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Maui Morris David Luke Mitchell

Portrait of Mo Mitchell (36256) at Queens Gardens, Nelson, prior to leaving New Zealand - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait of Mo Mitchell (36256) at Queens Gardens, Nelson, prior to leaving New Zealand - This image …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Maui Morris David Luke AWMM
  • Surname
    Mitchell AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Maui Te Morehu David Luke Mitchell AWMM
    • Te Morehu Maui Maurice David Luke Mitchell AWMM
    • Mo AWMM
  • Service number
    36256 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    North Africa AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    36256 AWMM
  • Military service
    Territorial force (2 years) AWMM
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 19 July 1940 AWMM
    Age 20 AWMM
    Transport driver/Civilian AWMM
    NelsonTasman 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
    • Height, Unknown Period AWMM
      6 feet AWMM
    • Eye colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      Brown AWMM
    • Hair colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      Dark AWMM
    • Complexion, Unknown Period AWMM
      Dark AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Admitted to hospital battle field wounded 26 June 1942; transferred to 6 Battalion General Hospital 2 July 1942; discharged 2 October 1942. AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Contracted malaria in North Africa. AWMM
    • Died of Disease, Cause of Death AWMM
      Liver cancer AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • 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
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About death

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  • Death
    30 June 1986 AWMM
    Age 67 AWMM
    NelsonTasman AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Rotatai Cemetery, Takaka, New Zealand AWMM Block CV, Number 57 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death notice: Nelson Evening Mail, 1 July 1986, 2 July 1986 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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Related Serviceperson



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  • External links
    28th Maori Battalion Website 1941-1945. Personal page
    Further Reference
  • References
    • 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 332 AWMM
    • Nelson Evening Mail AWMM
      Death notice: 1 July 1986, 2 July 1986 AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM

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