Topic: Moa Wahia (1890-1915)

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Tauranga bushfaller Moa Wahia was from Matakana Island. He served with the 1st Maori Contingent during World War I, seeing action at Gallipoli. Moa died at sea from a fever on 9 September 1915 on board the HMHS Salta (His Majesty's Hospital Ship). Story by Debbie McCauley.

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Moa Wahia was born in Tauranga on 10 March 1890. His mother was Ani Kuka from Matakana Island in Tauranga. Moa was the nephew of Ani Ngarae, also from Matakana Island in Tauranga.

He was a bushfaller (an early term for forestry worker), working for Arthur Adlam. In appearance he was 179 cm tall, and 78.4 kilograms heavy with black hair, brown eyes and dark complexion. He considered himself Anglican by faith. 

Moa enlisted from Thames on 12 November 1914. He embarked from Wellington on 14 February 1915, arriving in Suez, Egypt on 26 March 1915. He served with the 1st Maori Contingent, A Company (Service No. 16/482).

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 

Moa's last recorded rank is Private. He served at Gallipoli, but died of a fever at sea on 9 September 1915 on board the HMHS Salta (His Majesty's Hospital Ship) (reg. 1918/38837).

Moa was buried in Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt.

His medals were sent to Moa's sister, Ngahata Wahia in Tauranga.

Moa Wahia (1890-1915)

References:

Archives New Zealand: Military personnel file.

Auckland War Memorial Museum: Cenotaph Record.

Births, Deaths & Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Evening Star (1915, September 22): New Zealand Casulties.

Fiona Kean (Tauranga Heritage Collection).

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A version of this article was archived in August 2016 at Perma CC https://perma.cc/YY98-N6YB.

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Moa Wahia (1890-1915)


Year:1915
Note:Service Number: 16/482
First Names:Moa
Last Name:Wahia
Date of Birth:10 March 1890
Place of Birth:Tauranga
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:9 September 1915
Place of death:at sea
Place of burial:Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery Egypt
Occupation:bushfaller
Mothers name:Ani Te Maki Kuka
Mothers date of birth:1840
Mothers place of birth:Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Mothers date of death:1942
Mothers place of death:Matakana Island, Tauranga, New Zealand
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)

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