Hone Te Kauru Kaa
Son of Panikena and Matewa Kaa, of Rangitukia, East Cape.
A veteran of the campaigns of the 28th (Maori) Battalion who returned to New Zealand two years ago, and who because of his service disabilities and his fortitude was the object of keen sympathy among Maori and European residents of the Waiapu Valley, died recently at Rangitukia and was buried with military honours by former comrades-in-arms. He was Lieutenant Hone Te Kauru Kaa, a member of a well-known Rangitukia family, who went overseas with the Sixth Reinforcements of the Second N.Z.E.F. as a private, and was wounded first in the Tunisian campaign and again in the early fighting in Italy.
Just before the Battle of Cassino he and two other members of his unit who had also attained the rank of sergeant were flown to England to undergo training for commissioned rank at Sandhurst. Sergeant Kaa was commissioned on August 24. 1944. and rejoined his unit shortly afterwards. In the Battle of the Senio River he was badly wounded in the left foot by an exploding mine, and after some months in hospital he was invalided home, reaching New Zealand in August, 1945. For over a year he was under treatment, either in hospital or as an outpatient.
Last December he contracted pleurisy with complications, and though he appeared to make a good recovery, a relapse occurred later, eventually ending in his death at 34 years. He is mourned by his father, sister and brothers, his mother having died last January. The funeral at Rangitukia was largely attended, and was marked by appropriate ceremonies. A firing-party of Maori ex-servicemen from the settlement, and a party of pall-beaters led by Lieutenant-Colonel A. Awatere. under whom the late Lieutenant Kaa had served, tendered military honours and the gathering included visitors from many parts of the East Coast. The “'Last Post” was sounded by Lieut. R. Kaika, a cousin of the deceased. The Revs. Poihipi Kohere and To Hiki Kaa, the latter a brother of the deceased, officiated at the service.
[Gisborne Herald, Volume LXXIV, Issue 22409, 16 August 1947, Page 6]
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Text in italics supplied by Cenotaph Online, Auckland War Memorial Museum