Story: Ngā pakanga ki tāwāhi – Māori and overseas wars

Māori soldiers at Plugge's Plateau

Māori soldiers at Plugge's Plateau

Soldiers of the Māori Contingent drag water tanks onto Plugge's Plateau at Gallipoli. From their arrival at Anzac Cove in July 1915, Māori soldiers were engaged in combat roles, but also carried out trench digging and other labouring tasks. Māori played a prominent role in the August offensive, taking part in the assault on the approaches to Chunuk Bair. Like other units on Gallipoli, the Māori Contingent suffered high casualties. Only 134 of the original 477 Māori soldiers were withdrawn from Gallipoli on 14 December 1915, when Allied forces evacuated the peninsula. A total of 50 had been killed in action or died of wounds or disease, while the rest had already been withdrawn to Egypt, sick or wounded.

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Australian War Memorial
Reference: A00857

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How to cite this page:

Monty Soutar, 'Ngā pakanga ki tāwāhi – Māori and overseas wars - Māori contingent in the First World War', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 July 2022)

Story by Monty Soutar, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 May 2016