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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Defence Department

Defence Department.

The Defence Force of the Colony is under the command of “Colonel F. J. Fox,” an officer of the Royal Artillery, who was selected by the Imperial Government a few years ago to act as military adviser to the Government. He has considerably improved the efficiency of the various scattered forces throughout the Colony, and improved the armament and defence works at the chief ports, although much remains to be done before the defence of the Colony may be brought into a state of effectiveness, should an emergency arise. The Permanent Force consists of 144 permanent artillery, Wellington being the depôt of the Force. Recruits are trained here and then drafted to other batteries to fill vacancies caused chiefly by the transfer of gunners to the Police Force. There were thirty-six men so transferred last year, and this has to a certain extent led to inefficiently trained men being sent to man fortifications at other ports where training cannot be so well carried out. On the other hand about 100 policemen have been put through a course of gunnery, and they have proved very capable. The Permanent Torpedo Corps, consisting of sixty-four officers and men, has also its headquarters in Wellington, more than half the force being stationed there. They have the care of the torpedo boats, steam launches, and submarine mining stores, and volunteer submarine miners are instructed by them. It is by this latter means of resistance to an enemy that the commandant trusts most in case of hostilities, and all instruction work is carried out and dummy mines laid for practice. The Torpedo Corps is also engaged when required in removing obstructions from harbours in the Colony.

The Volunteer Forces include three cavalry and ten mounted rifle corps, numbering 740 officers and men, eight corps of naval artillery volunteers which are affiliated to the defence works, and their work in artillery and submarine practice is considerable and of great value. These companies are highly eulogized by the commandant, especially the Wellington Navals. There are nine companies of naval artillery, numbering 616 of all ranks, which are trained as infantry companies. Of field artillery there are nine batteries with 529 men and thirty-three guns, the volunteers being described as efficient, but the guns and material in most cases useless. There is one battery of garrison artillery at Lyttelton with fifty-four men and officers; and two companies of engineers at Christchurch and Dunedin, 147 all told; and there are forty-three companies of infantry, with a total strength of 2460 distributed throughout the Colony. There are also thirty-seven cadet companies formed from the pupils of the colleges and high schools, numbering 1942. Camps of instruction are held at Easter with marked benefit to the page 178 efficiency of the volunteers. The annual cost of the Permanent Force is £28,730 per annum, and of the volunteers, including drill instructors, officers commanding districts, adjutants, capitation allowances, encampments, etc., £18,615. The out-of-date small arms are now being replaced by the Martini rifle, and the ordnance and warlike stores renewed.

The Hon. R. J. Seddon, Minister of Defence, is referred to under the heading “The Ministry.”

Colonel Francis John Fox, Military adviser to the government was born in 1857, in County Westmeath, Ireland. He was educated at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, entering the Imperial Army as lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in February, 1876. In the following year he went to Burmah, and served in India till the end of 1880, and throughout the Afghan War, in which he acted as staff officer of artillery. After this he returned to England, but was soon sent to South Africa, where he served in the Boer War of 1881. On arriving in the Old Country at the end of that year he was appointed adjutant of artillery at Dover, in 1883 to the Horse Artillery, and the following year as Aide-do-Camp to the General Officer commanding the South Eastern District. In December, 1884 the gallant gentleman was promoted to the rank of Captain. In the beginning of 1885 he proceeded to Egypt, and served as Captain of a Mountain Battery in the Egyptian Campaign of that year. Colonel Fox was appointed staff officer to the Inspector General of Artillery in 1886, which position he retained till 1889. In this year be became Aide-de-eamp to the General Officer commanding the North Western District, and subsequently to the General Officer in command of the Thames District. This position he held till 1892, when he came to the Colony as commandant, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Imperial Service, and as Colonel of New Zealand Militia. In February, 1895 Colonel Fox was married to the second daughter of Captain Russell, of Flaxmere, Hawkes Bay. Colonel Fox has served in every branch of the Royal Artillery, and when on the Staff of the Inspector General had the opportunity of visiting and inspecting the greatest part of the defences of the Empire.

Sir Arthur Percy Douglas, Bart., Under-Secretary for Defence, was born in Devonshire, England, in 1845. He is the third son of the late Sir Robert Douglas, Bart., who was five years Governor of Jersey, and for a similar period Lieutenant-Governor of the Cape of Good Hope. Sir Arthur, the fifth and present baronet, was educated in England, at Harrow and at Stubbington House, Hampshire. He entered the Navy in 1858 as a cadet, speedily rising to the position of lieutenant. In 1873, he was appointed to the office of instructor to the Naval Artillery Volunteers in Liverpool, and this post he held till deciding to come to New Zealand at the end of 1876. The following year he arrived in Wellington per ship “Ocean Mail.” During the Russian War scare of 1885 he was employed as Naval Staff Officer, and in 1887 he was appointed to the positions of secretary to the Council of Military Education, and staff officer of Artillery to the Colony, with the rank of major. These offices he held till 1891, when he went to Lyttelton as officer commanding the Permanent Militia, and in June, 1895, was promoted to his present position. Sir Arthur was married in 1871 to Mary Caroline, youngest daughter of the Rev. William Foster, M.A., of Stubbington, and has had four daughters, of whom three survive. He resides at Wellington.

Captain John Falconer, Inspector of Submarine Mining, is a native of Scotland, having been born in the City of Glasgow on the 7th of January, 1844. He joined the Royal Engineers at Chatham in 1867. He came to New Zealand under engagement to the Government as specialist in submarine mining in 1886, with the rank of lieutenant, and surveyed and fitted the submarine mining station at Auckland. Eleven months later he was promoted to be captain and inspector o submarine mining. Captain Falconer has since inspected the submarine defence and stations of the Colony, fitted up the submarine mining station at Wellington, and taken charge of these defences. He has also the control of all the electric lighting and signalling at the various submarine mining stations. The total strength of the submarine mining corps consists Captain John Falconer of sixty-four men, thirty of whom are located at the principal station, Shelly Bay. Captain Falconer has seen in all some twenty-nine years' service. He has in his possession the bronze and silver medals and the thanks on vellum, and the parchment certificate of the Royal Humane Society of England, and claims to be the only man in the British Army who holds these honours from that Society. The captain has in all saved nine lives. His picture appeared in the Graphic Christmas Number of 1879.

Mr. H. Stratton Royle, Chief Clerk in the Defence Department, was born in Milnthorp, Westmoreland, England. He was educated at various schools in London and at Marechall College. In 1879 Mr. Royle came to Dunedin, New Zealand from Adelaide, where he had arrived about the end of 1878. He joined the Civil Service during his first year in the Colony as clerk in the Defence Department, and has continued an officer of that branch of the public service to the present time. In 1889 Mr. Royle was advanced to the position of first clerk, and at the beginning of 1895 page 179 became chief clerk. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being attached to the Wellington Lodge, 1521 E.C. Mr. Royle is interested in acquatics, as a member of the Star Boating Club.

Clerk—T. F. Grey.

Officers Commanding Districts And Adjutants.

Auckland—Lieut.-Colonel Forster Yelverton Goring, N.Z.M.

Acting Adjutant

Lieut. John Grant, N.Z. Vols.

Wellington—Lieut.-Colonel Stuart Newall, N.Z.M.

Nelson—V.D. Lieut.-Colonel Albert Pitt, N.Z. Militia. Adjutant—William Still Littlejohn (Captain Nelson College Cadets).

Canterbury—Lieut.-Colonel Henry Gordon, N.Z. Militia, late H.M. 44th F.

Otago—Lieut.-Colonel William Holden Webb, N.Z, Militia, late H.M. 109th F.

Permanent Militia.

Garrison Artillery—Major Forster Yelverton Goring, Major William Bazire Messenger, Captain Henry Charles Morrison, Captain John Coleman, Lieutenant John Edward Hume

Torpedo Corps—Captain John Falconer, Captain William Tynan Powell.

Quartermaster (Permanent Militia) — Captain Sam Cosgrave Anderson.

Surgeon (Permanent Militia, Wellington)—John Teare, M.B.

Surgeon (Permanent Militia, Auckland)—John Wilkins.

Hon. Surgeon (Permanent Militia)—Patrick Joseph O'Neill O'Carroll.

Hon. Chaplain (Lyttelton Detach. P.M.)—The Rev. Edward Eliot Chambers.

Hon. Chaplain (Wellington Detach. P.M.)—The Rev. William Campbell Waters, M.A.

New Zealand Police Force.

Under the regime of the provinces each district had its own system, and there was no co-operation for the detection of crime between one province and another. Indeed, rather the opposite was the case, as was very clearly demonstrated on the occasion of the Maungatapu murders by the Burgess gang in 1866. These men had for some months resided in Westland and were well known to the police as dangerous characters and they were warned to leave Greymouth. Dobson, the surveyor, had been murdered, but the crime did not come to light for some weeks afterwards. Just across the Grey River from the town of Greymouth, and not a quarter of a mile distant was the town of Cobden, the headquarters of the Nelson Provincial Government on the goldfields, where were a resident magistrate, jail, and staff of police. It was the custom in those days for the constables on one side of the river to warn bad characters to clear out for the other side; and as the cost of conveyance of prisoners to Nelson or Lyttelton in those days was considerable, many a scoundrel went free because no proper system of surveillance existed. This question of the control of the police had a considerable effect on the abolition of the provinces, and since the force has been managed systematically, a criminal has a poor chance of an extended career or of escape. The total strength of the Police Force is 487, of all ranks, as follows :—seven inspectors, fifty-one sergeants, 416 constables and thirteen detectives. There are thirteen different ranks among these. Besides the Police Force proper there are thirteen district and nine native constables. Vacancies in the Force have for some time been filled from the Permanent Militia, and the system has been found to work satisfactorily; and a number of the police themselves go through a fortnight's training every year in gunnery in the different centres, and by this arrangement there are now 131 men in the Force who are qualified as trained gunners. It is claimed that they will, in case of need, form a useful auxiliary force to augment the Permanent Artillery. Colonel Hume, Commissioner of Police, finds from experience that the number of grades (thirteen) in the service is objectionable, and advocates four ranks only, inspectors, sergeants, constables and detectives, with increase of pay according to good conduct and long service. Besides doing the duties of police, the Force is made use of in various other directions—as clerks of Court and bailiffs in country districts, dog tax collectors, clerks of licensing benches, inspectors of weights and measures, etc. In most of these cases there are small emoluments in addition to the ordinary pay as constables of the peace. The Commissioner keeps an eye over the workings of the department throughout the Colony; then inspectors under him divide the Colony between them; the four chief cities have each a sergeant-major who has a sergeant in charge of each beat. The members of the rank and file are expected to be on duty every day in the year, and are paid for seven days a week, but are allowed twelve days holiday per annum. Uniforms are found by the men themselves. The salaries of inspectors range from £300 to £400, with £50 house allowance; detectives, 9s. 6d. to 12s. 6d. per day; sergeant-majors, 10s. 6d.; sergeants, 8s. 6d. to 9s. 6d.; constables, 7s. to 8s,; new recruits from the militia, 6s. 6d. The mounted men are supplied with horses and fodder, and attend to the ordinary police duty of the country. It is part of every policeman's duty to make himself acquainted with the Criminal laws, and in the ordinary offences the Police act as Crown Prosecutors, often showing conspicuous ability.

The City of Wellington has the following force stationed within its limits: City, one inspector, one sergeant-major, two sergeants, thirty-three constables, two detectives, and page 180 one district constable; Clyde Quay, one constable; Mount Cook, one sergeant and five constables; Thorndon and Wellington South, one constable each; total, forty-nine. The cost to the Colony compares very favourably with other colonies, the total cost for 1894–5 being £93,525 for a population of 728,281, including Maoris. The cost of police per inhabitant in the five chief colonies is as follows : New Zealand, 2s. 6 3/4d.; Victoria, 4s. 4 1/2d.; New South Wales, 5s. 1 1/2d.; South Australia, 4s. 5 1/4d.; Queensland, 6s. 10d.

Lieutenant-Colonel A. Hume, Commissioner of the New Zealand Police Force, is referred to at length on page 144.

Mr. John Evans, Clerk in the Police Department of the Public Service, was born in Tinby, Wales, and educated at Clapham, London. He arrived in Sydney, New South Wales, in 1862, and a year later joined the recruits for the Waikato war. Mr. Evans served right through the campaign in the second Waikato Regiment, and received a grant of land as a military settler at Alexandra, Waikato. In 1867 he went to the Thames, but left during the ensuing year to join the A.C. force in Hamilton. Soon after he joined Major Von Tempsky's troop and went to the West Coast, where he was wounded in the groin during an attack on the escort by the Maoris. The bullet was never extracted, but Mr. Evans recovered after three months, and about the end of 1869 he was discharged on a pension. In 1872 he rejoined the force as a constable, but resigned about two years after and went to Melbourne, where he remained a year. On his return he found employment on the railways in the South Island till 1876, when he again joined the force, from which he was transferred as clerk to the Police Department in 1881. In 1872 Mr. Evans was married to Miss Payne, daughter of Mr. William Payne, of Hobart, and has two daughters and four sons.

Clerk—John Tasker.