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Peter Rangihiroa Buck

Portrait, originally published in Cowan, J. (1926). The Maoris in the Great War - No known copyright restrictions

Portrait, originally published in Cowan, J. (1926). The Maoris in the Great War - No known copyright …


  • Title
    Sir AWMM
  • Forenames
    Peter Rangihiroa AWMM
  • Surname
    Buck AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Peter Henry Buck AWMM
    • Te Rangi Hiroa AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 16/593 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 15 January 1915 AWMM Medical practitioner 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

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of William Henry Buck and Rina. Husband of Margaret Wilson

    NZ Member of Parliament, 1909-14.

    Cabinet Minister, 1912-14.

    He and other Maori MPs helped to recruit a Maori volunteer contingent.

    Embarked 1915 for the Middle East, sent with the Main Body to land on Gallipoli where Buck was twice Mentioned in Dispatches.

    After the withdrawal from Gallipoli the Maori troops were reorganised into the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion and sent to France

    Promoted to Major, 2nd in Command of the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion (1916-1919) and in actual command in the latter stages of the war.

    1917 transferred to No 4 New Zealand Field Ambulance

    He was awarded the DSO 4 June 1917 for distinguished services in France and Flanders

    May 1918 posted to Britain and in September to No 3 New Zealand General Hospital at Codford

    Published his anthropological research which included measuring the physical features of the men from the Pioneer battalion in the Journal of the Polynesian Society in 1922--23.

    Buck's ashes were interred at Okoti, North Taranaki, New Zealand in 1954.

    A copy of a letter written by Major Buck to his commanding officer regarding the potential cultural implications of marriages between Maori servicemen and European women is held in the Auckland Museum Library's Manuscripts Collection (MS 2004/89). Listed at Archives New Zealand as BUCK, Peter Henry - WW1 16/593 - Army

    British [Pattern 1897] Infantry Officers sword and scabbard, WW1 Said to have belonged to Sir Peter Buck
    leather scabbard with plated steel mouthpiece and a strap to attach it to the frog button of a Sam Browne belt; leather sword frog, marked in ink "PHB" markings: George V monogram on hilt; embossed star on leather wrap of scabbard; scabbard and sword frog initialled in ink under leather flap "PHB" - Sword on long term loan to 28 Maori Museum, Waitangi AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    1951 AWMM
    Age 74 AWMM
    HawaiiUnited States of America AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Te Ao Hou AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Leave a tribute or memory of Peter Rangihiroa Buck

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  • Sir Rangi Hiroa is my great, great, great uncle, who married into my family through Margaret Wilson, my great, great, great aunt. I am truly amazed and grateful to be knowledgeable of Sir Peter's accomplishments. He is certainly one of the most inspirational individuals around the globe. His story inspires me to aim as high as I can, dream as large as I can, and achieve everything I set my mind to as long as I put in the effort. Even though we are just related through marriage, I am honoured to know his tale and even more honoured to call him my great, great, great uncle. I will never forget you Sir Peter Buck and I will keep sharing your story so your name and achievements can be heard by everyone.
    Public - Stah - Other relative - 13 June 2022
  • Another great Taranaki leader and a son of Tokomaru Waka stand proud like your Whanaungatanga Eruera Te Whiti O Rongomai Love and George Frederick Bertrand, Te Atiawa Nui Tonu.
    Public - Te Atiawa Nui Tonu - 5 December 2016
  • hi my great aunty was margaret Wilson who was married to sir Peter Buck . it was a hidden secret for some reason growing up . I beleive because my grandfather was taught not to talk about it . but he's gone now and I'm hearing all these stories on many trips with sir Peter and margaret . I want to research Margarets and my grandads life (because I beleive he was a half cast yet we were never allowed to talk about it . his name was jack Palmer who married hazel and had my dad terry . any information if love to know . they have little information abt their lives and where they came from so I'm keen to learn . thanku deidre Palmer
    Public - deidre lock (Palmer ) - Other relative - 4 August 2016
  • Until recently, I only had scant details about Sir Peter Buck (he is my late Grandfather's cousin on the maternal side, his mother being Annie Buck, sister of William Henry Buck). What an amazing man! He is truly an inspiration to me and if I can only partially follow in his footsteps I would be eternally grateful. I would love to have met him. His life has the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. I am proud to share even a little of his DNA.
    Public - Karen - Other relative - 2 August 2016
  • On this Gallipoli Centenary ANZAC Day your Buck, Griffith and Cooper Anglo Irish family members remember and pay tribute to you and your extraordinary wide ranging and majestic achievements.
    Public - George - Other Relative - 24 April 2015
  • Your stone lays by my heart. watch over us xxxx
    Public - Aiyana - Other Relative - 22 April 2015
  • He tohu maumahara he tohu aroha i a koe.
    Public - Miriama - Other Relative - 19 April 2015



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  • External links
  • References
    • Military Personnel file AWMM
    • Honours and awards of the 2nd NZEF: the Military Medal (1966). Wellington, N.Z.: Army Headquarters. AWMM
    • Polaschek, A. (1983). The Complete New Zealand Distinguished Conduct Medal. Christchurch, N.Z.: Medals Research. AWMM
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1914-1919). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Volume I. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      Vol1: 90 AWMM
    • Auckland Returned Services Association, Onehunga Branch. Papers relating to World Wars I and II. 1916 - 1918, 1933 - 1944. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 2004/89. AWMM
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, Pictorial Collections: NZ Herald Collection. AWMM
      Sir Peter Buck's Memorial, Urenui, Taranaki. 1954 AWMM
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, Pictorial Collections: Official H Series [World War 1 photographs] AWMM
    • Journal of the Polynesian Society AWMM
    • Beattie, P.J. & Pomeroy, M. (2013-2020). Onward : portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (vols 1-5). Auckland, New Zealand: Fair Dinkum Publications AWMM
      Vol. 4: Includes portrait AWMM
    • Soutar, M. (2019). Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E!: Maori In the First World War. New Zealand: David Bateman Ltd. AWMM
    • Pat Clarkson Medical Practitioner Research Project (January 2014 - March 2022). This project identified Medical Practioners who served in WWI. AWMM


Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
13 June 2022StahKaitaiaOther relative
05 December 2016Te Atiawa Nui TonuTaranakiOther
04 August 2016deidre lock (Palmer ) auckland NZ Other relative
02 August 2016KarenMelbourne, AustraliaOther relative
28 March 2016Lorraine MGisborne, NZResearcher

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