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Thomas Tawera Halbert

New Zealand. Army. 1st Maori Contingent. Scroll of the 1st New Zealand Maori Contingent, 1915. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS-624. Cultural Permissions may apply.

New Zealand. Army. 1st Maori Contingent. Scroll of the 1st New Zealand Maori Contingent, 1915. Auckl …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Thomas Tawera AWMM
  • Surname
    Halbert AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI 16/570 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
  • Date of birth
    21 July 1884 Public - Lorraine Mona - Researcher - 14 August 2023 -
  • Place of birth
    Manutuke, Gisborne Public - Lorraine Mona - Researcher - 14 August 2023 -
  • Birth notes
    Son of Thomas & Ripeka HALBERT Public - Lorraine Mona - Researcher - 14 August 2023 -
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM Manutuke, Gisborne, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs Matehaere Ripeka Halbert (mother), Manutuke, Gisborne, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    • Pre 14 February 1915 AWMM Single AWMM
    • 1910 Thomas Tawera HALBERT married May Turihana SMITH Public - Lorraine Mona - Researcher - 14 August 2023 - NZ BDM Marriage Records


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 16/570 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 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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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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About death

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  • Death
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • Thomas Tawera Moana Halbert, was born in 1884 in Manutuke, Gisborne, New Zealand. He is of Maori and Anglo Scottish decent. Thomas went to the first world war as part of the Native Contingent, with his 2 brothers William and some time later Rangi. They all fought in the infamous Gallipolli Campaign. All 3 of them survived the war. Whilst Thomas's 2 brothers went back to NZ, he stayed on in London. He was a BBC journalist & correspondent. He also acted in a number of films including having a small part in the 49th Parallel.

    He died age 60 (1944) and his ashes were returned to his mother and are buried at his place of birth, Manutuke
    Public - Lorraine Mona - Researcher - 19 October 2023
  • TAWERA MOANA A man whose lectures, broadcasts, & writing carried a warm & personal picture of NZ into the minds of scores of thousands of people in Britain has died here after a short illness. He was a Maori, Mr Thomas Halbert, better known in this country as Tawera Moana, who was born in Gisborne & was an officer in the NZEF in the last war. Tawera Moana served on Gallipoli & in France, & came here after demobilisation, becoming widely known as a freelance journalist, broadcaster, & lecturer, in the latter role under the auspices of the British Council of the Royal Empire Society & the Ministry of Information. In his addresses to hundreds of audiences throughout the country he drew from a wide knowledge of Maori life, customs, & traditions. He also took parts in films, including 49th Parallel. He was lecturing up to a few weeks ago. He is survived by his wife, whom he married here
    Public - Lorraine Mona - Researcher - 14 August 2023



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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
19 October 2023Lorraine MonaGisborne Researcher

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