Profile

TOREPE, William Himiona
(Service number 16/191)

Aliases Wiremu Henry TOREPE; William Henry TOREPE
First Rank Corporal Last Rank Driver

Birth

Date 28 February 1892 Place of Birth Moeraki

Enlistment Information

Date 6 October 1914 Age 22 years 7 months
Address at Enlistment Temuka
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience 2nd South Canterbury Regiment (N.C.O.) - still serving
Marital Status Single, then married in England
Next of Kin H. TOREPE (father), Temuka; later Mrs R. F. TOREPE (wife), Burgorynes House, 18 Nelson Road, Southsea, England
Religion Church of England
Medical Information Height 5 feet 7¼ inches. Weight 154 lbs. Chest measurement 36-38½ inches. Complexion dark. Eyes grey. Hair black. Sight & hearing both normal. Colour vision good. Limbs well formed. Full & perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart & lungs normal. Teeth good. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily & mental health

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 1st Maori Contingent
Unit, Squadron, or Ship A Company
Date 14 February 1915
Transport Warrimoo
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With New Zealand Army Service Corps

Military Awards

Campaigns Balkan (Gallipoli); Egyptian; Egyptian Expeditionary Force; Western European
Service Medals 1914-1915 Star; British War Medal; Victory medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date

Discharge

Date 21 October 1919 Reason On termination of period of engagement.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

9 August 1915, admitted to First Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis - bullet wound to thigh. Reported wounded 21 August 1915. 5 October 1917 admitted to hospital in France suffering from appendicitis.

Post-war Occupations

Death

Date 10 April 1966 Age 74 years
Place of Death Karitane
Cause
Notices Timaru Herald, 12 April 1966
Memorial or Cemetery Puketeraki Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

William Himiona Torepe was the adopted son of H. (Himiona) Torepe and Kiti née Fowler, of Temuka. W. H. Torepe was one of the early enlistments and, along with T. Whitau, was probably the first Maori from Temuka to volunteer for the Maori Contingent. At this time he was a labourer at the Smithfield Freezing Works. In September 1914 the regulations stipulated that the men must be not less than 5 feet in height and must pass a medical examination, but a birth certificate was not necessary. On passing the medical examination, they had to apply immediately for warrants from the Defence Department for railway and steamer tickets to get themselves to the native camp in Auckland by 7 October. William was well within the medical requirements, standing at 5 feet 7¼ inches and being in good health in all respects, including the teeth. He married Ruby Frances Worth, on 1 April 1918 at St Jude's, Portsea, England. William gave a total of five years and seven days of war service, commencing on 19 October 1914 and being discharged on 21 October 1919. In his four years 222 days overseas he was engaged in all the campaigns. He embarked for the rerurn to New Zealand on 28 July 1919 at Plymouth, sailing on the "Hororata". Wm H. Torepe was one of the native boys who were presented with an illuminated address at a social function at the Arowhenua Pa in May 1920 (after the last man had returned). There is a photo of William Himiona Torepe on page 6 of Album WWI Photograph Album - Egypt and Gallipoli, of Sergeant Douglas Gifford-Moore, held by the New Zealand Army Museum.

Sources

Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [17 February 2017]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK18805 W5557 0115291) [24 February 2017]; Timaru Herald, 30 July 1914, 1 October 1914, 31 October 1917, 1 November 1917, 23 September 1919, 25 May 1920, New Zealand Herald, 23 August 1915, Temuka Leader, 14 August 1917, 25 July 1918, 29 July 1919, 22 May 1920, 8 & 10 July 1926, 28 & 30 September 1936, Star, 14 June 1917, Press, 8 July 1926 (Papers Past) [17, 19 & 26 February 2017]; Timaru Herald, 12 April 1966 (Timaru District Library) [24 February 2017]

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