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Full Name: Thomas Peter Waiata Bryers
Rank Last Held: Corporal
Forename(s): Thomas Peter Waiata
Surname: Bryers
Also Known As: Tom Peter Waiata
War: World War II, 1939-1945
Serial No.: 25824
Gender: Male
First Known Rank: Private
Next of Kin: Mr E.N. Bryers (father), Rural Delivery, Okaihau, New Zealand
Marital Status: Single
Enlistment Address: Okaihau Rural Delivery, New Zealand
Military District: Kaikohe
Body on Embarkation: Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF), 4th Reinforcements
Embarkation Unit: 28 (Maori) Battalion
Nominal Roll Number: WW2 3
Page on Nominal Roll: WW2 61
Last Unit Served: 28 (Maori) Battalion
Place of Death: Tunisia
Date of Death: 20 April 1943
Age at Death: 22
Year of Death: 1943
Cause of Death: Killed in action
Cemetery Name: Enfidaville War Cemetery, Tunisia
Grave Reference: VI.D.14
Memorial Name: Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories
Biographical Notes:
  • Corporal Tom Bryers is listed in the Roll of Honour in the Official History of 28 (Maori) Battalion. He is also commemorated in the Hall of Memories at Auckland War Memorial Museum. He died in the battle for Takrouna.
  • Before going overseas he farmed in the Daragaville and Maungakaramea Districts.
  • Tom Bryers was the son of Eric Nehua Bryers and Annie Bryers, Okaihau, New Zealand.
Description of Image:
  • Portrait, Weekly News
  • Map of the troop movements leading to the capture of Takrouna
Additional Information:
  • The Rock of Takrouna was a key point of the enemy's defence line. Nestling on the northern slopes was the village of Takrouna, uninhabited at the time but normally the home of about 500 people. The countryside between the troops and this strategic feature though fairly flat and undulating was a natural death trap. One of the worst features being impenetrable walls of cactus which, it transpired, had been heavily mined. On the night of the attack each assaulting battalion was allotted three Crusader tanks for the purpose of smashing through the cactus. Machetes were also issued to the men.
  • The New Zealand Division's intention was to attack and capture the Djebel el Froukr and Djebel el Ogla features and exploit to the north-west and north. In other words, they were to secure the end of a ridge and exploit into the hills. Fifth Brigade on the left of the New Zealand sector had for its first objective the capture of Djebel Cherachir which lay beyond Takrouna and Djebel Bir. The final objective, Djebel Froukr, lay a mile further north.
  • The Enfidaville-Zaghouan road ran between Cherachir and Takrouna and was the final objective for the first phase of the attack - the responsibility of 28 Battalion, on the right and 21 Battalion on the left. The 21 Battalion was to reach the road by moving around the left or western side of Takrouna. Takrouna hill itself and Djebel Bir were to be taken by the 28 Battalion. For a detailed account of the whole event refer to 28 (Maori) Battalion by J.F. Cody Chapter Tunisia, April 1943
  • Through the hot afternoon we heard the drone of engines, but in the middle sky only a fluttering skylark, and through the distant anti-aircraft guns a shrill song. At one end of our interminable grove of olives is the road; it leads through Enfidaville to the mountains; it leads to the front line, and to the enemy, and fear dropping like a curtain with the dawn's barrage. Impregnable in his three-motored Caproni, Vittorio Mussolini thought his bursting bombs looked like flowers opening; but the bomb we saw hit our supply column threw into the air a black tumour of smoke, a fungus of destruction.
Further References: The map attached to this record comes from Cody's book, p. 288.
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