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Subdeacon Joe

Maori Battalion

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I confess I only watched the third video and I loved it!


But if you are close enough to your enemy to intimidate him that way, you are too close!

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Posted (edited)

What caused me to look it up was


“Maori Battalion March to Victory”

Corporal Anania ‘Nan’ Amohau leads the choir of the Maori Battalion in singing their marching song, “Maori Battalion March to Victory” before the King of Greece and his wife at Helwan, Egypt, around 24 June 1941. The black-and-white has been kindly colourised by Daniel Rarity (click on image to see it full length). Corporal Amohau (Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Tūhourangi) had written the song in 1940, putting stirring lyrics to an American college football march, the “Washington & Lee Swing.” He introduced the song to fellow soldiers at Trentham Army Camp in November 1940 and, as one commentator has noted, “Within a short period the trainees had adopted the tune, with its now famous words, as their rallying marching song. Over the next five years it was to be sung in countless bars, music halls and wherever Maori gathered together.”

Cpl Amohau (later Sergeant Major) was born in Whakarewarewa and educated at Whakarewarewa Primary School and Te Aute College. He worked as a photographer in Rotorua and was a member of the Maori concert party at the tourist village. Anania served in B Company 28 Maori Battalion and survived the war, living most of his life in the Hutt Valley where he and his family were involved in a wide range of Maori cultural and musical activities. He died in 1972.

The lyrics Cpl Amohau wrote were almost completely in English, though versions of the song exist with some verses in Maori. The rousing chorus is perhaps New Zealand’s most famous piece of patriotic music after the national anthem, with a rhythmic beat perfectly matched to the fall of marching boots.

“Maori Battalion march to victory 
Maori Battalion staunch and true 
Maori Battalion march to glory 
Take the honour of the people with you 
We will march, march, march to the enemy 
And we'll fight right to the end. 
For God! For King! And for Country! 
AU - E! Ake, ake, kia kaha e!”

Photo: Cropped from DA-01227, deletion made; Cpl Anania Amohau conducting the Maori choir singing 'Maori Battalion', Helwan. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch. The photographer is believed to have been Private Harold Paton. Colourised by Daniel Rarity.
See original photo in comments below.


Image may contain: 1 person, standing, child and outdoor

Edited by Subdeacon Joe
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Reminds me of the Picts and Gaels (Celts, Scots) who would intimidate their enemies by fighting naked (I think it was the William Wallace movie, Braveheart, that hinted at this.)

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Very cool. Especially the young soldiers in the video holding the ancient Maori weapons (clubs, batons, coral knife, etc....)

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