Brothers Wiremu Te Harawira Mitchell (819432) 28 Maori Battalion and Maui (Te Morehu or Mo) Morris David Luke (36256), New Zealand Army Service Corps served in WW2.
Address on return to New Zealand: 96 Commercial St, Takaka, Nelson.
Until the age of 56, Corporal Mitchell believed his birthday was 8 October 1919, as births of Maori children were not then registered.
Corporal Mitchell married Doreen Mary Mitchell (nee Small) on 26 [October] 1940, with whom he had six children: John, Dianne, Laurelee, Terry, Trina, and Cherie. Doreen Mitchell died of bowel cancer on 3 September 1990. At the time of Corporal Mitchell's death, they had fifteen grandchildren.
A friend of the family (D Rees, 27 January 2006) reports hearing an account from a soldier ('Roy') who served with Corporal Mitchell:
"I met Mo under awful circumstances. I had been badly wounded and so had Mo, and we were with several other seriously wounded men who were being transferred in an 'ambulance' from near the front to a field hospital behind the lines. It wasn't really an ambulance at all, but just an army truck with red crosses painted on the canopy and bonnet. We were in a convoy of several such 'ambulances' and other vehicles, travelling across open desert - completely exposed - no cover.
" Suddenly all hell broke loose. German planes had spotted the convoy and swooped out of the sky, and started going round and round - strafing and bombing us. Trucks and so on were being blown up and people killed. It got so frightful that when our truck was forced to a halt, our driver bailed out - he jumped out of the cab and took off into the desert where it was safer as the planes were concentrating on the vehicles in the convoy.
"We were sitting ducks, and almost immediately Mo, who was nursing terrible injuries already, muttered "to hell with this". He struggled of his cot, dragged himself to get off the back of the truck, and round to the cab. None of this was easy for him as he was very seriously wounded - his leg was a hell of a mess, and he had other injuries as well - head, shoulder, gut, etc. He had a hell of a struggle.
"He managed to get up into the cab and got the truck started again, and then we took off. Mo drove that truck like a maniac rally driver - flat out, dodging bomb craters and the wrecked and burning vehicles, and weaving and swerving to try to keep out of the line of fire as the planes swooped down on us.
"Mo got us out of there. Eventually he got us into a sort of overhang in a narrow gully, where the planes couldn't get at us. A lot of men bought it that day; if it hadn't been for Mo we would have been killed too. We owe our lives to him. He should have been decorated for that, but nothing was ever done." AWMM