Expectation of war different to reality - C Company Corporal

By Tema Hemi

Epineha Ratapu is one of just three remaining soldiers of the 28th Māori Battalion. A corporal in the C Company, Ratapu says his expectation of war was different to the reality.

Pine Ratapu is 96.  When asked if he realised whether Kiwis understand what sacrifices were made, he says, "I didn't know I was going to war. I don't think anyone knew what we were up to. As far as I knew I was going for a holiday."

He joined C Company in Tokomaru when he was just 17 years old. He served in Africa, Egypt and then Italy.

"From seeing that, it's just like seeing the rest of my soldiers coming back with me," he says.

Today in his hometown of Masterton, he's still turning up for roll call.

Myrtle Ratapu, Pine's daughter, says, "I am very very proud of my father because he's a very humble man always has and never talked about himself my whole life."