battalion to consist of Cook Islanders only attended to the sawmill work, concrete works and R.E. dumps for the next 2-3 months
      On 8 August 1916 Private Kiro Luke ADAM was appointed a Battalion Bomber – a specialist in hand grenade throwing. Mid-August the Pioneers moved away from the trenches in Armentieres to the Somme in the Longueval area. Mid-October they went back to the Armentieres sector.

      Early 1917 there was a reorganization and Kiro would probably be no longer in D company. From 15 February on, Māori pioneers have been in Belgium. Most of the time until the summer they have been around the Messines area in preparation of the big attack, known as the Battle of the Mines, on the 7th of June. At the end of June they went to Vieux-Berquin, just over the border in France to rest.
      From the 3rd of July on, they came back in Flanders/Belgium in different areas for the next two months.

      End of September, the Māori Pioneer Battalion came to Ypres and the St. Julian / Passchendaele sector to prepare the area prior to the involvement of the New Zealand Division in the Battle of Passchendaele.

      The Battle of Broodseinde was fought as part of Third Ypres on 4 October 1917 by the New Zealanders who took ‘s Graventafel and opened up the way to Passchendaele.
      On the 4th of October, the German shelling was not heavy west of Kansas Cross, and at 11 a.m. B and later A Company Pioneers commenced repairs on the road forward to Kansas Cross. The Pioneers did excellent work on the roads and artillery tracks, but wet weather on the 6th and several days afterward, and the trains of pack mules along the newly formed earth road turned it into a quagmire. For several days it was a steady fight with mud. Guns and horses were bogged everywhere. The Māori Pioneers pulled many guns out and into position but the road was in a fearful condition.

      After the Battle of Broodseinde the Māori Pioneer Battalion took over the road as far as Spree Farm, and with practically no material they had to make the road forward passable for guns.
      No further attempt could be made to push forward the tram lines owing to the lack of material. Even had this been available the congested state of traffic on the road from Ypres to the Steenbeek brook made it almost impossible to get wagons with material forward.

      The Pioneers did what they could do; making plank roads, dug board tracks, etc.… in the direction of Passchendaele because on the 9th October the British 49th Division had to attack and later on the 12th Oct the New Zealand Division had to attack again. Guns had to be brought forward, supplies, ammunition, and men.
      They were working around the road from Spree Farm to Kansas Cross and ‘s Graventaf Public - freddy - Researcher - 6 February 2019 - Military Personnel File, The Maoris in the Great War by James Cowan, CWGC database
    • Kiro Atamu (or Adam when translated from Cook Islands Maori) hails from the Islands of Manihiki and Rakahanga in the Cook Islands.
      The son of his father Atamu Tapaha tamaiti (Jnr) and mother Taepae.
      Kiro was the youngest of three siblings, his brother Toka Atamu and two sisters Hakirere Mikara Atamu and Tirata Atiroa nee Atamu. Public - Wesley - 21 April 2019 - Family papers
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About death

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  • Death
    7 October 1917 AWMM
    YpresBelgium AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    New Irish Farm Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium AWMM V. A. 7. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 1 Hall of Memories AWMM
    • Cook Islands Roll of Honour Board, RSA Rarotonga AWMM

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
  • References
    • This record was partially compiled from information kindly provided by Bobby Nicholas, Paula Paniani and Cate Walker, Cook Islands WW1 NZEF ANZAC Soldiers Research Project AWMM
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1914-1919). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Volume I. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      Vol1: 3 AWMM
    • Weddell, H. (2016). Soldiers from the Pacific : the story of Pacific Island soldiers in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in World War One. Wellington, New Zealand : Defence of New Zealand Study Group. AWMM
      p.134 AWMM
    • Soutar, M. (2019). Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E!: Maori In the First World War. New Zealand: David Bateman Ltd. AWMM
    • Roll of Honour, Auckland Province (digital copy), 1914 - 1919. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS-2016-2. AWMM


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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
21 April 2019WesleyAustraliaOther
06 February 2019freddyBelgium/FlandersResearcher

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