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Richard Eric Hale

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 N … Read more


  • Title
    Sergeant Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Military Record
  • Forenames
    Richard Eric AWMM
  • Surname
    Hale AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Dick AWMM
    • Eric AWMM
  • Service number
    16/5 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion
    Roman Catholic Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Military Record

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    10 September 1892 AWMM Tolaga BayGisborne AWMM
  • Date of birth
    10 Sept 1892 Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Military record
  • Place of birth
    Tolaga Bay, East Coast Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Military record
  • Birth notes
    son of William Frederic & Annie Gertrude HALE Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Military record
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM Croixelles, Nelson, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs A.G. Hale (mother), Mangatuna, Tolaga Bay, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 14 February 1915 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    Egyptian - Gallipoli, Egyptian E F & Western European Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Military record
  • Armed force / branch
    • Army AWMM
    • 1st NZ Maori Contingent Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Military record
  • Service number
    16/5 AWMM
  • Military service
    1914-1917 Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Military record
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    1914-1915 Star
    British War Medal
    Victory Medal Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 5 March 2016 - Military Record

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    Senior Cadets Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Military record
  • Enlistment
    • WW1 Unknown AWMM
      Age 18 AWMM AWMM
    • 15 Nov 1915 at Avondale Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Military record
  • Occupation before enlistment
    Labourer Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Military record
  • Age on enlistment
    22 yrs 1mth Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Military record


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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
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Son of William Frederic and Annie Gertrude Hale

      Four sons went to war William Fredrick Hale (43121) the eldest; Harold Hale (12781); Nathaniel Hale (16/1486) all three survived the war; Eric Hale (16/5) was killed in action

      His niece wrote: "his mother was very proud of Dick's scholastic achievements as one of the first intake of boarders at Gisborne Boy's High School where he matriculated and achieved the fifth highest pass marks in New Zealand that year. He was then offered employment in the Head Office of the Department of Statistics, Wellington which he found uncongenial so resigned, unbeknown to his mother and secured a scrub-cutting contract in Nelson, employed a gang of Maori boys to work for him then when War was declared he gathered his work force and shipped them back to Wellington where he enlisted them all in the Pioneer Battalion. Confirmation of this would appear to be verified by the sequence of regimental numbers adjacent to his, many of whom came from his locality and saw action in Gallipoli.

      When Dick's older brother Nat arrived in France he served with the same company as his brother. He wrote of his brother's death to his mother."

      The Auckland Museum Library's manuscripts collection holds three letters written by Dick Hale back home to his sister 'Janey' in New Zealand. [Ref. MS 2010/7]

      Enlisted as Dick presumed to be Richard but family note his real name was Eric. Increased age to enlist AWMM
    • NZ Maori Battalion
      Corporal Walter Heany, of the N.Z. Pioneers, writing to his mother, Mrs. Donald Gordon, of Gisborne, gives the first details that have been received respecting the death of Lieut A.P Kaipara and a number of other East Coast members of the Pioneers. The writer explains that the battalion went out wiring a stronghold that the New Zealanders had taken from the Germans. Fritz had made things very warm for them since, Corporal Heany remarks. The Pioneers got to within 100 yards of where they had to erect the entanglements, when Fritz opened up on them. The boys halted for it awhile, and then moved through shell fire to their sector. Shells were thrown all around them, and machine gun fire was turned on, this being about 1.3O a.m. The writer, details the circumstances under which Bill Morris, of Gisborne (wounded), was carried out to, the dressing station. On the way back they were up to their waists in mud, and Fritz concentrated fire on them, thus delaying them a good deal. The shells were bashing in the trenches and ploughing through the mud in the shell fire was a trying experience. Patience, however, got them through safely, though they were all fairly exhausted. Lieut. Kaipara rushed along and requested them 'to go back for Ehau, another Gisbornite who was wounded in the leg. As there was no one else he and his mate went back again with Kaipara. They were fairly beaten, and shells were falling worse than ever. Kaipara kept urging them to hurry, but they were so done up they could hardly for dear life lift their legs out of the boggy ground. Frequently they had to put the stretcher down, and then shells would burst near them, the concussion knocking them over in the mud. Eventually his mate dragged himself back to get fresh men, and he could hear Ehau calling "Come on, Heany" but he was completely knocked up. It was then that Kaipara dropped, shot through the head by a piece of shell. The writer went on to say that he had simply to lie down in the mud with the pathetic words still ringing in his ears and cursing himself for being unable to carry on. Subsequently he managed to drag himself out and to get fresh men to carry the wounded out. Two nights later they went out again to dig a trench and about midnight Fritz poured shells into them again. One shell came into the trench and killed Viv Ruru and another chap who had just joined up, besides wounding Trotter and Maharangi Pohatu. Heany was placed in charge to carry Trotter down to the dressing station, where he learned than Kaa, the Ngati Porou officer was killed, also Winiana and Dick Hale (corporal of the section). The party was carrying out one of the fellows (killed), when a shell landed right in the middle of them. With an officer, the writer went back and found their bodies, which were brought in and laid to rest. All were Gisborne and Coast boys. Donald Cameron was killed the same night as Kaipara. The casualties during the two nights were Killed, Lieutenants P Kaa, Kaipara, Cameron, and MacNeil, Corporal Hale, Privates V. Ruru, Kopua, Winiana.
      wounded: - Lieutenant J Ehau, Privates R. Trotter. W. Morris, Manuel, M. Pohatu, and P Kingi Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Poverty Bay Herald, 12 November 1917
    • His elder brother of Cpl Maku Hale (#16/96) Sergeant Richard Hale, Regimental No 16/5 also of Tolaga Bay and B Company 1st Maori Contingent fought along side his young brother Maku, and went on (after Maku being wounded 1916) to see further actions in France at Messines and in Belgium on the Ypres Salient where he was killed in action their on the 14th of August 1917. Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 -
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About death

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  • Death
    14 August 1917 AWMM
    YpresBelgium AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Underhill Farm Cemetery, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium AWMM A. 29 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
    Gisborne's War Memorial Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 9 February 2016 - Research
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    St Mary's Church Memorial Board, Tikitiki near Rangitukia, East Coast, New Zealand AWMM

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09 February 2016Lorraine MGisborne, NZResearcher