Topic: Thomas Wahia (1894-1915)

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Matakana Island farmer Thomas Wahia was killed in action at Gallipoli during the Battle of Chunuk Bair on 6 August 1915 whilst serving with the New Zealand Maori Contingent during World War I. Story by Debbie McCauley.

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Thomas Wahia was born in Tauranga in 1894. His parents were Temoananui and Hohepa Paama Wahia.

He was a farmer on Matakana Island, considered himself an Anglican, and played football. In appearance he was almost 173 cm tall, weighing 79 kilograms with black hair, dark brown eyes and brown complexion. 

He enlisted on 12 November 1914, embarking from Wellington on [according to Military Record] the Joselyn [according to New Zealand War graves, the Warrimoo] on 14 February 1915. He arrived in Suez, Egypt on 26 March 1915.

Māori soldiers of the Native Contingent waiting to board the troopship HMNZT Warrimoo, Wellington wharf, 14 February 1915.

Māori soldiers of the Native Contingent waiting to board the troopship HMNZT Warrimoo, Wellington wharf, 14 February 1915.
Source: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/native-contingent-soldiers-depart-wellington 

Thomas served in the 1st Maori Contingent, A Company (Service No. 16/426).

Private Thomas Wahia was killed in action during the Battle of Chunuk Bair at Gallipoli on 6 August 1915, aged 20 (reg. 1918/38840).

Māori soldiers from the Native Contingent assemble at Outpost No. 1 before their attack during the Sari Bair offensive, 6 August 1915 
 Māori soldiers from the Native Contingent assemble at Outpost No. 1 before their attack during the Sari Bair offensive, 6 August 1915.
Source: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/native-contingent-soldiers-outpost-no-1 

On 6 September 1915 the Bay of Plenty Times reported: 

Amongst those killed at the Dardanelles recently was T Wahia, a well-known resident of Matakana Island. Deceased was a member of the Matakana football team and was regarded as one of the most promising Backs in the Bay of Plenty.

Thomas is remembered on the Chunuk Bair (New Zealand) Memorial in the Chunuk Bair Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey.

Thomas Wahia (1894-1915)

References:

Archives New Zealand: Military personnel file.

Auckland War Memorial Museum: Cenotaph Record.

Bay of Plenty Times (6 September 1915). 

Births, Deaths & Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Fiona Kean (Tauranga Heritage Collection).

New Zealand War Graves.

Wairarapa Daily Times (30 August 1915, p. 6): The Roll of Honour, New Zealand Casulties.

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A version of this article was archived in August 2016 at Perma CC https://perma.cc/7Y5K-A8DS.

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Thomas Wahia (1894-1915)


Year:1915
Note:Service Number: 16/426
First Names:Thomas
Last Name:Wahia
Date of Birth:1894
Place of Birth:Tauranga
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:6 August 1915
Place of death:Gallipoli, Turkey
Place of burial:Chunuk Bair (New Zealand) Memorial, Chunuk Bair Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey
Occupation:farmer
Fathers name:Temoananui Wahia
Fathers place of birth:New Zealand
Fathers date of death:dead by 1915
Fathers place of death:New Zealand
Mothers name:Hohepa Paama Wahia
Mothers place of birth:New Zealand
Mothers place of death:New Zealand
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)

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