The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 4 (July 1, 1938.)
The Fight in the Trench
The Fight in the Trench.
“There was a hasty consultation, and then the Tigers descended into the wide ditch on the right of the work, and the company of the 12th Regiment into the ditch on the left, and both parties made their way towards the front of the redoubt, where hand-grenades had been hurled among the crowded warriors. Some of the Artillery, unable to depress their guns sufficiently, got shells, and having cut short the fuses, ignited them, rolled them over the parapet, so that falling they exploded, spreading havoc around them.
“In vain the doomed Maoris tried to pick up the sputtering hand-grenades and fling them back. They were packed too closely together, and the horrid things exploded amongst them with grim result. The warriors feared to quit the ditch and retire. This would have exposed them to the fires of the rifles which lined the parapet; besides, amongst them were many of the brave Ngati-Maniapoto and other Waikato tribes, whose motto was ‘Death before dishonour.'
“On came the Tigers along the side ditch. The firing slackened and ceased page 11 for a moment, there was a pause. It was evident that a volley would greet the head of the little column as it turned the corner to make its way into the front ditch which the attackers occupied.
“Let me through, men!’ shouts Charlie Broadmayne, in command of the Light Company, as he struggles to make his way through the throng. ‘I'll give you a lead.'
“Private Thomas Bridges was in front, and alongside him Pat Ryan, a great hairy Irishman, one of the smartest soldiers in the field, but the greatest scamp in the regiment, the despair of the Adjutant and Sergeant-Major whenever liquor was procurable.
“'Lead be damned!’ shouts Pat, dashing on. ‘Yer sowls to glory, boys!’ Half a dozen muskets ring out. Down goes poor Pat with a bullet through the forehead. Tom Bridges was by his side, staggers against the counterscarp; a ball has struck him in the face and carried away part of his upper lip and some of his teeth. But on go the Tigers with a wild shout. The garrison deliver a volley, and then hold their hand to avoid hitting the Tigers and the 12th men, who have scrambled up the counterscarp of the ditch and are now scattered in pursuit of the flying foes. There is no time for the Tigers to reload their Enfields. The bayonet does its deadly work. The swifter-footed of the fugitives gain the shelter of the bush, and then the bugles sounding the recall check the pursuit. The repulse is complete.