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37771 Private Joe Bird Cotton (aka  Manu Katene)
 
Joe Bird Cotton was born on the 17th August 1898 at Motueka, Nelson the son of Wiremu (William) and Hareti  (Harriette)    also known as Karani Katene.[i]

Hareti and Wiremu had thirteen children but when Hareti died the family was split with the children going to live with members of their whanau. 
 
When Manu  enlisted in 1916 he did so as Joe Bird Cotton and listed his date of birth as 17th August 1896 which would
have made him 20 rather than just 18.  Joe is listed as  working as a fitter on the farm of John Wall in Porirua. Joe entered camp on the 16th October 1916 as 37771 Private Joe Bird Cotton, E Company, 22nd Reinforcements later transferring to
F Company of the 23rd Reinforcements and then to the 16th Maori Reinforcements.  

From military files he lists his brother Harry Cotton as a next of kin and later Mrs Isabella Katene of Ponsonby, Auckland. Cross reference shows that Harry Cotton is Hari Wi Katene a civil servant working in the Native (Maori Land Courts).[ii]

Private Cotton left New Zealand on the 26th April 1917 and arrived in England being marched into Sling Camp on 28th July 1917. Following training at Sling Private Cotton sailed for France on the 1st September 1917. In France Private Cotton
joined the Pioneer (Maori) Battalion.
 
Private Cotton was admitted to hospital in France in December 1917, then in March
1918 for two months before rejoining the Battalion in June 1918. Private Cotton was
again admitted to hospital in August 1918. This time the admission to hospital
resulted in Private Cotton being evacuated from France to England and to the
New Zealand General Hospital at Hornechurch.
 
There is only one entry which simply notes that he was finally diagnosed
‘war psychosis.’ Known as ‘Shell Shock’ a term coined to describe the reaction of
some soldiers in World War One to the trauma of battle. It was a reaction to the
intensity of the bombardment and fighting that produced a helplessness appearing
variously as panic and being scared, or flight, an inability to reason, sleep, walk or
talk.[iii]
 
Private Cotton remained in England in the Convalescent Hospital at Godford before
being shipped, on 22nd February 1919 on the SS Westmoreland back to New Zealand.
While on the SS Westmoreland Private went through a medical check prior to his
demobilisation he was give a clean bill of health (physical).[iv]

37771 Private Joe Bird Cotton c 1919 

Also sailing on SS Westmoreland was Private Joe Cotton's elder brothers 
19927 Corporal Hari Wi Katene and 16/635 Lance Corporal Taku Katene. 
 
Private Cotton was discharged from the NZEF in the 4th May 1919 on ‘termination of
period of engagement.’ Joe indicated he was going to live in Wellinton giving his address
as simply c/- GPO Wellington. 

On the 6th November 1921 the death of Joe Bird Cotton is listed in the New Zealand index of deaths.[v] Military files only note the death occurred at Trentham, Wellington.[vi]
 
The 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force Roll of Honour lists 37771 Private Joe Bird Cotton, Maori Pioneers. This roll provides an index of soldiers from the NZEF who died as a result of their military service, between 1914 and 1919. The roll is divided into three sections: person who were killed in action or died of wounds, persons who died from wounds or disease after discharge from the NZEF and persons who died from accidents or disease while in training in New Zealand while in training in New Zealand.[vii]
 
Joe Bird Cotton is listed in the second section of the Roll of Honour and his family received the Commemorative (Death) Plaque as well as the British War and Victory Medals. Manu Katene is buried in Pukerua Bay.

Five Katene brothers served in World War One all in the Maori Battalion: 
37771 Private Joe Bird Cotton,
19927 Corporal Hari Wi Katene,
16/636 Lance Corporal Rangi Wi Katene
16/635 Private Taku Katene
16/792 Private Frederick Bennett Wi Katene


Lance Corporal Taku Katene (left)
Private Joe Bird Cotton (Manu Katene) seated
Corporal Hari Wi Katene (right)
c1919 

Notes
The Katene whanue Thanks to the Katene whanau who identified the photograph and provided information on all of the five brothers

 
Reference
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 37771 Private Joe Bird Cotton
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 19927 Corporal Hari Wi Katene
NZ BDM Online
Papers Past Online
Ancestry.com. New Zealand Army WWI Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 
 
Photos
background and article Katene brothers Taku, Hari and Manu Katene - Pataka Museum
cropped Manu Katene - Pataka Museum  
 
[i] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 37771 Private Joe Bird Cotton
[ii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 19927 Corporal Hari Wi Katene
[iii] Shell Shock – Wikipedia
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 19927 Corporal Hari Wi Katene
[v] NZ BDM Deaths Joe Bird Cotton 1921/7108
[vi] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 19927 Corporal Hari Wi Katene
[vii] Ancestry.com definition of NZ Army WW1 Roll of Honour, 1914 - 1919
 
 
Katene brothers in New Zealand c 1919