Topic: Lt. Col Aubrey Balzer (28th Maori Battalion) remembers Italy 1944.

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Lt. Col Aubrey Balzer spoke at the BOP Officers Annual Luncheon ,Tauranga, July 2011

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Au6th Hauraki Insigniabrey Balzer ( Details from the 28th Maori Battalion website)

aubrey-blazer. Serial No: 275754
Rank: Sergeant
Address on enlistment: Whakarewarewa, Rotorua, New Zealand
New Zealand’s 28th (Māori) Battalion fought in the Second World War, between 1941 and 1945.The Māori Battalion forged an outstanding reputation on the battlefields of Greece, Crete, North Africa and Italy.
All content produced with permission by Lt. Col Balzer, 2011

Lt. Col Aubrey Balzer spoke at the BOP Officers Annual Luncheon ,Tauranga, July 2011.

You can hear him speak by clicking here. (44 minutes)B Company veterans in 2007.  Standing: George Rehu, Robert Gillies, Te Puhi Pātara, Aubrey Balzer, Sonny Sewell.  Sitting: Paora Kruger, Haare Nuku Te Rātana, Arthur Midwood. B Company veterans in 2007.  Standing: George RehuRobert GilliesTe Puhi PātaraAu

His recent trip back to Italy in 2011, "was made in totally different conditions to the one made in 1944… at the completion to the North African one…the division went back to Cairo... next thing we knew we were group marching to Alexandria. The battalion split into three parts…they broke the companies up into platoons. The Maori battalion were tribal. “A” company was Nga Puhi, or North Auckland. “B” company were Te Arowa or penny divers as we were known (the gum diggers were “A” company). “C” company were cowboys from down the East Coast and “D” company were known as Ngati Walkabout because they came from Auckland right down the West Coast and the South Island… …we were shipped over in three very old boats from Alexandria and at the last minute told we were going to Italy…"

You can hear him speak by clicking here. (44 minutes)

Read an NZ Herald Article on the 28th here.

Aubrey passed away on Sunday the 10th of March, 2013. His funeral notice read
"BALZER, Aubrey Huia.275954 - HON COL (LT COL), RNZIR. 28 (NZ) MAORI BATTALION 2NZEF. 6 HAU REGT.  On Sunday 10th March 2013 at his beach house in Maketu. Aged 92 years young. Cherished husband of the late Maureen. Loved and Respected father and father in law of Wayne and Virginia, Colleen and Neil, and Annette and Mark. Grandad Aubrey of 7 grandchildren. Special friend of Audree Hopcraft and family. A service for Aubrey will be held on Friday 15th, in the Living Well Church, 47 Biak Street, Rotorua at 1:00pmIn lieu of flowers donations to the Order Of St John, PO Box 1205, Rotorua would be appreciated. These may also be left at the service. All communications to the Balzer Family C/- PO Box 926, Rotorua"
 
Other Resources on the Maori Battalion
 
1. The Tauranga Library Wiki (click here) will give you further resources available online and within the Library itself.
 
These include:
Books: New Zealand Room (non-lending)
SLA 940.541293 GAR Te mura o te ahi : the story of the Maori Battalion Gardiner, Wira

Books: Adult Maori Lending
940.541293 GAR Te mura o te ahi : the story of the Maori Battalion Gardiner, Wira
MAO AV 940.5412 MAO Ake, ake, kia kaha e : songs of the 28th maori Battalion (music recording)

Books: Adult Maori Reference (non-lending)
821.2 CAM Māori Battalion: a poetic sequence Campbell, Alistair
940.541293 GAR Te mura o te ahi : the story of the Maori Battalion Gardiner, Wira

 
2. The Tauranga Library accesses extensive New Zealand History online databases relevant to the Second World War. These can be located here.
3. There are also full-text journal articles focusing on 20th century history, with material from other periods being added all the time. Includes primary documents, maps and illustrations. Access this World History in Context here.

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This page archived at Perma CC in August of 2016: https://perma.cc/WT4E-P4XU

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Lt. Col Aubrey Balzer (28th Maori Battalion) remembers Italy 1944.


Year:c.1941 and c.1945
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
Lt. Col Aubrey Balzer (28th Maori Battalion) remembers Italy 1944. by Tauranga City Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License