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10/2711 Corporal Tuaivi Mose, Rarotongan Company, NZEF

Tauivi Mose was born in Tautu, Aitutaki, Cook Islands on 5th November 1893[i]. As a 14 year old[ii] Tauivi came to
New Zealand to live and work. He was employed prior to World War One as a steward on the Union Steam Ship Company passenger ship SS Warrimoo[iii]. The SS Warrimoo was plying the Trans-Tasman run up to the start of the war then she
was requisitioned as a troopship. HMNZT Warrimoo, on 14th February 1915, left New Zealand with the 515 men of the
1st Maori Contingent.

Tuaivi was not among the crew as he registered, in Wellington, for military service on 6th April 1915[iv] and reported to Trentham Military Camp on 19th April 1915. 10/2711 Private T Mose, B Company, 6th Reinforcements, Wellington Infantry Battalion[v] listed his sister Miss Varopana Mose, Tautu, Aitutaki  as his next of kin. Following basic training the 6th Reinforcements were shipped to Egypt on 14th August 1915. On arrival in Egypt the 6th Reinforcements were given two weeks and on 29th September 1915 were transported to Lemnos to join the Wellington Battalion. The Battalion had been withdrawn from Gallipoli following the Battle of Chunuk Bair requiring rest and reinforcements. On 8th November 1915
the Wellington Battalion was again committed to Gallipoli in what were the final stages of the campaign. Private Mose
spent six week at ANZAC Cove before the final evacuation and end of the Dardanelles Campaign.

Private Mose arrived back in Egypt on 29th December 1915 and on 22nd January 1916 was transferred to the Maori Contingent.  In February 1916, as part of restructuring the NZEF,  the NZ Pioneer Battalion was formed. The Battalion combined men from the Otago Mounted Rifles with those of the Maori Contingent. The arrival in March 1916 of the
3rd Maori Contingent also included men from Niue and the Cook Islands, all were integrated into the Pioneer Battalion.
On 9th April 1916, Private Mose, NZ Pioneers, was transported to France for service on the Western Front.  In August 1916 as preparations for NZ Division involvement on the Somme the NZ Pioneers began digging a 8km communications trench ‘Turk Lane.’ The trench building took a toll on the NZ Pioneers with casualties from German fire but also from disease with mumps, measles and influenza particularly severe on NZ Pioneers who had been recruited from the Pacific Islands.

Following the NZ Division withdrawal from the Battle of the Somme it was moved to the quiet sector of Armentieres.
While in the sector, on 11th November 1916 Private Mose was promoted to Corporal Mose.  In early 1917 the NZ Division moved  to Flanders and the NZ Pioneers were committed to supporting the planned Battle of Messines. The NZ Pioneers were involved in building trenches and support lines preparing railway siding and support systems for trains and forming roads. During the period there was also plenty of repair work as German Artillery tried to disrupt the work. The frequent heavy shell fire and gas attacks resulted in casualties with Corporal Mose recalling ‘having to dig out comrades who had buried alive.’ On 27th May 1917 Corporal Mose was reported wounded the nature of his injuries ‘GSW (gunshot wounds)
to both legs and one side probable were shrapnel wounds from shell fire. Corporal Mose was evacuated by the
9th Australian Field Ambulance to the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station, following triage he was evacuated the
next day to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital. Two days later he had been evacuated by sea to England and admitted to the 2nd New Zealand General Hospital at Walton-on-Thames.

Corporal Mose remained at Walton until 1st August 1917 when he was transferred to the NZ Convalescent Hospital being finally discharged for duty on 13th November 1917. Corporal Mose was admitted, with a viral infection, to the 3rd NZ General Hospital on 26ht November 1917 remaining at the hospital until 30th January 1918 when he was again discharge for duty.

Corporal Mose was assigned to the NZ Reserve Depot, Bascombe while he waited for reposting to active service. In France, in February 1918  Rarotongan and other Pacific Islands soldiers serving in  the NZ Maori Pioneers were transferred from
the Western Front to join the Rarotongan Company serving in Egypt and Palestine.
On 7th May 1918 Corporal Mose was sent to Etaples,  France and then moved to Marseilles to wait for transport to Egypt. Corporal Mose sailed from France on 5th June 1918 and after acclimatising was attached to the Rarotongan Company
‘In the Field’ on 8th July 1918. The Rarotongan Company supporting the British Artillery, preparing firing positions and moving up ammunition used in the conflict with Turkish Forces in the Sinai/Palestine area.  On 22nd July 1918 Corproal Mose was made Temporary Sergeant. The campaign was during the heat of summer and in some areas like the Jordan Valley plagued by mosquitoes carrying malaria. Temporary Sergeant Mose was admitted to hospital ‘in the field’ on 24th August 1918 and reverted to Corporal Mose. Corporal Mose was evacuated back to the 27th General Hospital, Heliopolis, Egypt. Corporal Mose remained in hospital until 1st October 1918 when he rejoined his unit. Corporal Mose was with his unit for nine days before again being admitted to hospital.
On the 30th October 1918 the Armistice of Murdos was signed ending hostilities in the Middle East. The Rarotongan Company was involved during the next month with the disposal of captured munitions and preparing for their return to New Zealand.
On 14th December 1918 the 268 members of the Rarotonga Company embarked on the Steamer Malta for the voyage
back to New Zealand. On the voyaged a there was a suspected outbreak of the Spanish Flu so on arrival in Wellington the Company was sent to Matu/Somes Island.
 
Matu/ Somes Island was used as a quarantine station and the Rarotongan
Company remained on the island for a month to ensure that none of the
company developed pneumonia on the 25th of February 1919 ‘the Rarotonaga
soldiers to the number of 241, who have been accommodated on Somes island
for some time, have left for Rarotonga by the Paloona.’ Corporal Motu with the
rest of the company arrived in Rarotonga on 3rd March 1919 with
Corporal Motu finally discharged on 7th March 1919.
 
Tuiavi returned to Tautu, Aitutaki where he married.  
 
(A second part of this story covering Tuaivi’s life in the Cook Islands and
New Zealand with his final resting place in Porirua Cemetery, is presently
being prepared by his grand-daughter and this page will be updated by
May  2019 )
 



                                                                                                 

                                                                                                 Notes:

                                                                                     Also enlisting with the 6th Reinforcements was 10/2647 Corporal John                                                                                                Richard Hoare, Wellington Infantry. He served on Gallipoli then in Europe                                                                                          but invalided out in 1917. John (jack) Richard Hoare died in 1920 and is                                                                                                buried as a Commonwealth War Grave in Porirua Cemetery.
                                                                           
                                                                                    A second Rarotongan Company member 60744 Private Rui Motu is also                                                                                              buried in Porirua Cemetery.

                                                                                                References
                                                                                    Mose family history
                                                                                    The Wellington Regiment (NZEF) 1914 – 1918: NZETC
                                                                                    Military files note 5th November 1892 but grave is dated 5th November                                                                                              1893.
                                                                                    Paperspast Online

                                                                                    Photos
                                                                                    Tuaivi & Manavatini Mose : Mose family
                                                                                    Tuaivi Mose’s grave on Armistice Day 2018 
[i] Mose Grave: Porirua Cemetery Records Online
[ii] Family history record Tauivi Mose coming to New Zealand in 1907.
[iii] Inward Passengers NZ 1913 (Crew list) SS Warrimoo: Ancestry
[iv] Call to Arms, 7th April 1915, Evening Post
[v] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files:
[vi] Departures, 25th February 1919, Evening Post
10/2711 Corporal Tuaivi Mose's grave Porirua Cemetery