(Service number 16/192)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||21 March 1883||Place of Birth||Nelson|
|Date||19 October 1914||Age||31|
|Address at Enlistment||Temuka, New Zealand|
|Previous Military Experience||Mounted Rifles, Masterton|
|Next of Kin||Mihi Nopera, Temuka|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Medical Information||5ft 8in, 168lbs, dark complexion, dark brown eyes, black hair|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||1st Maori Contingent, A Company|
|Date||14 February 1915|
|Embarked From||Wellington, NZ||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
|Campaigns||Egyptian, Balkans (Gallipoli), Western European|
|Service Medals||British War Medal, Victory Medal, 1914-15 Star|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||1 November 1919||Reason||Granted indefinite leave without pay from 2 November 1919|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
Wounded elbow, pneumonia
|Date||14 September 1941||Age||58|
|Place of Death||Porirua|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Maori Cemetery, Porirua|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Raha Nopera was born in Nelson on 21 March 1883.
Raha was working as a labourer for Mr Connell of Washdyke when he enlisted on 19 October 1914, giving his next of kin as Mohi Nopera of Temuka. He was described as single, 5ft 8in, 168lbs, with a dark complexion, dark brown eyes, and black hair. He enrolled as a private with the Maori Pioneer Battalion. He gave his previous military experience as being with the Mounted Rifles in Masterton. He embarked at Wellington on 14 February 1915 for Suez and Egypt. The Maori Contingent including Raha Nopera landed at Anzac Cove on 3 July 1915. He received a gunshot wound to the elbow on 6 August 1915. He was sent back to Cairo to recover, returning to duty on 24 September, but he was evacuated again on 4 November with influenza. Nopera was back on the Gallipoli peninsula again to take part in the withdrawal of 27 December before his unit was refitted and embarked for France in April 1916. Raha seems to have been dogged by respiratory difficulties during his time at the Western Front, spending several periods in hospital, once also for a strained back. He returned to New Zealand with his unit on the Westmorland in early April 1919, being admitted to hospital on landing. He was later transferred to Timaru Hospital as an outpatient. He was placed on indefinite leave without pay on 2 November 1919, having served a mammoth 5 years and 14 days.
After the war Raha returned to farm work, mainly in the North Island. "R. Nopera" was one of the local Māori who were presented with an illuminated address at a social function at the Arowhenua Pa in May 1920 after the last man had returned.
Many years alter the Wellington Evening Post of 17 September 1941also noted: "A large gathering of relatives and friends of the late Mr Raha Nopera met at the Porirua Pa last Sunday to pay their last respects to his memory. The deceased was a Maori veteran of the Great War, having fought and been wounded on Gallipoli. When the call for Home Guard recruits came the late Mr. Nopera was among the earliest to enlist and joined the Titahi Bay mounted unit. The funeral took place on Sunday in the Maori Cemetery. The Titalii Bay unit provided a firing party and pall-bearers under Platoon Commander Thornton. Members of the Titahi Bay platoon, the mounted unit, and the Returned Soldiers' Association followed the cortege to the cemetery after a short service in the pa conducted by Mr George Katene. At the graveside Corporal Melville read the funeral service. Bugler F. Martin sounded the Last Post and the Reveille."
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph database [August 2021]; Papers Past at https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/ ; "16/192 Private Raha Nopera – NZ Maori Pioneer Battalion", Porirua War Stories at https://www.poriruawarstories.com/nopera-raha
Researched and Written by
Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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