Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mar

26

1943

Maori Victoria Cross in battle for Tebaga Gap

Soldiers of the Māori Battalion training in the Western Desert, Egypt. The Māori infantrymen earned a fearsome reputation for their skill with the bayonet.

Under cover of a most intense mortar barrage the enemy counter-attacked, and 2nd Lieutenant Ngarimu ordered his men to stand to and engage the enemy man or man. This they did with such good effect that the attackers were virtually mown down, 2nd Lieutenant Ngarimu personally killing several. He was twice wounded, once by rifle fire in the shoulder and later by shrapnel in the leg, and though urged by both his company and battalion commanders to go out, he refused to do so, saying that he would stay a little while with his men. He stayed until he met his death the following morning.