Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Corporal Willie Apiata

Corporal Willie Apiata, originally uploaded by - di.

In 2007 I took thousands of photographs and today is that day when I go through some of them, searching out a selection that gives an overview of the Flanders Fields work .

And I realised that I skim the best off the top then move onto the next job, rarely having the time to go back and see what else is there.

Corporal Willie Apiata is a New Zealand and Victoria Cross recipient. I photographed him in Messeines during the 90th commemoration of the Battle of Passchendaele.

I was curious about his Victoria Cross and found this: On July the 2nd, 2007, Apiata was awarded the VC for his bravery. In part the citation for the award reads:

"In total disregard of his own safety, Lance Corporal Apiata stood up and lifted his comrade bodily. He then carried him across the seventy metres of broken, rocky and fire swept ground, fully exposed in the glare of battle to heavy enemy fire and into the face of returning fire from the main Troop position. That neither he nor his colleague were hit is scarcely possible. Having delivered his wounded companion to relative shelter with the remainder of the patrol, Lance Corporal Apiata re-armed himself and rejoined the fight in counter-attack.

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