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Nolan Raihania – Telling lies to go to war

Nolan Raihania recounts how he lied about his age in order to enlist.


I went to Gisborne. We all went, not just me, all of us. I was 16 years old when I went to enlist. When asked my age by the recruiting officer, I said 22. I didn’t say 21, I said 22. Then he looked at me, my tender years. “Are you telling the truth?” “Yes, I am telling the truth.” I had no documents with me at that time.

Not long afterwards came the request for me to go, to be examined by the doctors. Not long after came the answer, you can go to train for the Battalion.

 Off we went for basic training. We weren’t in training for long. We came back home, just a short furlough, and then the final trips home before the trip off overseas. It wasn't long at all. By May, June, I have forgotten exactly when now, of the year 1944, we were off. Our ship set sail for overseas.