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Ruki Tipene

Group, WW2 four 28 (Maori) Battalion soldiers: Ruki Tipene is on the left rear of the picture. - This image may be subject to copyright

Group, WW2 four 28 (Maori) Battalion soldiers: Ruki Tipene is on the left rear of the picture. - Thi …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Ruki AWMM
  • Surname
    Tipene AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Titiro AWMM
  • Service number
    26062 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM Motatau, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs R. Tipene (mother), Motatau, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    26062 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
    WW2 Unknown AWMM
    Age 21 AWMM
    Carpenter/Civilian AWMM
    WhangareiNorthland AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

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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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • The following was written by Lynda Tipene, daughter of Ruki, about her father's enlistment. The story goes that Ruki and a mate spent part of the day they were to enlist in the pub before making their way to the recruitment office:

    'For Ruki with his particular affliction, the eyesight testing was a sham as he was not able to read it properly, let alone stand still, but the examination officer, suspecting Ruki to be feining, said to him "No good playing up [to me], you pass" much to the delight of Titiro Tipene, who followed his older brother Solomon into the annals of the 28 Maori Battalion history.

    When asked what prompted him to join, he replied "Kia kite ai au te Ao" (to see the world).

    Ruki was 22 years old when he arrived in Maadi, outside Cairo in Egypt. It was the Battalion's base camp for A Company and the Company Commander was Major Ben Porter, who had as his 2IC a young Captain James Clendon Henare, of Motatau, Ruki's first cousin.

    Ruki recounted a time when on operations, the Company was awakened by Ben Porter in the middle of the night to arm themselves and follow him.

    The Major had gone on a reconnaissance of his own and discovered the Germans to be leaving their dugouts. After arriving near the supposedly abandoned area, the Germans had actually reinforced their positions which would have had grave repercussions for A Company had they approached the battlefield casually. Major Porter ordered 'Fix Bayonets' and the Company charged the trenches anyway.

    The fact that Ruki took part in this attack says much for the type of warfare he was to participate in, the huge respect given to the Major in this sudden change of events, and the almost fatalistic stance the Maori soldier viewed fighting.

    It almost felt that unless one was prepared to have a god, one was wasting his time in the theatre. After the war, Ruki bought a truck, applied for the cream run, won the contract and picked up and delivered the cans to the local factory. He was betrothed to a relative but did not carry it through and married instead Ngaurupa (aka Tusi aka Lucy) Jones of Opahi.

    After his marriage in 1944 he worked the farm at Opahi for some years, then moved to Moerewa where he became employed by the Bay of Islands County Council. When Ruki became ill he and Tusi moved to Auckland to be closer to their family.

    Ruki died on 7 June 1998 and was buried at Takapuna cemetery, Motatau with his brother Solomon and his cousin Sir James Henare.' Lynda Tipene. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    7 June 1998 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    urupa, Takapuna urupa, Motatau, Bay of Islands, New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

Remember Ruki Tipene by laying a poppy.

Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of Ruki Tipene

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  • Thinking of you today with fond memories of the times we spent together attending the Anzac day parades over the years. Cherish our conversations and the stories you shared with us, Arohanui Ramon, Sara and little Troy.
    Public - Sara - Other relative - 25 April 2017
  • Lest we forget. You're forever in our hearts. Great family memories we will pass on from generation to generation. Another ANZAC day to remember you our dear Pop may your soul rest in peace. Love your Hofmann Crawley Paniani Whanau x
    Public - Stephanie Lianda - Other relative - 25 April 2016
  • Pop, Today as another ANZAC day passes Ramon, little Troy and I think of you with pride. We always cherish the times and stories you shared with us Arohanui Crawley –Allen Whanua
    Public - Sara - Other relative - 25 April 2016



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  • External links
  • References
    • Cody, J. (1956). 28 (Maori) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 3 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1940 to 31st March, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 3: WW2 477 AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
25 April 2017SaraAucklandOther relative
25 April 2016Stephanie LiandaAucklandOther relative

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