Henare Te Wainohu

Henare Wepiha Te Wainohu was a chaplain in the Maori Contingent at Gallipoli. The first Māori unit to serve in the First World War, the contingent had Māori junior officers, but Pākehā (non-Māori) filled the higher ranks.

There was initial opposition to the idea of sending Māori troops into battle, but after months of training in Egypt and garrison duty in Malta, the Maori Contingent headed to Gallipoli in July 1915. During the Sari Bair offensive in August, they fought beside their Pākehā comrades.

On the eve of the battle, Te Wainohu preached a sermon exhorting the soldiers to be fearless in battle and not to turn their backs on the enemy. He reminded them of their duty to uphold the warrior tradition of the Māori: ‘remember you have the mana, the honour, and the good name of the Māori people in your keeping this night'. This appeal inspired the soldiers.

Te Wainohu risked his life for others on many occasions at Gallipoli. Together with the medical officer, Major Peter Buck (Te Rangi Hiroa), he exposed himself to fire to carry out the wounded, distribute water and comfort the dying. Wounded in the back in September, Te Wainohu accompanied the reorganised New Zealand Pioneer Battalion to France after the evacuation of Gallipoli.

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