Home-Tiniroto through the looking glass

The Army in Tiniroto

Has the Army ever come here?

Yes the army did come here to Tiniroto because they were chasing Te Kooti through after he had escaped and was evading the red coats. See the page on Te Kooti.

By Matewai

During World War Two communities got together Home Guards to protect the home area and our area certainly had a strong Home Guard.

Here is a story from Mr Berry whose family has been in the Tiniroto area since the very early days.

“Sometime in the middle WWII an army regiment in training advanced through the Tiniroto road to carry out exercises with the various Home Guard sections. I was returning from my mission of “blowing up” the Te Reinga bridge when a rather self-important looking young officer with his uniform covered in flour came back to report that he was out of the fight. He was furious at being humiliated and having his smart uniform ruined by a mere home guardsman. All in the car acted concerned and sympathetic until he left for the rear. Then from the colonel down to the driver they all started to laugh. I imagine that another wave of laughed followed his passage to the rear. Doubt whether he was the most popular officer in the regiment. He had been leading the advance guard in a mock up armoured car consisting of a tall square box on the tray of a small ute. With his head and shoulders exposed he had received a flour bag bomb (a brown paper bag full of flour used to simulate a hand grenade) thrown accurately by Syd's father Dick Kent. The troops all piled out to grab Dick but couldn't find him until he chuckled from under a heap of bracken fern. Dick would have made the best guerrilla fighter in our outfit as he had a habit of suddenly disappearing and re-appearing where least expected, especially at night. A later report from the army congratulated Tiniroto for the best effort of the day. The army were a bit more cautious after that and rumour had it that they captured the Waerenga-o-Kuri section having morning tea, but that was probably an exaggeration…”.

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Here is a story that Syd Kent told me

"One day, they got their own back on us. We used to bring horses back and tie them under the trees. Fred Law, Hooky Law and one other were hiding up the trees with flour bombs and they bombed us!"

They said “That teaches you to keep your eyes open, look around”….They thought they would teach us a lesson and they did.

When Mr Kent was away in Egypt during WW2 he used to get parcels all the way from Tiniroto to cheer him up. We found a Roll of Honour in the Tiniroto Hall that listed all of the soldiers from the Tiniroto area and it was made by the Tiniroto Gift Club. It was this group that used to get together and send the packages over to the soldiers during war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sydney Kent

 

By Ethan

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