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Norman Piriao Batley

Basic Information



Surname: Batley

Forenames: Norman Piriao

Age at Death:

Honours & Awards:

Date of Death: 10/07/1916

Last Residence or Enlistment Address:
Moawhango near Taihape

Family and other Information:

Son of Mrs. Emily Batley, of Moawhango, New Zealand.

Memorial: Awakino

Service No: 10/3846

Rank: Private

Regiment: Wellington Regiment, N.Z.E.F.

Unit: 2nd Bn.

Embarkation Date: 4 March 1916

Place of Death: Armentieres, France

Cemetery Name: Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres

Grave Reference: I. D. 34.

Cause of Death:

Memorial Image:

Personal Details from Military Record

Eye Colour: Brown

Hair: Dark

ft in

11st 2lb

Date of Birth: 24/06/1893

Occupation: Farmer

Religion: C of E

Next of Kin: Mrs Emily Batley (mother)

Personal Stories

Norman Piriao Batley's death notice in the Wanganui Chronicle, 24 July 1916

From "In Memoriam, 1914-1918" (Wanganui Collegiate School):

The last of the family at school here, he remained for five years, leaving in August, 1909, to manage part of his fathers property. At the beginning of the year he did his utmost to get away, but circumstances made his departure quite impossible.

Leaving New Zealand early in March, 1916, attached to B. Company, 10th Reinforcements, fell in action July 10th, 1916, only a few weeks after he had arrived in France. 

He was despatched with a party of fourteen men to repair a gap in wire entanglements fronting the New Zealand trenches, and on arrival at the spot a heavy fire was opened by the Germans, three being killed and four others badly wounded. Batley was shot through the head and killed instantly. No finer proof can be given of his sterling character and cheerful disposition than his own letters, written since he left the country." 

Connected Soldiers

General Information


The great majority of New Zealand’s casualties during WW1 were on the Western Front, where over 12,000 of our soldiers died. The front was a line of trenches that ran through the western edge of Belgium and northern France, with the German armies on one side and those of the Allies on the other. The New Zealand Division, which at full strength had about 15,000 men at any one time, was just one of about 70 divisions in the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), with many more in the other Allied armies. Though a small cog in a massive military machine, the New Zealanders won a name for themselves at several battles, including the Somme, Messines and Passchendaele.


Armentières is a town in France right next to the border with Belgium. In May 1916 the New Zealand Division had its first experience on the Western Front here. Some of the New Zealanders had served at Gallipoli, but most were new troops. Armentières was a quiet sector, considered suitable for “blooding” inexperienced divisions. Though “green”, the New Zealanders soon gained a reputation for being much more active and aggressive soldiers than many of the surrounding British units. Of  course, this came at a cost: many New Zealanders are buried near Armentières.


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7 Responses to “Batley, Norman Piriao”

  1. James Gordon says:

    Norman Piriao Batley’s middle name is listed as Pirias on the Cenotaph database but his military record on Archway definitely has it as Piriao.

    It’s not clear what his connection with Awakino is, since he came from the Taihape area.

    • Cherylea Hepi says:

      No he was not but had a maori name. He ended up in Awakino because his father had property over that way and there is now a large number of Batley’s from that area He was my grandfathers brother.

  2. margot mclean says:

    I see this young man’s middle name is Piriao. Was he Maori? Should there be a tab in basic information for iwi?

    • James Gordon says:

      Hi Margot. I don’t know if he was Maori or not. His middle name is shown as “Pirias” on the cenotaph database but it is definitely Piriao in his military record. He looks like he could have had some Maori blood from the photo. He came from the Taihape area. I am not sure how he ended up on the Awakino memorial. Presumably he was working there when he signed up.

      • Cherylea Hepi says:


  3. Amber says:

    Hello he was my nanas grand uncle. He wasn’t Maori they just all had Maori middle names, the family was highly regarded in the Moawhango area in Taihape.

  4. Amber says:

    The connection with awakino, his father had property there called piripiri he spent a lot of time with his brother, might have been working from there. He went from awakino to the war. That’s why there is a plaque there for him

Leave a Reply to James Gordon



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