Scarf Souvenir of Egypt

Production date
In Egypt and Palestine during the First World War, local people commonly produced textiles for sale as souvenirs to soldiers stationed in the area. Usually brightly-coloured, most of these textiles have "Souvenir of Egypt" embroidered on them, in addition to personalised messages and illustrations.

The main illustration on this textile is the motto and badge of the 16th Waikato Regiment, Auckland Infantry Battalion. The badge features a raised arm grasping a taiaha and the words "Ka Whawhai Tonu Ake Ake". This is a shortened version of the statement famously uttered by Ngaati Maniapoto rangatira Rewi Maniapoto at the Battle of Ooraakau in 1864, "Ka Whawhai Matou Tonu Ake Ake Ake" (we will fight you forever and ever).

The flag was sent home by Private John Law of Whitikahu, near Gordonton. Private Law left Wellington bound for Egypt on 14 December 1914 with the 2nd Reinforcements, Auckland Infantry Battalion. Law went on to serve on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. Several times in 1915, Law was shuttled back to Egypt for treatment of injuries and commissioned the textile while in Cairo. Law was killed in action on Gallipoli on 8th August 1915 and buried at Embarkation Pier Cemetery in modern Turkey.
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Object Detail

Department Collection Type
Credit line
Collection of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato
Accession number