HENARE - JAMES CLENDON TAU - 1932 ----- 1946
edmondsallan - Hello - To understand our extended family , especially on the Maori side, we need to understand the guidance , & actions that Henare worked on for his people and for the benefit of all NZ ,in War & in Peace .
On 2 August 1933, at Otiria in the Bay of Islands, Henare married Roiho Keretene (Rose Cherrington) of Nga Puhi, Ngati Whatua, Ngati Hine, Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu; the ceremony was performed by her uncle, Canon Wiremu Cherrington. Distant cousins, the couple had been betrothed as infants at the behest of their grandfathers under the customary practice of tomo, but Henare was not told of this until he was 21. He was a lay reader in the Anglican church from the late 1930s, and was later a member of the Auckland synod for over 20 years.His fathers death in 1940 saw him assume a leadership role. This was further reinforced by Tau Henares death-bed exhortations to his son to serve in the war. As the mangai (spokesperson) for northern Maori, Tau Henare felt responsible for sending young Maori to their deaths in the First World War. This burden, he believed, could now be relieved by his own sons enlistment. James Henare underwent the ritual of karaka whati, performed to prepare a warrior for battle. It was carried out by an elderly tohunga (a direct descendant of Te Kemara, the great Nga Puhi tohunga, sage and seer) at a gathering of chiefs and elders at Motatau marae. At the completion of the ritual Henare was pronounced fit for battle.Enrolling as a private in the 28th New Zealand (Maori) Battalion, Henare quickly attained a commission in August 1940, training as an officer at Trentham Military Camp. He left New Zealand with the 5th Reinforcements and served with the Maori Battalion in the North African and Italian campaigns from 1941 to 1945. He was promoted to captain in 1942 and to major in September 1944. From platoon commander, he rose to become company commander of A and later Headquarters companies, then in June 1945 succeeded Arapeta Awatere as commanding officer of the battalion, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Wounded at El Alamein in October 1942, Henare was mentioned in dispatches and in 1946 was made a DSO. The citation noted his fearlessness and courage, singling out his company command at Cassino in February 1944 and inspirational leadership in action in 1945.The battalion was ready for engagement in the Pacific when Japan surrendered and Henare brought his men home to New Zealand in January 1946. I have spoken to men who served under him- personally - Everyone said he was a fearless warrior and they would have followed him into hell if necessary to get at their enemies . At his stage he certainly was a great leader in every way .
Till we meet again -Regards -edmondsallan