Monday, 14 August 2017

Pekama Rongoaia Kaa visited by Whanau first time after exactly 100 years!

Captain Pekama Rongoaia KAA was killed in action exactly 100 years ago together with three of his men; Sejeant Richard HALE, Private Vivian RURU and Private Ponga WINIANA. Only Pekama was buried at Kandahar Farm, the three others are resting at Underhill Farm Cemetery.

He was only 7 days promoted to captain, he had just returned from leave in Paris when he and his men were shelled by the Germans around midnight on 14 August. Two men were killed and several others wounded. Pekama ordered the survivors and wounded to retire, but stayed behind to help carry the deceased men. When the trench was shelled again, 23-year-old Pekama was killed together with one of his men.

His grave with NZ flag and Dolores crosses
For the first time in 100 years, the Ngati Porou Whanau could officially mourn over his grave.

You can read more about him here:

It was an honour to welcome Reverend Canon Te Rangi Matanuku KAA and his family in Belgium today to remember and commemorate this 23 year old Captain who died much to young as so many during WWI..

Before coming over to the Western Front they have been interviewed by Maori TV:
there was also an article in the Gisborne Herald newspaper:

His grave at Kandahar Farm Cemetery - II G 10

Reverend Canon Te Rangi Matanuku KAA and his family around the grave of Pekama Kaa
His headstone is one of the 33 New Zealanders in this cemetery

left is the Ultimo crater in Comines-Warneton, behind them is Messines.
This is the place where Pekama was during his last day alive at the front.

Ultimo crater filled with water is on private property

Ultimo trench (c) Australian War Memorial