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Sir Wira Gardiner Talks About the Battle of Takrouna


Thu 19 Apr 2018, 5:00pm–6:00pm

Where: Rotorua Lakes Council, 1061 Haupapa St, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty

Restrictions: All Ages

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Listed by: Rotorua Museum

Rotorua Museum is proud to host a talk by professional soldier and celebrated war historian Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Sir Wira Gardiner KNZM.

The talk will take place at the Rotorua Council Chambers on Thursday 19 April at 5pm and will explore the fierce World War Two battle at Takrouna, North Africa.

Over two days in April 1943 an epic battle was fought by a handful of men from B Company 28 Māori Battalion, led by Lance Sergeant Haane Manahi. It was described by British Commander General Horrocks as

“The most gallant feat of arms I have witnessed in the course of the war, to this day I do not know how it was captured in the face of tenacious enemy.”

Manahi’s courage under fire and exemplary leadership saw an immediate recommendation for a Victoria Cross forwarded through army channels. Despite his bravery Manahi was denied a Victoria Cross.

After the war, a number of efforts led by Sir Charles Bennett to retrospectively award Manahi a Victoria Cross were also turned down.

Hear about the battle and its aftermath from Lt Col (Rtd) Sir Wira Gardiner KNZM, author of the History of B Company which is to be published later this year.

Born in Whakatane, Sir Wira was educated at Whakatane High School, Canterbury University and King’s College, London. His diverse career path has seen him serve as a professional soldier and senior public servant. For the last twenty years he has been a businessman and author.

In 1992 Sir Wira wrote a military history on the 28 Māori battalion using interviews and available archival resources. In May 2016, Sir Wira travelled to Greece and Crete to visit battle sites where the NZ Division fought in April and May 1941, matching the theory from his book with the actual locations of the battles.

For more information contact Rotorua Museum:
Phone - 07 350 1814 or email -

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