12 October 2015
Lieutenant General (LTGEN) Tim Keating, Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), today announced the inclusion of three Niuean First World War soldiers in the New Zealand and Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s official rolls of honour.
The decision to include these servicemen is the result of ongoing research into service personnel files carried out by NZDF Historian, John Crawford.
“In the majority of these cases, the military authorities at the time acknowledged their deaths were as a direct result of their service with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) but for various reasons, their names were not entered onto the rolls of honour,” says LTGEN Keating.
“It is timely that on the centenary of their departure to join the NZEF, these soldiers are now formally recognised. They, like more than 18,000 of their countrymen, died as a result of their service to New Zealand in the First World War.”
The three soldiers are Privates Alotau, Mitipauni, and Muimatagi. All three died in Niue from forms of tuberculosis contracted as a result of their military service. A historical background document is attached to this media release.
The decision has been forwarded to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage for inclusion on the National War Memorial Roll of Honour and to notify the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
NZDF personnel will take part in a ceremony on Alofi, Niue on 13 October, 2015 to commemorate the centenary of the departure of 150 Niuean troops to train in New Zealand.
For more information please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980