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Ahere te Koari Hohepa

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 …

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Ahere te Koari AWMM
  • Surname
    Hohepa AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Arthur Joseph AWMM
  • Service number
    • WWI 16/229 AWMM
    • South African 816 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 Puketapu, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Pera Hohepa (brother), Puketapu, Napier, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 14 February 1915 AWMM Single AWMM

Service

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
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Embarkations

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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
    Other, WWI AWMM
    Nature of Injury: G.S.W. left thumb and malaria Pension: 15/- Percent of disability: [Not stated] Source: New Zealand. Army (1920). List of the names of all ex-members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, suffering permanent disability from 20% to 100% AWMM

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Present address (as listed in New Zealand. Army (1920). List of the names of all ex-members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, suffering permanent disability from 20% to 100%): C/o Manager National Bank, Napier AWMM
    • A rural Hawke's Bay cemetery is the final resting place of a farmer who changed his identity more than 100 years ago so he could serve New Zealand on the battlefields of the Boer War in South Africa.
      Ahere Te Koari Hohepa was in his early 20s when he changed his name to the English version, Arthur Joseph, to enlist in the 3rd Contingent of the NZ Military Forces dispatched to South Africa about 1899.
      He was discharged in 1902 at the end of the conflict & returned to his home near Moteo, a few kilometres west of Taradale. Not satisfied with his South African effort, he signed up for duty again 12 yrs later, This time for the NZ Maori Contingent & under his real name to serve during World War I.
      The contingent was later renamed the NZ Maori Pioneer Battalion & it paved the way for the famous Maori Battalion formed for service in World War II. Mr Hohepa died in 1956 but there was nothing to mark his military contribution when he was laid to rest at Moteo Cemetery. About 45 years later, descendants, including his great-nephew Piri Prentice, began requesting Mr Hohepa's service records from the NZ War Graves Commission to see what could be done to mark the efforts of their war hero.
      "We had a hell of a battle initially with the commission to get his records," Mr Prentice said.
      We told them that Ahere had gone away twice to serve this country & he should at least have a plaque on his grave. We weren't asking for bags of money, just some kind of recognition."
      The outcome was a new headstone which featured the name "A. T. Hohepa" and a plaque near the base which displayed "A. Joseph". Both acknowledge his military contribution & make for one of the more interesting Anzac stories among Hawke's Bay people who served overseas.
      Mr Prentice's research and stories retold by family members suggested Mr Hohepa had changed to the English version of his name because Maori were excluded from service in South Africa. He believes his great-uncle would have been among a number of Maori who managed to join up and participate in the war by changing names or identities.

      "He never talked about the war at all, which was the norm among all those who came back home after service I guess. But my nanny talked about it, how he had gone to the Boer War & had his name changed so he was able to go.
      "He then changed it back to his real name when he enlisted in the First World War."
      A service record for "Arthur Joseph" showed he was a private when he enlisted in 1899 for the South African campaign. He was awarded the Queen South Africa Medal with clasps for service in Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Cape Colony, Orange Free State & South Africa.

      He enlisted as a private for duty for World War I in October 1914 and was promoted a few months later to sergeant. He was dispatched to the Dardanelles in Turkey in June 1915 where the Gallipoli conflict had begun earlier on April 25 that year. He was almost 40 when he was discharged and came home to Hawke's Bay in 1916. In the years that followed, he began investing time in his family farming operation.
      His time with me came long after he came home from the First World War," Mr Prentice said. He spoilt me and I felt like I was his favourite nephew. I can remember him taking me away to places like Mahia, where all the church hui were, and bringing me back home a few days later."
      Mr Hohepa was a fluent speaker of Maori and, following his return from war, he put his language & research skills to work helping his brother steer a Treaty of Waitangi claim for the inner harbour of Napier. "I remember he became embroiled in the politics of the day & issues for our hapu," Mr Prentice said.
      My grandfather was one of those who took the Treaty claim to the Crown in about 1924 & then my great uncle [Ahere] took over about 1934."
      Mr Prentice said the group was made to wait 15 yrs before a response was released from the government of the day. - for further info - refer Hawkes Bay Today 25 April 2013 Public - Lorraine Mona - Researcher - 17 April 2024 - Lest we forget - Hawkes Bay Today - By Lawrence Gullery - 25 Apr, 2013
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Death

About death

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  • Death
  • Date of death
    • 1956 Public - Lorraine Mona - Researcher - 17 April 2024 - NZ BDM Death Records
    • 13th October 1956 Public - Lorraine Mona - Researcher - 17 April 2024 - Arthur Joseph's SA War Record
  • Age at death
    88yrs Public - Lorraine Mona - Researcher - 17 April 2024 - NZ BDM Death Records
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Moteo Cemetery AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    REFER to BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION Public - Lorraine Mona - Researcher - 17 April 2024 - Lest we forget - Hawkes Bay Today - By Lawrence Gullery - 25 Apr, 2013
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
  • References
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1914-1919). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Volume I. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      Page No: 335 AWMM
    • New Zealand. Army. 1st Maori Contingent. Scroll of the 1st New Zealand Maori Contingent, 1915. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS-624. AWMM
    • New Zealand. Army (1920). List of the names of all ex-members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, suffering permanent disability from 20% to 100%, compiled from returns supplied by the Commissioner of Pensions, in respect to: a) Permanent War Pensions, and from returns supplied by the Director-General of Medical Services, regarding: b) Discharged and undischarged hospital patients, assessed as suffering permanent disability, but not yet in receipt of a pension at date (28-4-20). New Zealand. Director-General of Medical Services. NZ Times Co. (Printer). 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. 2: Includes portrait AWMM
    • Soutar, M. (2019). Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E!: Maori In the First World War. New Zealand: David Bateman Ltd. AWMM

Contributors

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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
17 April 2024Lorraine Mona Gisborne Researcher

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