More Top Stories

National
Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Business

Moment of truth at COP27

12 November 2022

Local

We’re halfway there!

16 November 2022

Paddling

From the river to the ocean

18 November 2022

‘We will remember them’: Armistice service for fallen Cook Islands WWI heroes

Friday 11 November 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Features, Local, Memory Lane, National

Share

‘We will remember them’: Armistice service for fallen Cook Islands WWI heroes
Paul Morrissey, Paula Paniani and Cate Walker at the grave of Private Tuainerenga Kopukoao 60721 WWI at the Nikao Cemetery. 22111003

At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month – we will remember them. Today is Armistice Day which marks the agreement to end World War I with peace negotiations that began at 11am on 11 November 1918.

The Returned & Services Association Cook Islands (RSA) at Nikao will hold an Armistice service at 11am today. People interested to attend the service are encouraged to arrive early.

Between 370 and 410 Cook Islanders who served in World War I died in the Cook Islands following the war.

Meanwhile the Cook Islands World War I Soldier Search Team is back in action this week – Cate Walker and her partner Paul Morrissey from Australia have teamed up again with Paula Paniani from the National Archives and Film Producer Julie Taripo.

They are on the search for 34 WWI veterans out of the 205 whom they believe are buried on Rarotonga and to record and use GPS (Global Positioning System) for the graves on the island.

“There could be more, because there are 40 WWI Cook Islands soldiers who we have no information about where they are buried,” said Walker.

“We are asking people now if they can give us a call if there are any overgrown burial sites in particular, since we have found soldiers in overgrown sites.”

The team is collating its voluntary research, “which in due course, will be gifted to National Archives Cook Islands for the benefit of future generations,” Walker said.

From November 14 to 18, the team will be in Mauke to search for 24 WWI soldiers.

If anyone has any information to the whereabouts of the graves of the remaining veterans, please contact Paula Paniani (58015) or Cate Walker (85035).

To access the list of remaining veterans, visit www.cookislandsnews.com and search for this story.

1. Pte Henry (also known as Harry) ATAATAIVI (16/1206, 1st Contingent). Born Mangaia. Next of kin/Family member/s: Arapoiti (Father), Mangaia. Possibly buried in Nikao or next door to the LDS Church in Avarua.

2. Pte D TEINA (also known as TEIVA (16/1225, 1st & 5th Contingents). Born Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia. Next of kin/Family member/s: Father was from Niue, Ina (Mother), Arorangi, Rarotonga. His name is not on the Cook Islands Roll of Honour Board. Grave Location is unknown. His unclaimed military headstone in the name of “D TEINA” is located at the Cook Islands RSA, Nikao, Rarotonga.

3. Pte Paurini HAU also known as Hau PAURANI / Hau PAURANGI (19241, 2nd Contingent). Born Rarotonga. Next of kin/Family member/s: Paurangi (Father). “Medically Unfit” (Club Foot) before proceeding on overseas service. Discharged 16/12/1916. Not listed on CI Roll of Honour board. Possibly buried in Tupapa.

4. Pte Kao TOKOMAURI also known as Kao UARENGA or Kao VARENGA (19255, 2nd Contingent). Born Mangaia. Next of kin/Family member/s: Maki (Sister) Tokakainga (Brother-in-Law), Wife recorded as Tangiaere (deceased). Headstone/grave location is unknown.

5. Pte Motu TEKIRI also known as TE KIRI / Tekiri ITI (19319, 2nd Contingent). Born Mangaia. Next of kin/Family member/s: Tarerea Ararpoti (Wife), Rarotonga, Tekiri Motu (Father).

6. Pte Uri NIKOIA (60642, 3rd Contingent). Born Rarotonga. Next of kin/Family member/s: Nikoia (father), Tarura (wife).

7. Pte Tearii Vaatau PAITAI (60649, 3rd Contingent). Born Rarotonga. Next of kin/Family member/s: Moumou (Mother), Ngatangiia, Rarotonga.

8. Pte Peta TEI also known as Tei PETA / Peta TEINAMATE (60651, 3rd Contingent). Born Mangaia. Next of kin/Family member/s: Tei (Father), Mangaia. Burial location is unknown, although his broken headstone was found at Wigmore’s store Vaimaanga and is now at the Cook Islands RSA, Nikao, Rarotonga.

9. Pte Brown TIA (60698, 3rd Contingent). Born Raiatea, Society Islands, French Polynesia. Next of kin/Family member/s: Tia (Father), Mauri (Mother), Tahiri Tia (Wife).

10. Pte Rua Iti RUAVAIKATAU also known as Rua VAIKATAU (60714, 3rd Contingent). Born Rarotonga. Next of kin/Family member/s: Rua Vaikatau (Father), Mata (Mother). Likely to be buried in Titikaveka. Unclaimed military headstone located at Cook Islands RSA, Nikao, Rarotonga.

11. Pte Rorini KINO also known as Rorani KINO (60739, 3rd Contingent). Born Mangaia. Next of kin/Family member/s: Poiri Kino (Wife), Kino (Father).

12. Pte Tuakanaiti TUIKAA (60741, 3rd Contingent). Born Mangaia. Next of kin/Family member/s: Tuikaa (Father), Mangaia.

13. L. Corp Ono TAAKI (60743, 3rd Contingent). Born Rarotonga. Next of kin/Family member/s: Patara (Wife).

14. Pte Maiti RAU (60746, 3rd Contingent). Born Rarotonga. Next of kin/Family member/s: Kopu Rau (Wife), Tauta (aka Tauta Taeakekore) (Father) and Poupare (aka Poupouvare), (Mother).

15. Pte Charlie SMITH also know. As Tiare Smith (60753, 3rd Contingent). Born Mangaia. Next of kin/Family member/s: Charlie Smith (Father). Possibly buried in Titikaveka.

16. Pte Tangatatutai MAKITIRA also known as Tutai MAKITIRA (60779, 3rd Contingent). Born Mauke. Next of kin/Family member/s: Makitira (Father). Broken headstone lying in Panama Catholic Cemetery. 

17. Pte TEOKOTAI (60783 3rd Contingent). Born Paumotu, Society Islands, French Polynesia. Next of kin/Family member/s: Teokotai (Father), Ngatangiia, Rarotonga, Tangia (Mother) Paumotu, Society Islands. Military headstone is unclaimed and at the Cook Islands RSA Nikao, Rarotonga.

18. Pte Tutai TUAKANAKORE (84534, 4th Rarotongan Contingent). Born Mangaia. Next of kin/family members: Tuakanakore (Father), Makianu (Mother). The headstone of this soldier had unfortunately been placed on another soldiers grave in Mangaia.

19. L. Corp Paku KEA (84542, 4th Contingent). Born Atiu. Next of kin/Family member/s: Marenga P Kea (Wife).

20. Pte Tutara ONGOROAITI (84548, 4th Contingent). Born Mangaia. Next of kin/Family member/s: Tereakama Ongoroaiti (Wife) Mangaia.

21. Pte Taura TIMANI also known as Timani TAURA/Taura (84553, 4th Contingent). Born Aitutaki. Next of kin/Family member/s: Taura (Father born Rarotonga) and Mangungu (Mother born Aitutaki).  

22. Pte Mataorakore MATEATEA also known as Mateatea MATAORAKORE (84574, 4th Contingent). Born Mangaia. Next of kin/Family member/s: Tinoparu Taku (sister). This veteran is the brother of Soldier Pte Teakataa MATEATEA 84580 (below).

23. Pte Kavaeiti PEIAA also known as Kavae PEIAA (84576, 4th Contingent). Born in Mangaia. Next of kin/Family member/s: Iu PEIAA (Wife), Peiaa (Father), Tari (Mother). Death Register says "Buried in Matavera".

24. Pte Teakataa MATEATEA (84580, 4th Contingent). Born Mangaia. Brother of soldier Pte Mataorakore MATEATEA 84574 (above). Possibly buried in Titikaveka.

25. Pte Natana MARAMA (5th Contingent). Place of birth unknown. Next of kin/Family member/s: Marama (Father), Te Paeru (Mother).

26. Pte Taomia MATAITI (5th Contingent). Place of birth unknown. Next of kin/Family member/s: Engu Iti (Father), Titi (Mother). Possibly buried in Arorangi, Rarotonga.

27. Pte Toa PEU (5th Contingent). Place of birth unknown. Next of kin/Family member/s: Peu (Father). Possibly buried in Ruatonga, Rarotonga.

28. Pte Kau KAUTAI also known as Kautangi Kautai/Katangi (5th Contingent). Place of birth possibly Rarotonga. Next of kin/Family member/s: Kautai (Father), Ngapoko (Mother).