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Beni Banaba

Portrait of Sergeant Beni Banaba. Image courtesy of Bobby Nicholas, Paula Paniani and Cate Walker, Cook Islands WW1 NZEF ANZAC Soldiers Research Project. Image is subject to copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Sergeant Beni Banaba. Image courtesy of Bobby Nicholas, Paula Paniani and Cate Walker, C …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Beni AWMM
  • Surname
    Banaba AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI 19236 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    1890 AWMM ManihikiCook Islands AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW1 Pre 1 July 1916 AWMM Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Pacific Islands AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW1 Mrs Api Beni Banaba (wife), Marairenga, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Pacific Islands AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 16 November 1916 AWMM Married AWMM
    Api Beni Banaba AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    Sinai & Palestine AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 19236 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 1 July 1916 AWMM
    Age 25 AWMM
    Labourer/Civilian AWMM
    AvaruaRarotonga 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
    • Height, WWI AWMM
      5 foot 7.75 inches AWMM
    • Weight, WWI AWMM
      187 pounds AWMM
    • 4 April 1917 AWMMMedical, WWI AWMM
      Asthma 1917, admitted to hospital AWMM
    • Died of Sickness, Cause of Death AWMM
      Phthsis and tuberculosis AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Husband of Api B. Banaba of Marairenga, Rarotonga.

      Service record notes on the medical examination pages he "speaks excellent English and has considerable influence with the boys".

      Attained rank of Sergeant August 1916. Relinquished rank to Private April 1917.

      Manuka then transhipped to "Malwa" at Sydney for Suez. AWMM
    • Beloved son of Panapa and Tarani Iete Whakaheo

      Beloved grandson of the royal family King Whakaheo Iete from the Island of Manihiki..

      Beloved grandson of Orometua Papa Aporo Uri Tukua from the island of Aitutaki the first missionary to preach the word of God to the people of Manihiki and Mama Munokoa Haumata Tokamoa.

      Here are the Siblings of Beni..
      Aporo Tuakana
      Tiavake Tuteru
      Beni Epera
      Pani Tahi
      Pani Rua
      John Takai

      Here are the siblings of Beni's dad Panapa..
      Toka Hirere

      Siblings of Beni's mum Tarani Whakaheo Iete from the royal family of Manihiki

      Tahiri Public - Theresa Tarani - Other Relative - 28 March 2015 - Beloved grandson of King (Whakaheo) Iete from the island of Manihiki.
Read more


About death

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  • Death
    16 September 1917 AWMM
    Age 26 AWMM
    Auckland HospitalAuckland AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    O'Neill's Point Cemetery, 122 Bayswater Avenue, Bayswater, North Shore, Auckland AWMM Block G. Plot 138 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 1 Hall of Memories AWMM
    • Cook Islands Roll of Honour Board, RSA Rarotonga AWMM

Roll of Honour

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Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of Beni Banaba

Leave a note

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  • My great grandfather is Panapa Haurua his brother is Beni. My grandfather is Te Whakaheo Ariki James Haurua son of Panapa Haurua and nephew of Beni Banana. Great grand uncle to me. Kia Orana 🌺
    Public - Margaret - Other relative - 25 April 2019
  • I am a descendent through my Farther Adama Haurua whos farther is Panapa and grand farther is Haurua by which is a sibling to Beni Banaba
    Public - John Wilkinson - Other Relative - 24 April 2015
  • Papa Beni was a brother to my great-grandmother Tiavake, and my great-grandaunt who brought me up, Haumata (Mama Mata). Every Armistice Day (11 November) Mama Mata would make a wreath and we would go and lay it at the Fare Ture in Rakahanga to commemorate those few who went to war from Rakahanga. Papa Beni had gone to Rarotonga from Rakahanga at a young age, to attend the London Missionary Society College, following in the footsteps of his father Banaba and grandfather Aporo who had both been ministers. I think about how young Papa Beni was when he went to war in Egypt and Palestine, then how sad it was that he died at the age of 26. I do not know if he had any children, but don't think he did. I am very grateful for the 500 Cook Islands Soldiers project as it has highlighted the huge contribution that our men made to the war. We will not forget you Papa Beni.
    Public - Berry Jane - Other Relative - 22 March 2015
  • Sgt Beni Banaba was a younger brother to my great-great grandmother.
    Public - Caren Jane - Other Relative - 5 February 2015



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  • External links
  • References
    • This record was partially compiled from information kindly provided by Bobby Nicholas, Paula Paniani and Cate Walker, Cook Islands WW1 NZEF ANZAC Soldiers Research Project AWMM
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1917). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force Volume II. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      44: 1 AWMM
    • Weddell, H. (2016). Soldiers from the Pacific : the story of Pacific Island soldiers in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in World War One. Wellington, New Zealand : Defence of New Zealand Study Group. AWMM
    • Soutar, M. (2019). Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E!: Maori In the First World War. New Zealand: David Bateman Ltd. 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. 5: Includes portrait AWMM
    • Roll of Honour, Auckland Province (digital copy), 1914 - 1919. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS-2016-2. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
25 April 2019MargaretQueensland AustraliaOther relative
25 April 2017JohnAucklandDirect descendant
03 May 2015CarenNapier, New ZealandOther Relative
24 April 2015John Wilkinson Auckland New ZealandOther Relative
28 March 2015Theresa TaraniBrisbaneOther Relative

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