24 Aug 2018

Hidden letters found days before NZ soldier buried

From Morning Report, 8:53 am on 24 August 2018

Letters written by the soldier son of All Black legend George Nepia to his high school sweetheart while he served in Singapore have been discovered by his family. George Nepia Junior died while serving with the Fiji Battallion in Singapore in 1954. The family's long campaign for his remains to be returned home ended yesterday when he was finally able to be buried alongside his parents in the small settlement of Rangitukia near East Cape. At the service his nephew, Kerry Rowlands, read out loud letters George Nepia wrote to Esther Kerr. After his death, the Nepia family wrote many letters to the Defence Force pleading for his body to return home. After 64 years that long fight came to an end, which, judging from George's letters, was something he wanted too.