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CAPTAIN WADDEL, of the Auckland City Guards, on the 9th of July, 1863 (then Lieutenant Waddel), had the honour of commanding the first escort of the Auckland volunteer forces that marched out to the front. After morning drill it was the custom to detail on parade guards as pickets for the night. Mr. Waddel, being in charge of the picket, was inspecting the men, when the late Colonel Balneavis, the then commanding officer of the volunteers, being still on the ground, received a telegram from the front instructing him to at once furnish an escort to act as convoy to several dray-loads of ammunition which was required at Otahuhu, whereupon the Colonel informed Mr. Waddel that his picket would have to perform that duty. The Colonel further said that rations would be drawn and everything be in readiness on their arrival in camp at Otahuhu. But on their arrival there the late Major Hunter, an old member of the volunteer force, merely inspected the ammunition and then dismissed the men to their quarters for the night. They were not provided with either blankets or overcoats, and at evening parade it was decided, rather than risk the chances of taking cold, to return to town. Many of the men still living will remember that night march homewards. After Major Hunter had done the honours in camp to Mr Waddel, his men were anxious to interview him. They were hungry, footsore, and angry at the fact that the rations served out were in a raw condition, and the inquiry was made, "Is this what Colonel Balneavis meant by saying that everything was in readiness?" Mr Waddel replied, "Let us see what the others are doing." They then proceeded to the camp fires at the rear of the huts, where not only frying pans, but pot-lids had been brought into requisition, the men being hard at work making the best of the circumstances. Mr Waddel's men were new to military duty, and not inured to the rough experiences of camp life. The volunteers and militia of Auckland, however, were not long in becoming initiated, and rendered good service as the war proceeded. Lieutenant Waddel, who has since held many public offices, must, like many other Auckland citizens, remember with satisfaction this episode in his life when he was called upon to assist in defending the city from an enemy who were literally at its gates.
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PRIVATE JAMES SHANAGHAN joined No. 5 Company of Armed Constabulary, under Major Von Tempsky, on the 11th of March, 1868, not having then attained his nineteenth year, and soon after was at the relief of Turi Turi Mokai, and took part in the many skirmishes in that neighbourhood. He was present at both attacks on Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu, and at the latter engagement was near to Lieutenant Hunter when Major Von Tempsky fell mortally wounded, and on the cry arising that the Major was shot, he and Lieutenant Hunter both ran towards the position the Major held when he fell to try and recover his body. Before they had got half way across the clearing, Lieutenant Hunter also met his death, which caused Shanaghan to pause, and while attempting to carry Hunter off the field, several who had seen the occurrence hastened to his assistance and bore the body to the rear. By this time the men were in a very disorganised state, and on Shanaghan asking a comrade to assist him in a second attempt to bring in the Major's body, Captain Buck was the only one who responded, saying, "I will go with you, young fellow. Do you know the spot where the Major fell?" Shanaghan answering in the affirmative, the two proceeded to cross the clearing and reach Von Tempsky's body. The firing being still kept up briskly on the part of the Maoris, Shanaghan and Buck decided on getting away as quickly as possible, but as Shanaghan was in the act of picking up the body his left hand thumb was shot away, and while changing his rifle to his other hand, a second shot pierced his right hand, entering at the back, and lodging in the palm, at the same time striking his rifle with such force as nearly to knock him down. Captain Buck asked him where he was hit, when Shanaghan, turning round to show the Captain his hands, a third volley was fired, and Captain Buck fell dead at Von Tempsky's feet. Shanaghan then retired. Colonel McDonnell soon after this began to retire, finding it impossible to stop the fugitives. He began by collecting the wounded, and sent them on ahead, staying himself with the rear, fighting his way through ambushes nearly all the way out, and only reached the outskirts of the forest some hours after dark, when Shanaghan was borne on the shoulders of Colonel McDonnell and Sergeant Blake across the Waingongoro river, which was greatly swollen by the incessant rain. Shanaghan feeling nearly exhausted, started with a comrade for the camp at Waihi, two miles off, and
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on arriving was taken into hospital. On their way they met Captain Gudgeon and Captain George McDonnell, who had been left in charge of the camp, and who were inquiring into the truth of a report in circulation that Colonel McDonnell was also killed. Shanaghan says he owes his life to Colonel McDonnell, as it was entirely due to his untiring exertions and care that the wounded succeeded in getting out of the bush that night. It will naturally be a wonder to most of my readers why Shanaghan was not recommended for the New Zealand Cross, but this is only one case of many where justice was overlooked.
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DR. FEATHERSTON, one of the recipients of the New Zealand Cross, was formerly Superintendent of the Province of Wellington. During the war, finding that the General, Sir Trevor Chute, had some difficulty in managing the Native Contingent, he volunteered his services, and accompanied the General on his memorable march round Mount Egmont as a non-combatant, taking part in all the hardships of that campaign. The following despatch from Sir Trevor Chute to the Governor fully explains the grounds upon which this much-coveted decoration was in this instance conferred, and never having hitherto been published, may be of some interest to his many friends and admirers.
"ARMY AND NAVY CLUB, PALL MALL,
"LONDON, February 1st, 1873.
"TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR OF NEW ZEALAND, ETC.
"SIR,--I deem it my duty to bring under the notice of your Excellency and Government the distinguished and valuable services rendered to the colony during the campaign on the west coast of New Zealand in the early part of the year 1866 by Dr. I.E. Featherston, late Superintendent of Wellington, and now Agent-General for the colony in Great Britain.
"I have the honour to state for your information that this officer, who volunteered to accompany me on the expedition and to take charge of the native allies, rendered me valuable and, important assistance in every respect, and was on all occasions most conspicuous for his bravery and gallantry. He was present at the capture and destruction of the following pas, viz., Okotuku, Putahi, Otapawa, Ketemarae, and Waikoko, and accompanied me in the march round Mount Egmont. I venture to bring more particularly under the notice of your Excellency and Government the intrepid devotion of this officer to the public service on the occasion of the assault and capture of that almost impregnable stronghold, the Otapawa Pa, the occupants of which were under the delusion that it could not be taken. The conspicuous gallantry displayed by this officer at the storming of that pa, in leading the Native Contingent into action, almost at the sacrifice of his own life, not only elicited my warmest approbation, but the admiration of the whole force present on that memorable occasion. As I have already acknowledged in my despatches the eminent services rendered to me by Dr. Featherston throughout the campaign, I now consider it my imperative duty to recommend this officer in
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the strongest terms for the distinctive decoration of the New Zealand Cross, in recognition of his meritorious and intrepid services during the period referred to, and more particularly at the storming and capture of that formidable pa, Otapawa, where I must in truth say Dr. Featherston so exposed himself in the service of his Queen and country as to become, as it were, a target for the enemy's fire, thus by his noble example stimulating the courage of the native allies. I deem it my duty to make ibis recommendation under Clause 5 of the Regulations ordained in that behalf by Order-in-Council dated the 10th day of March, 1869, and published in the New Zealand Gazette of March 11th, 1869 (No. 14).
"I have the honour to be, etc.,
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INSPECTOR SCANNELL, as a young man preferring a military career, enlisted in the 57th Regiment, then en route for the Crimea, but was detained at Malta, to serve as orderly-room clerk until the peace and the removal of the army from that country. In May, 1858, his regiment was ordered to proceed overland, via Egypt, to India, to assist in quelling the Mutiny; but he was again employed in the orderly-room at Aden for two years before he rejoined headquarters. On arrival at Bombay, he was appointed to the non-commissioned staff of the Indian establishment as quartermaster-sergeant of the Queen's Depot, and acted in that capacity up to November, 1860, when he embarked with his regiment for New Zealand, arriving in Auckland harbour early in January, 1861, proceeding thence to Taranaki, then almost in a state of siege. He remained there, doing picket and reconnoitring duty, until the temporary cessation of hostilities, when his company was despatched to Wanganui to relieve one of the companies of the 65th Regiment, under orders for England.
While in Wanganui, he accompanied the expeditionary force under General Cameron to Alexander's farm, arriving at Nukumaru in time to assist in repulsing the second attack made on the camp at that station. He was present at the action at Ketemarae, and in all the skirmishes that took place between Patea and Waingongoro River, the most advanced post occupied by the Imperial forces. Early in 1866, he served under General Chute, then commanding in New Zealand, who took the field intending to attack and reduce all hostile settlements between Patea and Taranaki. He was present at the attack at Otapawa, when Colonel Hassard and ten of his men were killed. Took part in all the skirmishing at and capture of Ketemarae, until the following July, when, having completed his twelve years' service, he claimed his discharge, to settle in the colony. He immediately after joined the Wanganui Bush Rangers, under Captain Frederick Ross, and was present at the skirmish when Captain Ross was so severely wounded, and for the next few months participated in all the skirmishes and raids made on the enemy's strongholds, until the force, having acquired complete possession of the whole of the open country from Patea to the Waimate Plains, the natives
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appeared so completely subdued that many gave in their allegiance.
This was the state of things in the early part of 1867, when the Government, from a false idea of retrenchment, disbanded all their well drilled fighting men, substituting in their place a sort of volunteer militia for garrison duty, although it was believed by many that the natives were only biding their time to fight again. And as the eyes of the General Assembly began to open, they passed an Act embodying an Armed Constabulary force for field service, and Sergeant Scannell was the first enrolled, as senior sergeant of No. 2 company. In 1868, No. 2 company was despatched to Hokitika, to quell a disturbance amongst the digging community, and Sergeant Scannell remained in charge of part of the force until after the trial of the ringleaders. In June the natives began to show their intentions in the murders of Cahill, Clark, and Squires, and reinforcements of untrained men were sent up by the Government from Wellington.
In August, 1868, the first attack on Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu was made, No. 2 division of Armed Constabulary with Sergeant Scannell leading. At this attack they lost four men and several wounded. He was also present at the second attack on the pa, which the natives had in the meantime strongly fortified, and our newly trained force were repulsed with great loss--upwards of fifty men and five officers being killed, besides the wounded. For his services on this occasion, he received his commission as sub-inspector of No. 2 company in the Armed Constabulary, and took part in all the operations that followed. On Colonel Whitmore's departure to avenge the massacre of the Poverty Bay settlers, he was made adjutant of the force left to defend the town of Wanganui under Colonel Herrick, and consequently held a command in the skirmishes at Taurangaika and the Karaka Flats; and on the return of Colonel Whitmore, took part in the battle of Otauto. He was then despatched to Whakatane to penetrate the Uriwera country, in search of Te Kooti, under Colonel St. John, and took a prominent part in all the operations, capturing two strongly fortified pas and several native villages, traversing the country to Waikaremoana, from thence to Taupo and Tokanu, on to Lake Rotoaira and Papakai, where Te Kooti's force was seen occupying a strong position under his generals, Te Heuheu and Tahau. He led the attack, killing fifty natives, and taking many prisoners; but Te Kooti, although severely wounded, escaped in the dense bush surrounding his fortification. The European force being recalled from further pursuit, Scannell was appointed to the command of the Taupo district, made Resident Magistrate, and first-class inspector, and was gazetted to an equivalent rank in the New Zealand Militia.
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MAJOR RICHARDSON, a descendant of an old Cumberland family, arrived in the colony in the year 1864, and proffering his services to the Government, was appointed ensign in the Hawke's Bay Military Settlers, and in the latter part of 1865 was first engaged with the enemy at the storming of the Waerengahika Pa, under Major Fraser, which engagement lasted from the 16th to the 21st of November, where we had six men killed and ten wounded. He was then despatched to the Wairoa, and took part in the capture of Te Maru Maru Pa, again losing six men, amongst them the brave Captain Hussey. Ensign Richardson by this time had not only made himself a general favourite, but he was further highly esteemed by his commanding officer (Major Fraser) for his intrepidity and coolness in action. Seven or eight days of desultory fighting followed this attack, during which time we lost at Te Kopani, by ambush, thirteen friendly natives killed and twenty wounded. In October, 1866, Ensign Richardson fought at Petane, near Napier, on the occasion of the natives threatening the township by taking up a position on two sides. Colonel Whitmore attacked the enemy at Omarunui, while Major Fraser held them in check at Petane. It was here that Fraser and Richardson, by manoeuvring, got to the rear of the enemy, and charging in amongst them, cut down twenty of their number, wounding five. For this, and the expedition used by Major Richardson in bringing reinforcements up from Wairoa to meet the emergency, he received the personal thanks of Sir Donald McLean, and was soon after gazetted Sub-Inspector of No. 1 Division of Armed Constabulary. In March, 1868, Major Richardson took part in the engagement at Whakatane and Opotiki, reinforcing Major St. John's force, and assisted in reducing the Otara and Te Ponga Pas. In the following June the Major was again under marching orders, his instructions being to intercept Te Kooti and engage the rebel and his followers at Te Konaki, on the Waihou Lake, but owing to the defection of his friendly allies, he had to retire under a heavy fire, which lasted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In the month of September, 1868, Major Richardson was engaged, under Colonel Whitmore, hunting up the chief Titokowaru, on the West Coast, and in November following, fought at Otoia, up the Patea River, not to mention the various other skirmishes that took
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place in this district. In April, 1869, the Major was appointed to the mounted division, under orders for Napier, and reached that township a day or two after the Mohaka massacre, and received orders to join Colonel Lambert's division, already on the march to Mohaka; but as Te Kooti was found to have retired upon Waikare Moana, the mounted division was ordered to Wairoa to join Colonel Herrick's command, who was organising a force to cross the Lake in pursuit of Te Kooti. But after the punts had been built and other difficulties surmounted, the expedition was countermanded, and the force recalled to Napier. Major Richardson, with his mounted division, was then despatched to Taupo, and joined the force under Colonel McDonnell, and soon came across Te Kooti's track, both at Tokano and Porere. At the latter place Te Kooti lost two of his fingers and thirty-five of his best men, while we lost the brave Captain St. George and Lieutenant Winiata. Following on, the force again surprised Te Kooti on his return from Taupo, at Tapapa, capturing nineteen stand of Enfield rifles and all his camp equipage, horses, etc., but Te Kooti himself again escaped to the bush country, where he was for a time constantly harassed by Pitt's, Westrupp's, and Richardson's command, until he finally escaped into the Waikato or King's country. In 1874 Richardson gained his majority, and in 1879 retired to settle down on his estate at Petane, near Napier, after nearly ten years of active service, taking part in some of the smartest engagements both on the East and West Coast. One matter worthy of note is, that the first five men on whom the New Zealand Cross was conferred, were members of No. 1, the company to which Major Richardson was attached.
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AMONGST those attached to the colonial forces, and who never flinched from his duty, more particularly if danger was apprehended, was Father Rolland. Although of a delicate constitution, no weather or other difficulty ever prevented him from accompanying the force, so as to be near the men in the hour of trial. He was present at both attacks on Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu, and on the occasion of the disastrous retreat consequent on the second attack, he not only volunteered his services to assist the wounded, but bravely took his turn in carrying the stretchers, so that none should be left behind. It was on the 21st of August, 1868, that orders were issued for all available men to hold themselves in readiness to start on an expedition before daybreak to attack the stronghold of Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu. The morning broke with torrents of rain, which delayed their departure, but about 10 a.m. the rain ceased, and a thick mist shrouded the whole country side. This being even better for our purpose than darkness, the order was given to start. The column consisted of detachments of Nos. 2, 3, and 5 divisions of Armed Constabulary, the Wellington Rangers, and Wellington Rifles, in all about 300 men, accompanied by Father Rolland. It was this march that called forth from Major Von Tempsky the following eulogy on Father Rolland, which appeared in the papers of the day. He said: "On a grey and rainy morning, when the snoring waters of the Waingongoro were muttering of flood and fury to come, when our 300 mustered silently in column on the parade ground, one man made his appearance who at once drew all eyes upon him with silent wonder. His garb was most peculiar; scanty but long skirts shrouded his nether garments; an old waterproof shirt hung loosely on his shoulders; weapons he had none, but there was a warlike cock in the position of his broad-brimmed old felt, and a self-confidence in the attitude in which he leaned on his walking-stick that said--Here stands a man without fear. Who is it? Look underneath the flap of that clerical hat, and the frank good-humoured countenance of Father Rolland will meet you. There he was lightly arrayed for a march of which no one could say what the ending would be. With a good-humoured smile he answered my question as to what on earth brought him there. On holding evening service he had told his flock he should accompany them on the morrow's expedition, and
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there he was. Truly there stood a good shepherd. Through the rapid river, waist deep, along the weary forest track, across ominous looking clearings where at any moment a volley from an ambush would have swept our ranks, Father Rolland marched cheerfully and manfully, ever ready with a kind word or playful sentence to any man who passed him. And when at last in the clearing of Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu the storm of bullets burst upon us, he did not wait in the rear for men to be brought to him, but ran with the rest of us forward against the enemy's position. So soon as any man dropped he was by his side. He did not ask, 'Are you Catholic or Protestant?' but kindly kneeling prayed for his last words. Thrice noble conduct in a century of utilitarian tendencies. What Catholic on that expedition could have felt fear when he saw Father Rolland at his side smiling at death--a living personification, a fulfilment of many a text preached? What Catholic on that day could have felt otherwise than proud to be a Catholic on Father Rolland's account?--Waihi, August 24th, 1868."
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GENERAL SIR DUNCAN CAMERON.
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GENERAL CAMERON served throughout the Eastern campaign of 1854-55. Commanded the 42nd Regiment at the battle of Alma and the Highland Brigade at Balaklava; on the expedition to Kertch; at the siege and fall of Sebastopol; and the assault on the outworks on the 18th June, for which he received a medal and three clasps, was made a C.B. and officer of the Legion of Honour. He also received the Sardinian and Turkish Medal third class of the Medjidi, and was afterwards despatched to New Zealand in command of the twelve regiments in that colony, from 1863 to 1865, being finally recalled at his own request, in consequence of the Governor (Sir George Grey) and himself having disagreed on some important points touching their individual responsibilities. This far is certain, that a deal of mischief was done during the uncertainty that prevailed as to their separate duties and responsibilities in connection with the conduct of the war. The General, up to the time of his taking command in New Zealand, had been mainly employed in operations against civilised forces in the field, whereas in New Zealand he had to contend against a brave, determined, fanatical savage race, in the fastnesses of the New Zealand bush, who took every opportunity to waylay and murder all opposed to them; whose fighting pas were a network of skilled underground engineering, difficult to approach, and still harder to take. When General Cameron first marched out to the front at Wanganui he passed the Wereroa pa without attacking it, which caused Sir George Grey to write to the General asking him how he could leave a strongly-fortified pa in his rear. The General replied, "That it would cost too many valuable lives to attack it at that time." And further, that he should require a much larger force before he attempted it. In this the General was right and he was wrong; for had any Imperial force attacked it they would have done so from the front, and the sacrifice of life would have been great indeed. The British soldier was brave enough, but he had no knowledge either in bush warfare or Maori tactics; even his uniform was a check to his entering the bush and taking advantage of his wily enemy. But when Sir George set his mind to take it he gathered together the friendly natives and European bushmen, who by following a known track during the night through the dense bush arrived in a roundabout way just before
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daylight on the Karaka heights, a spur of the range just behind the pa, and which from some points so commanded it that the enemy were easily driven out without loss to themselves; consequently by a little stratagem he accomplished what was easy enough with bush rangers, but nearly an impossibility with newly-landed red-coated Imperial forces. Again, Sir Duncan, after fighting with a foe worthy of his steel, was disgusted with the foe before him. There was neither honour nor glory to be gained fighting with savages; and yet, strange to say, more officers in proportion to the number engaged fell in New Zealand than in the Crimea. It was the settlers only, smarting under the loss of their homesteads and the lives of their friends and relations, that were fitted to cope with the difficulty. They had something to avenge; and when the colony clamoured for responsible government, they, on the withdrawal of the Imperial forces, rose as one man to defend their rights, and did so effectually--peace and harmony having reigned ever since the natives learned who were to be their future masters. To General Cameron, however, is due the conquest of Waikato. He advanced with military precision, sweeping the rebels completely out of the country he occupied and thoroughly conquering it, and winning it for the Crown. As narrated in other pages, he on many occasions displayed great personal bravery, and well earned the gratitude of the colonists of New Zealand for his services.
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LIEUT.-COL. ST. JOHN.
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LIEUT.-COL. ST. JOHN.
COLONEL ST. JOHN retired with the rank of captain from Her Majesty's 20th Regiment of the line, and joined the Colonial forces of New Zealand in 1863. He had served with the 20th Regiment at the Crimea with considerable distinction, his services being commended in the army reports of that period. When the Waikato Regiment, known as Pitt's 400, was first raised in 1863, Colonel St. John joined as senior captain, and on the formation of the regiment, he received his majority. During the subsequent operations throughout the Waikato, at Tauranga and Opotiki, he took an active part in the principal engagements.
In 1868 Lieutenant-Colonel St. John joined the Field Force of Armed Constabulary as inspector, and during the campaign against the Uriweras in 1869 he led the left column of assault by the Whakatane Gorge, his division being ambuscaded several times throughout the advance, but owing to Colonel St. John's indomitable pluck and dash, he succeeded in reaching the Ruatahuna with but little loss.
When the Field Force were in quarters at Taupo, Colonel St. John, with a party of officers, being in advance of a reconnoitring party, narrowly escaped being cut off by several hundred rebels, at a place called Opepe, the small escort with him being all cut off but two, who escaped severely wounded.
After the cessation of active military operations, Lieutenant-Colonel St. John held the position of private secretary to Sir Donald McLean, who was then Defence and Native Minister, and whom he survived but a short time, his death no doubt hastened by the fatigues and privations undergone in pursuit of the enemy. There was no pluckier fellow in the service, and as a marcher, he was unequalled.
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DR. J. MURRAY GIBBS, who was in private practice at Waipukurau at the time of the Poverty Bay massacre, having been ordered into Napier with the rest of the outsettlers, finding there was no medical man to attend to the wounded at Poverty Bay, placed his services at the disposal of the Government, and left Napier with the first relief party on the 13th of November, 1868. Finding Mrs. Wilson, although desperately wounded, yet alive, he had her conveyed to town and attended to her, until called away by Captain Gascoigne, who with some friendly natives was following up Te Kooti, and his first baptism of fire was at the attack made on this arch-rebel's rifle-pits at Mangakaritu. It was here that one of our scouts (Thomas Lake) was dangerously wounded, a bullet entering below his left eye, coming out under the right ear, and he was carried off the field and placed in a gully at the back of the camp. While the doctor was attending him the native force moved off the field, and had proceeded a considerable way before the doctor was missed. Captain Gascoigne, in his report of the 6th December, 1868, says:--"The natives, having been encamped at Mangakaritu for some time, suddenly determined to return to Turanganui, carrying their wounded with them. That he remained some short time to destroy stores, etc., and on coming up with the force he inquired for Dr. Gibbs, and was informed that he was still in camp attending to a wounded man; that he returned and found the doctor sitting by Thomas Lake; that he asked the doctor to make a rough stretcher whilst he tried to overtake the natives, but meeting with McDowall, a mounted man, he brought him back to assist in carrying the wounded man out, as it was of the greatest consequence to get round the hill before they were observed by the enemy; that they carried him at their utmost speed for more than a mile, until, getting exhausted, the captain took McDowall's horse, determined to overtake the friendly natives and force some of them to return and assist; that on overtaking them they refused to return until he threatened to stop their pay. Some men then returned with him, until they met Dr. Gibbs, with McDowall and the wounded man, they having contrived to carry him another mile down the valley. That from November Dr. Gibbs had been in constant attendance on the wounded, half of that time actually living on biscuit and tea, and for three days on fern-root, the
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enemy having cut off their supplies; that during this period the doctor had a sunstroke from exposure, aggravated by severe work and bad living; that he considered that Dr. Gibbs's action in remaining with this wounded man after the whole force had left, more especially as he knew no one in the force would be likely to think of him but himself, is deserving of the notice of the Government. In fact, he knew of nothing better than his behaviour from first to last during the whole native war." Dr. Gibbs next served under Lieut.-Colonel Herrick at Waikaremoana, and afterwards with Lieut.-Colonel McDonnell throughout the Taupo campaign, as principal medical officer, and was recommended by the latter officer for the New Zealand Cross, "for gallant conduct under fire at the attack and capture of those two well defended positions at the Iwa-tua Range, Te Porere, and Te Heu-heu, on the 4th October, 1869. That his gallant conduct and his constant anxiety to relieve the wounded during the five hours' hard fighting, until the position was stormed, was the admiration not only of the force engaged, but also of the enemy, for the attention he paid their wounded also at the close of the engagement." After the Taupo campaign he was appointed principal medical officer of the Taupo district, which position he resigned in 1873 to again attend to his private practice.
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Beginning of the war--First tears of doubt shed--Major Turner wounded.
DURING the summer of 1860, while travelling down the coast to the Wellington races, accompanied by Captain Blewett and Dr. Gibson, we were overtaken by a messenger who had been despatched to bring-up two companies of the 65th Regiment then stationed there, the Taranaki natives having shown fight by the erection of a strong pa on land which Governor Gore Browne had notified his intention to take possession of. We arrived in Wellington on the day of the embarkation, which a great crowd had assembled to witness. The wives and children of the soldiers had received orders to take leave of the men at the barracks; but one young mother, more anxious than the rest, had, despite all orders, taken up her station under the wharf, and as the troops commanded by Major Turner passed over, she held up her baby so that its father by going on his knees could kiss it. The sensation this circumstance caused was indescribable, and the first tears of doubt and anxiety for the fate of those about to engage in the struggle were shed by that young wife. In vain did the clergyman assure her that the troops had only to show themselves and all would be over. Those who knew the Maoris best thought otherwise, and the clergyman himself was but too soon convinced of his mistake, as the returning steamer brought back the commanding officer (Major Turner) seriously wounded, a ball having entered his mouth and lodged in his neck. Thus began a war which speedily assumed such proportions that the Governor considered it necessary to send to England for assistance, which was readily and liberally granted by the British Government, as ten regiments, with their commissariat staff and transport corps, were soon located in the Taranaki and Auckland provinces, the outbreak having been confined principally to those districts up to the summer of 1865, when the disaffected natives, finding the Imperial troops more than a match for them in the open country of the Waikato, left that district and joined the Wanganui natives in their bush fastnesses, determined to fight to the bitter end.
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SUB-INSPECTOR F.C. ROWAN volunteered his services against the West Coast natives under Titokowaru in 1868, and commanded, as lieutenant, the Taranaki volunteers, perhaps the best body of volunteers in the colony. In August, 1868, he was present at the first attack upon Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu, and led one of the attacking parties with distinction. On the 7th September he took part at the second attack, and fell dangerously wounded, being shot through the jaw whilst foremost in the attack. He rejoined the force in 1871, and was appointed a sub-inspector in the Armed Constabulary, in which force he served at Te Wairoa and White Cliffs until the year 1877, when he resigned the commission as senior sub-inspector, and left the colony.