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DR. WALKER joined the Armed Constabulary, as surgeon, soon after the breaking out of hostilities, and was present at most of the actions fought both on the East and West Coasts of the North Island. He was very clever in his profession, although he had not allowed himself time to pass his degrees, so anxious was he to indulge in his love of travel and adventure in foreign countries. But at last, finding himself in New Zealand, just before the rebellion broke out, and few medical men anxious to take the field and administer to the wants of the sick and wounded, he volunteered his services for what they were worth, stating explicitly what his experience had been and what he was equal to, all of which he greatly underestimated, as proved by the many clever operations he performed during his length of service--a period of eight years and upwards. Amongst others, he successfully extracted from the back of a Maori chief's eye a large tumour which other medical men had declined to operate upon, for fear of the results.
Dr Walker was a good officer, most assiduous in his duties, and extremely plucky in the field, and gained the New Zealand Cross for conspicuous gallantry in the performance of his duties as assistant-surgeon on many occasions during the campaign of 1868-69, and notably at the successful attack upon the position and encampment of Titokowaru, at Otauto, on the 13th March, 1869, where he was exposed to a very heavy fire, and bore himself with great courage. He has now passed away with the great majority, but his memory is still fresh in the hearts of many of his old comrades.
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THOMAS ADAMSON, private in the Volunteers, gained the New Zealand Cross for good and gallant services as a scout and guide throughout the campaign of 1868-69, continually undertaking hazardous and laborious reconnoitring expeditions almost alone in advance of the force; and for personal gallantry when attacked, with other guides, in advance of the column beyond Ahikereru, on the 7th of May, 1869, where they unmasked an ambuscade, and Adamson, with others, was severely wounded, and the guide Hemi killed.
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TAMEHANA AND HAIMONA AT THE BATTLE OF MOUTOA.
THE Hauhaus of the Upper Wanganui being determined to attack the town of Wanganui, sent messages to the Ngatihau tribe, at Hiruharama, a pa on the river, somewhat nearer the township, asking their assistance. These natives, instead of answering the request, despatched a swift canoe begging Wanganui and Ngatiapa to come to their assistance, well armed, to resist the attack, and holding a council of war, decided to abandon their pas of Hiruharama, Kanaeroa, and Tawhitinui, and fall back on Ranana, so as to fight the enemy on an old and classic ground, the island of Moutoa. These movements were made immediately after the meeting. Meanwhile the Hauhaus, ignorant of their intentions, advanced cautiously, and finding the three pas abandoned, took possession of Tawhitinui, about two miles distant from Ranana, on the opposite side of the river, from whence they could open up negotiations with the tribes of the lower district.
By this time the fighting men of Wanganui, Koriniti, Atene, and Parakino had arrived at Ranana, and were present when a message was received from the Hauhaus, demanding permission to pass down the river, and hinting they would resort to force should their request be refused. Haimona, chief of Ngatiapa Moana, a man of determined character, replied: "We will not let you pass; and if you attempt to force a passage, we will fight you at Moutoa." The Hauhaus accepted the challenge, and Haimona, with 100 picked men, occupied the island before dawn, awaiting the arrival of the Hauhaus, while Mete Kingi, with 350 men, took up a position on the left bank of the river. The advanced guard on the island (fifty strong) was divided into three parties, each under a chief. Riwai Tawhitorangi led the centre, Kereti the left, and Hemi Hape the right--the whole under the general charge of Tamehana. A further support of fifty men, under Haimona, was posted at the other end of the island, at least 200 yards from the advanced guard, much too far to give effective assistance.
The 130 Hauhaus attacked vigorously. The main body of the friendlies, under Mete Kingi, being 300 yards away, and separated from the combatants by an arm of the river, were utterly unable to assist their friends. Why so small a party should have
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been detached to fight 130 Hauhaus, mad with fanaticism, and possessing a thorough belief in their own invulnerability, it is difficult to say, the more so as nearly, if not all, the friendly natives believed they were fighting against men who were assisted by the angels. Consequently we are bound to admire their courage rather than their discretion in putting themselves in a position comparatively unsupported, and from whence they could only retreat by swimming.
It must not be supposed that Wanganui fought only to save the town--far from it--for at that time they were strong supporters of the King, therefore in a measure inimical to the Europeans. They fought for the mana (influence) of the tribe. No hostile war party had ever forced the river, and they were determined none ever should do so. Our friends, whom we left at their posts on the island, had not long to wait, for the Hauhaus came down the river and grounded their canoes on a shingle spit of the appointed battle-ground. The warriors sprang on shore like men confident of success, Wanganui allowing them to land. A portion of the advance guard then fired a volley. The Hauhaus were not thirty yards distant, yet, strange to say, none of them fell, which increased the superstitious belief of their opponents regarding their invulnerability. At this moment a lay brother of the Catholic priest, Father Pezant, who had accompanied Wanganui, rushed forward and implored the opposing party to stop the fighting. No one listened to him, and the return volley laid him dead, together with many others, including the chiefs Riwai and Kereti. The centre and left, disheartened by the loss of their chief, began to give way, shouting that the enemy were protected by angels; but Hemi Hape held his ground, and soon proved to the contrary. Nevertheless, his warriors were driven slowly back by the overwhelming force of the Hauhaus. Two-thirds of the island had been gained, and the battle appeared to be lost, when suddenly Tamehana came to the rescue. He had vainly tried to bring back the fugitives, but, not succeeding, had returned to share the fate of those who still held out. Hemi called on his men to take cover from the Hauhaus' fire and hold their ground. He was obeyed by all but Tamehana, who fought like a demon, killing two men with his double-barrelled gun.
At this critical moment, Hemi Hape, the last of the three divisional leaders, was shot dead. His son Marino took the command. Nearly all his men were wounded, and as the Hauhaus rushed forward to finish the fight, Wanganui fired a volley into them at close quarters, killing several. But they still came on, and for a moment the fate of Wanganui trembled in the balance. Tamehana was equal to the occasion, for seizing the spear of a dead man, he drove it through the nearest Hauhau, whose arms he took, and drove a tomahawk so deeply into the skull of another as to break the handle in wrenching it out. Finding the gun unloaded, he dashed it in the faces of his foes, and capturing another gun was about fire it when a bullet struck him in the arm. He neverthe-
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less killed his man. This was his last effort, as the next moment a bullet shattered his knee to pieces, and the tomahawk would soon have finished him; but his gallant stand had given Haimona time to rally the fugitives and come up to his support. Ashamed of their conduct, they came determined to wipe it out. They fired one volley, killing a chief (brother to Pehi), and then charged pell-mell upon the Hauhaus.
There was no time to reload, so down went the guns, and all went in with the tomahawk. The enemy were driven in confusion back to the upper end of the island, where, followed by the tomahawks of their pursuers, and exposed to the cross-fire of Mete Kingi's people, they rushed in a body into the water, and attempted to swim the rapids to the right bank. Just then Haimona recognised the prophet amongst the swimmers, and calling to one of his best fighting men, Te Moro, said, "There is your fish," at the same time handing him his bone mere. Te Moro went for him, and caught him by the hair just as he reached the opposite bank. The prophet, seeing his fate, put up his hand and said, "Pai mariri; mariri hau." The remainder of what might have been an eloquent speech was cut short by the mere, and Te Moro swam back towing his fish, and threw it at Haimona's feet. This day he shows two gaps in the mere with great pride. Over fifty Hauhaus were buried on the island, and twenty more were taken prisoners by Mete Kingi, who surrounded them in a gully. The loss of the friendlies was sixteen killed and nearly forty wounded--rather severe when it is remembered that not more than eighty men actually took part in the fight. It was only the gallant behaviour of Henri and Tamehana with the men of Ranana that turned the scale and gave us the spectacle of a real old Maori fight in modern times. No other tribe can boast of an engagement like this for the last fifty years.
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AND HIS THREE COMRADES.
MICHAEL PIERCY and his three comrades belonging to No. 3 division of the Armed Constabulary, whose names with one exception I am unacquainted with, behaved most gallantly in rescuing Trooper Joseph Hogan who was severely wounded in the thigh early in the engagement at Te Ngutu. As soon as the order was given to retire they got the wounded man into a stretcher, took him on their shoulders, and through all the horrors of that retreat never left him until he was safe in the redoubt at Waihi, some twelve miles distant, and harassed most of the time by the enemy. They had no relief the whole time, although Hogan was a heavy, powerful man, over six feet high, and fully fourteen stone in weight. The only one of the four whose name I know was Michael Piercy, a son of one of our Wanganui settlers.
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CAPTAIN ALFRED ROSS joined the Wanganui militia at the outbreak of the rebellion, and was chosen by Lieut.-Colonel Rookes, the commandant of the district, as his captain and adjutant. He carried out the duties of his office to the satisfaction of his superior officers during an eventful period of eight years, and deserves special notice for his pluck in volunteering and successfully carrying despatches from the commanding officer on the Karaka Heights through the enemy's lines to Sir George Grey at Maimene. This was a service requiring a considerable amount of tact, energy, and courage, all of which Captain Ross possessed; consequently he ably performed the service. Although many times under fire, and often placed in considerable danger in the discharge of his duties, and accompanying the commanding officer to and fro through the enemy's country, where the natives were lying in ambush to surprise and murder unwary settlers, he (unlike his brother, Captain Frederick Ross, who fell at Turi-turi Mokai, having some months previous been severely wounded at Ketemarae) escaped without a scratch. He was often favourably mentioned in general orders, and more particularly in Sir George Grey's despatches to the Secretary of State for the Colonies on the 20th July, 1865. After the war, in March, 1869, he was made a Justice of the Peace, and, turning his sword into a ploughshare, is now farming his estate in the Wanganui district.
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CAPTAIN PERCY volunteered for service in 1863, and soon rose to the command of his troop of yeomanry cavalry, and up to the end of 1865, did good service on the west coast of the North Island. In August, 1865, he was despatched with the force sent to Opotiki, to avenge the death of the Rev. Mr. Volkner, under Major Brassey, and during the attack on the Pua Pa, Captain Percy strolled out some distance to witness the attack, his troop not being engaged, and, while looking on, a spent ball lodged in his groin, which has not only disabled him for life, but nearly caused his death. This handsome and brave young officer is now in England, still under medical advice, the ball having never been extracted.
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Awarded the New Zealand Cross for distinguished service--His quarrel with the Government--Gallantry at the capture of Moturoa--Pursuit of Te Kooti.
MAJOR KEEPA, or KEMP, son of the chief and chieftainess Rere-o-Maki and Tanguru, first distinguished himself as a young chief at the battle of Ohoutahi, near Hiruharama, on the Wanganui River, about the year 1847, but owing to a quarrel with his uncle, the late Hori Kingi-te-Anaua, he entered the Maori police service for a time, and afterwards accepted the post of mailman between Wellington and Wanganui, an office in those days of considerable responsibility and danger. Soon after their reconciliation the war broke out in the Wanganui district, and Kemp with other chiefs succeeded in raising a Native Contingent amongst their own tribes, of which the Government made him captain, and he faithfully served his Queen and country during the war, distinguishing himself on so many occasions that he was recommended for and received the New Zealand Cross of Honour, for devoted and chivalrous conduct at Moturoa, on the 7th November, 1868, when at the head of a very small portion of his tribe, with which he covered the flank of the retreat, and assisted the removal of the wounded, although exposed to a very heavy fire at a close range; and for the gallantry and constancy shown by him in conducting the pursuit of Titokowaru's followers after their defeat at Otauto on the 13th March, 1869, hanging on their rear, and constantly harassing them during several days in dense bush. His force on this occasion was composed entirely of volunteers, several officers and many men of the Armed Constabulary having volunteered to follow this distinguished chief, besides the members of his own tribe. At the termination of hostilities he was made a Government Land Purchase Officer of the colony, and did good service, but an unfortunate quarrel with another land purchaser led to his dismissal from office, it is said, without any inquiry as to the cause of the dispute, although Kemp had demanded one. This circumstance afterwards resulted in a sort of civil warfare between Kemp and the Government, which completely shut up for a time the native trade on the Wanganui River, much to the disgust of the settlers.
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After the battle of Moturoa Colonel Whitmore in his despatch to Colonel Haultain, the Defence Minister, thus speaks of Major Kemp:--"Captain Kemp, brave, modest, and generous in all his conduct; who never boasted before the fight, who has cast no reproaches after it, who has shown every officer that he is endued with great capacity for military operations, who has exhibited to every man of the force that a Maori chief can manifest a calm, deliberate courage in no way inferior to their own, who has laid up for himself in the hearts of many of the force the gratitude of men, who received a comrade's help in the moment of need, and who has tried hard to redeem the forfeited reputation of his tribe--this officer and chief merits a full recognition on my part of his deserts."
In the course of the ceremony of presenting New Zealand War Medals to certain loyal natives, the following interesting particulars, relative to the distinguished services of Major Kemp, were given in the speech of Dr. Buller, C.M.G., who said:--"Mr. Woon, you have asked me to take part in the proceedings to-day by presenting on behalf of the Government, to Major Kemp, the New Zealand War Medal. I have much pleasure in doing this; the more so because the events which this medal is intended to commemorate occurred during the period that I held office as Chief Magistrate of this town and district. I need not tell Major Kemp that the intrinsic value of this silver ornament and the piece of blue ribbon attached to it is little or nothing. The real value of the war medal is derived from the fact that it comes from the hand of the Queen, who is the fountain of honour, and is intended to show to all the world that the wearer has served Her Majesty in the field, and has exposed his life in the cause of his country. During the late operations in New Zealand, a large number of soldiers and friendly natives took part in the fighting, and, as a consequence, a large number of war medals have been distributed. But I think I may venture to say that, among all who have received this honourable badge, there has been no more worthy recipient than our staunch friend and ally, Major Kemp, the son of Tanguru, and therefore a high-born chief of the Wanganui River--related, on his mother's side, to the Ngatiapa, Rangitane, and Ngarauru tribe--own nephew to the late Hori Kingi, that good old chief who was the consistent friend of the pakeha, and the guardian of peace in this district--closely related also to another well-known chief, Te Mawae, who is in attendance here to-day to receive a medal--and, in addition to all this, endowed with natural gifts of a very high order--Major Kemp had better opportunities than most men of establishing a name for himself among the tribes, and making his mana felt in the district. Nor have these opportunities been neglected. In times of peace, always to be found on the side of law and order--in times of war, always in the foremost ranks of fighting--active as a Native Magistrate, and taking an intelligent part in the politics of the country--Major Kemp has succeeded in acquiring a larger
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measure of personal influence among the tribes than probably any other chief on the west coast of this island. But it is of Major Kemp's services in the field that I have now more especially to speak. I well remember that when I first came to the district, in 1864, Kemp had just received a commission as an ensign or lieutenant in the Native Contingent, under Captain (now Colonel) McDonnell. After performing good service at Pipiriki, Kemp was ordered, with the rest of the contingent, to Opotiki, for the purpose of breaking up a Hauhau combination there, and avenging the murder of the Rev. Mr. Volkner. On his return from that expedition, he served with McDonnell under General Cameron, and subsequently under Major-General Chute, throughout the campaigns on the West Coast. He assisted Sir George Grey at the taking of the Wereroa Pa; and he afterwards fought under Colonels McDonnell and Whitmore, distinguishing himself on all occasions by his daring courage. I believe I am right in stating that he was present at the taking of every pa, and that on more occasions than one he was instrumental in saving our native allies from defeat. To mention only a single instance, it will be in the recollection of the natives how, at the capture of Moturoa, when the friendlies had met with a temporary repulse, Kemp sprang to the front, and running along the parapet, shouted a challenge to the chiefs of the enemy to meet him in single combat, thus, by his daring example, stimulating the wavering courage of our native allies, and ensuring us the victory. In recognition of his services, he was first promoted to the rank of captain, and afterwards to that of major; and Colonel McDonnell has, on frequent public occasions, borne testimony to his intrepidity and valour. When the rebellion had been crushed on the West Coast, Kemp was instructed by the Government to organise an expedition into the interior for the pursuit of Te Kooti and his band of murderous fanatics. Of this force he took the chief command himself, and became known among the natives as 'General Kemp.' Starting from the head waters of the Wanganui, he pursued the enemy across the Murimotu plains to the East Coast, and thence back into the Ohiwa mountains, where, after much hard fighting, he succeeded in breaking up and dispersing Te Kooti's band, Hakaraia, one of the murderers of Volkner, and several other leading chiefs being killed, and Te Kooti himself barely escaping with his life. Major Kemp returned to Wanganui from this expedition covered with military honour, and received the thanks and congratulations of his pakeha and Maori friends in this district. He afterwards received in public, at Wellington, the handsome sword which now hangs at his side, the gift of Her Majesty the Queen, in recognition of his loyalty and bravery. Mrs. Fox, when handing over the sword, expressed on that occasion an earnest hope that it might always remain in its sheath. Up to the present time that hope has been realised; and I am sure all present will join with me in the same expression for the future. But if the occasion should ever arise, I think we may depend on
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its being promptly drawn in defence of our Queen and country." Dr. Buller then stepped forward, and affixing the decoration in its place, said, 'Major Kemp, I now hand you the New Zealand War Medal, and long may you live to wear it.'"
On the Stout-Vogel Ministry coming into office the Native Minister, the Hon. John Ballance, restored to him his position and pension, which he had been deprived of by the former Ministry. Major Kemp still resides at Putiki Pa, on the opposite side of the river Wanganui, his principal fighting men, Wirihana, Winiata, and others, the companions of all his late campaigns, having succumbed to the inevitable fate of all mankind.
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MAJOR PITT'S COLUMN AT PARIHAKA.
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THE Volunteers of New Zealand, in order to uphold Her Majesty's supremacy in this colony, have enrolled themselves throughout the North and South Islands, ready for any emergency that may occur. They are mostly composed of old soldiers and the youth, of the colony, vieing with each other both in drill and as steady marksmen. The only opportunity they have had hitherto of showing their pluck and determination as a body was at Parihaka, when they volunteered to a man to take the field in support of law and order, and were ready to lay down their lives at a call from the Government of the colony. They have gone to considerable expense in uniforms, etc., and put themselves to great inconvenience to attain efficiency in their calling, and if a foreign enemy should ever disturb the peace of the colony the citizen soldiery of New Zealand will not be found wanting. I have often witnessed the eagerness of the settlers to assist the Government in their trials during the ten years of native rebellion and the bravery they displayed on such occasions. Whenever the Government wanted volunteers there were double the number ready to serve, and at the present moment it would not be at all difficult to gather together five thousand men, well armed and equipped for any emergency, at a few hours' notice. Formerly it took time to make a man a soldier, but at the present day a slight knowledge of drill, joined to perfectness in the use of his rifle is sufficient to make him a steady, unerring, and cool marksman, with sufficient knowledge of military duty to be very serviceable in the field. The volunteers are all officered by men of their own choice, whom they have the greatest confidence in; and to show their endurance, I may mention that I have known many badly wounded settlers more than once return again to their corps, forgetful of prior sufferings. The fear of further rebellion amongst the natives of New Zealand is now over, and the enemy who may next invade these islands will probably be one more worthy of our steel, being supplied with all the latest improvements in the art of warfare. But the colonists of New Zealand, to their credit be it recorded, are ready to double the numbers of the volunteer forces, leaving few to be compelled to join the militia. As an Englishman's home is his castle, he will defend it to the last extremity; and the New Zealand settler has brought with him from the land of his forefathers not only the pride of his nation, but his love of the old
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country, and his indomitable will to defend, and, if needs be, die under the British flag wherever threatened or assailed. It is upon this force the Government of New Zealand will have to depend, as the revenue of a new country is required in so many ways to open up its resources that the colony cannot afford a standing army even of small limits, consequently it would be suicidal to its own interests not to give every facility to foster and increase its army of volunteers. In years gone by a soldier was a mere machine, but at the present day he is an educated man, with a feeling of honour sufficient to carry him through great hardships and inspire him with indomitable courage. There is no doubt that the fall of all great nations has hitherto been due to overpopulation, and it is the over-population of the Continental nations that renders war so imminent at the present day. England's colonies have saved her from this calamity, by nursing her reserves, and increasing her help at hand, should she ever require it. For a long time even the Home Government seemed blind to this fact, by refusing to take possession of New Guinea and other islands of the South Pacific as a further outlet for her overpopulation; but her eyes are wide open now, while Continental nations are only just awakening to the fact that England possesses a source of strength in her colonies which will have to be reckoned with in case of any future disturbances of the peace of the mother country.
The experience of those who served during the late rebellion condemns the volunteers of New Zealand adopting the scarlet uniform of the Imperial army, not only as being unsuitable, but as leading to great confusion should the two forces ever be called upon to act together. Each colony should have a uniform of its own, as it has its flag, so that the forces may be distinguishable from one another, while fighting side by side. This would lead to a rivalry which would stimulate all to great and generous exertions. The fighting dress of a New Zealand volunteer should be a loose blue serge suit; their parade dress of blue cloth, with white facings. Even the Imperial forces, when in this colony, found their red regimentals so inconvenient that the Government had to supply them with blue serge suits, to enable them to take their part in the guerilla warfare of the country. Her Majesty, in visiting the hospitals after the Crimean war, is reported to have asked a severely-wounded man in what dress he preferred to fight in, and his answer was, "Your Majesty, in my shirt sleeves," and in his reply he spoke the feelings of the most experienced. All the money the Government can spare should be expended in the best of arms and ammunition, and for a fighting dress nothing can excel a loose blue serge shirt and trousers. Thus equipped, the issue of the day may be safely left to the pluck and determination of the men.
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LIEUT. W. HUNTER.
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LIEUT. W. HUNTER.
LIEUTENANT WILLIAM HUNTER, the younger brother of Captain Hunter, who fell at Moturoa, had no fear in his composition. Arriving on the battle-field of Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu, he remarked to his men, "That, as the ball was about to commence, he should advise them to choose their partners." He had hardly delivered the speech, when, to the grief of all around him, he was shot down. On the side of the pa his company had advanced to attack was a small fringe of scrub, dividing it from a partial clearing, which had a break in it of about ten or twelve yards in length. This was only twenty-five yards' distant from the pa occupied by the enemy in force, and who had taken advantage of every cover, even to the standing trees around, which were all alive with armed natives. Captain Scannell, who was close to Lieutenant Hunter at the commencement, gives the following account of Hunter's contempt of danger. He says:--"I was passing the opening in the scrub, and saw Lieutenant Hunter walking up and down quite unconcernedly. He called me to him, and on my going he showed me the natives in the pa, quite visible through the opening behind their paling fortification, shouting and yelling in the most frantic manner. I remonstrated with him on the unnecessary manner in which he was exposing himself; but he merely laughed, and said it was capital fun to watch them. The brave fellow was soon after shot down on the same spot." Thus fell one of the bravest and most genial officers of the force.
An incident of this engagement may be mentioned here. On the 12th September, 1868, five days after the engagement, a half-naked man was seen coming from the bush towards the camp. A party was sent out to meet him, and found to their astonishment a man named Dore, one of the Wellington Rangers. He had been wounded on the 7th, having his arm shattered near the shoulder, and must have fainted from loss of blood, as the first thing he remembered after coming to his senses was finding himself stripped
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of everything but his shirt. He had probably been found by the enemy while unconscious, and they, believing him to be dead, neglected to tomahawk him, a most unusual piece of neglect on the part of the Hauhaus. The poor fellow hid in a rata tree until it was dark, and then attempted to find his way to Waihi, but for three days he had wandered in a circle, always returning to Te Ngutu, but on the evening of the 10th he managed to reach the open country, and made for the crossing of the Waingongoro river. Here he felt his senses going, and feared he would never reach the camp. How he crossed the stream in his weak state is a mystery; and he himself is not aware, and from this time all was a blank to his mind, for all idea of time had left him, nor was he seen until the 12th. This was one of the most wonderful instances of endurance on record. A man with his arm shattered to pieces, without food, and nearly naked, struggling through five days and nights of frosty weather, and yet recovering of his wound more quickly than many whose injuries were of a slighter character.
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LIEUT.-COLONEL FRASER was formerly an officer of Her Majesty's 73rd Regiment, and sold out in order to settle down in New Zealand, taking up the land allotted to retired officers of the Imperial army. Shortly after his arrival he was offered, and accepted, the command of the Hawke's Bay military settlers; and, when hostilities commenced on the East Coast in 1864, he was sent with a small force to the East Cape, to co-operate with the friendly natives in suppressing the Hauhau rebellion. He was rapidly promoted to the rank of major, and soon afterwards to lieut.-colonel, for his distinguished services during the campaign; as, with the force under his command--a mere handful of men--he was successful in compelling the rebels to surrender, after many well-contested engagements. At the assault on the pa, Kairomiromi, Colonel Fraser, while leading the charge, had a narrow escape from being tomahawked; the axe was actually descending upon his head when a private soldier, named Welfitt, bayoneted the native in time to save his officer's life.
In 1865 Colonel Fraser took command of the force operating against the rebels at Poverty Bay, which campaign was brought to a close in November of that year, by the seven days' siege of Waerenga-a-hika. He was then transferred to the Bay of Plenty district, in command of the Forest Rangers; and active operations having recommenced in various parts of the island, Major Fraser, under Colonel Whitmore, took a prominent part both at the Wairoa and fall of Ngatapa, on the East Coast, in 1869, and during the operations on the West Coast in the same year. After the success of the campaign the field force again returned to the Bay of Plenty, where this gallant officer fell a victim to low fever, contracted at Tauranga, and died, deeply regretted by all who knew him.
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AT early dawn on a peculiarly brilliant morning, in the beginning of the year 1865, the quiet settlement of Wanganui was startled from its slumbers by the booming of a gun, announcing the arrival of the first of seven regiments despatched to crush out the Maori rebellion in that district. The township of Wanganui is situated half-way between Wellington and Taranaki, and is surrounded by some of the finest agricultural land in New Zealand. It derives its name from the river which waters it and is navigable for steamers up to Pipiriki, a native settlement sixty miles from its mouth. As the troops landed all was bustle and commotion, and the quiet agricultural village suddenly became a centre of importance. I was soon on the wharf, and shall never forget the martial bearing of Colonel Logan as he marched up the beach in command of the 57th Regiment--as fine a body of men as ever had the honour of serving their country. Our Major Cooper, then senior officer in command, received and quartered them in the York Stockade taking precedence of Captain Blewett, in command of two companies of Her Majesty's 65th Regiment, who had been stationed there for some time. Soon after, Major Rookes, one of the most soldierly-looking men the colonial force ever had, with considerably military experience, gained in both cavalry and infantry regiments, and who had seen some service, was appointed commanding officer of militia and volunteers. I also had the honour to receive Her Majesty's commission as lieutenant and quartermaster, after having for months served as a full private, doing picket duty on alternate nights, subject to the orders of my son-in-law, who was captain and own adjutant, and of my son, who was a lieutenant. Such was then the fortune of war in New Zealand.
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MAJOR R. BIGGS.
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MAJOR R. BIGGS.
Suppression of the Hauhau rebellion at Waiapu--Killed in the Poverty Bay massacre.
MAJOR BIGGS, who resided for many years on his station in the Rangitikei district, was in 1860 one of the most active and energetic of our settlers, and the best shot and horseman in the whole island. He soon after left for the Poverty Bay district, and there joined the East Cape Expeditionary Force, and was one of the foremost in all the engagements that ensued, ending with the capture of Hunga-Hunga-Toroa, where he greatly distinguished himself--he and Ensign Tuke, with five or six men, having clambered along the face of the cliff below the pa, reaching a spot which so commanded the position that their fire soon compelled the surrender of over five hundred men, and a proportionate number of guns, fell into our hands, together with a large number of women and children, completely putting an end to the Hauhau rebellion at Waiapu. He was warmly thanked by the Government for this service, and promoted to the rank of captain; and his cool courage, which never deserted him, established him as a leader in all the subsequent severe fighting which took place at Turangahika and Waikare Moana during 1866. He was afterwards promoted to the command of the Poverty Bay district, with the rank of major, and on Te Kooti's escape from the Chatham Islands, and his landing at Poverty Bay, the Major collected the first party of volunteer settlers to oppose his progress, taking up a position at Paparata to prevent his escape into the interior; but being summoned at that moment to meet Colonel Whitmore at Turanganui, Te Kooti took advantage of his absence, surprised and defeated his force, and made good his retreat into the Uriwera country, followed by Colonel Whitmore, not only too late to stop him, but the pursuit resulted in the loss of Messrs. Canning and Carr (two of the principal Hawke's Bay settlers) and several other valuable lives, In 1868, owing to the threats of Te Kooti that he would
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attack Poverty Bay as "utu" for his imprisonment, Major Biggs placed nine men under Captain Gascoigne to watch the main track from the Uriwera country, but Te Kooti advancing by an old track at that moment grown over, succeeded in surprising the district on the night of the 8th and morning of the 9th November, 1868, and, dividing his men into small parties, attacked the outlying settlers simultaneously, murdering the settlers, with their wives and families. The Major was busy writing at the time (supposed to be the order for the out-settlers to come in) when he was shot, as he answered a knock at the door, and his wife, child, and two servants were tomahawked.
Major Biggs was acknowledged by all who knew him or served with him to be one of the most capable leaders we have ever had in the Colonial force, and his death was deeply regretted by both officers and men.
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