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The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period: Volume II: The Hauhau Wars, (1864–72)


page 504


Sergeant-Major E. Bezar, ex 57th Regiment, supplies the following account of the discovery of the bodies of Captain Lloyd and the men killed by the Maoris in the ambuscade at Te Ahuahu, Taranaki, which marked the beginning of the Hauhau wars:—

“On the 6th April, 1864, when the news of the slaughter of Captain Lloyd and his men reached us in New Plymouth, my company of the 57th Regiment was immediately ordered to parade and march out to Oakura and Te Ahuahu to the relief, although, of course, relief was then too late. Towards evening, when we reached the place after a hasty and tiring march, I had charge of the advance-guard of six men. When we came up to the party awaiting us near the scene of the surprise I halted the guard. Colonel Warre said, ‘Move on, sergeant, but look out.’ Hemi, the half-caste guide, was told off to accompany me. Our advance to the spur of the hill where the disaster occurred was from 200 to 300 yards, through high fern. The Maoris, we found, had a very cunningly contrived trench extending up the whole slope, and they were able thus to move up and down the hill quite unseen from the flat and the road. The trench ran out on the level ground a few yards, and the earth thrown out there formed a rise of several feet. On ascending this and looking into the trench I saw the headless body of Captain Lloyd lying there. I waved my arms for the others to come on, and called for a dray to be sent up. The other bodies, all decapitated, were then discovered.”