Gallipoli war diary

Excerpts from the war diary of Rikihana Carkeek provide insight into the tumultuous experiences of a soldier at Gallipoli. 

Excerpts from Home Little Māori Home: A memoir of the Māori Contingent 1914–1916

Excerpts from Home Little Māori Home: A memoir of the Māori Contingent 1914–1916 by Rikihana Carkeek (Wellington: 2003. Rikihana Carkeek (Wellington: Tōtika Publications, 2003).

Context 

Rikihana Carkeek was a prominent Ngāti Raukawa leader who was in the Māori Contingent and the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion. He fought in many battles during the First World War and kept a diary throughout. Rikihana returned home an officer and died, much later, at age 72. His memoirs were published after his death. 

Key questions 

  • What can we observe? 
  • What do we already know? 
  • How might people view these diary entries in different ways?  

Possible discussion questions 

  • What impressions do you have of Rikihana after reading his diary excerpts? 
  • How do the events Rikihana describes in these excerpts fit in with other First World War events you know about? 
  • How do you think Rikihana Carkeek felt during the different events he describes? 
  • Have you read any other diaries? 
  • Why might it have been challenging to write/keep a diary during the war? 
  • What differences might there be between the way a soldier or a nurse described their experiences in their diaries compared with their descriptions in a letter home? 
  • Why do people keep diaries? 
  • If someone 100 years from now were to read a diary you had written, what might be of interest to them?
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