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First World War centenary: Maori soldiers who came to Hornchurch set to be commemorated at remembrance service

16:51 10 July 2014

Maori soldiers graves buried at St Andrew's Church  Hornchurch,
Private Filitoua, age22 and Private Taleva age25

Maori soldiers graves buried at St Andrew's Church Hornchurch, Private Filitoua, age22 and Private Taleva age25

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Four Maori soldiers who died in Hornchurch more than 100 years ago are to be commemorated.

Maori soldiers graves buried at St Andrew's Church  Hornchurch,
Private Vasau, age22 and Private Moki, age 21Maori soldiers graves buried at St Andrew's Church Hornchurch, Private Vasau, age22 and Private Moki, age 21

Privates Vasau, 22, Filitoua, 22, Taleva, 25, and rumoured royal prince Moki, 21, will be remembered at a service in front of St Andrew’s Church, High Street, where their graves lie.

The men were among 102 Maoris who came from the island of Niue, in the South Pacific, to the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital at the Grey Towers mansion in 1916.

However, the climate was difficult for them to adjust to and many died from pneumonia, including Prince Moki in 1916.

The service at 11am on August 4, the day Britain declared war on Germany 100 years ago, will also remember the 211 Hornchurch men who died during the First World War.

It is being organised by Dave King, president of the Hornchurch Royal British Legion, and Brian Hobson, the vicar of the church.

Cllr John Mylod said: “I was shocked to find out that 211 men died so we could have freedom - it seems so many for what was a small place like Hornchurch.

“Although war is not a reason to celebrate, it should be commemorated need we forget the terrible sufferings and casualties.”

Read more:

First World War centenary: The New Zealand and Maori soldiers who enlivened Hornchurch during the conflict

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