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The Story Of Gate Pa, April 29th, 1864


“Brigadier-General G. B. Mackenzie has kindly forwarded to me, as representing Lichfield Cathedral, your very interesting note, and newspaper extract, about the monument in the military cemetery at Tauranga; and I write at once to thank you heartily as Dean and on behalf of all the Chapter, for your thoughtful courtesy in sending us this information, which we gratefully appreciate.

“The ‘English Memoral to a Maori,’ to which the newspaper refers, is in the Close of Lichfield, but not actually in the Cathedral. It was placed by Bishop Selwyn, when he came to this Diocese in 1867, in his Episcopal Chapel which he built on to the Bishop's Palace in this Close, immedately opposite to the North side of the Cathedral, where it still remains. But he did not add any inscription to explain the heroic deed which it commemorated. That story, however, was told in Bishop Selwyn's Life, which was written after his death in 1878; and therefore is known to all who are intimately associated with Lichfield Cathedral.

“To me personally it has a peculiar interest; because a cousin of mine, Captain Utterton, lost his life in the action at Gate Pa on 29th April, 1864; and I remember hearing, as a boy of 10 years old, when the news of his death came through from New Zealand how when he was lying wounded in the night that followed, a brave Christian Maori chivalrously brought him a calabash of water; and I never forgot that noble act. But I was not aware, nor was any one else here, that it had been so finely recorded in that local monu ment at Tauranga erected in 1914, until now when we owe our page 87 knowledge of it to your kind thought in sending us your copy of the inscription on it. I do indeed thank you sincerely for it.

“Your sympathetic account of this memorial will be carefully preserved among our Cathedral records.

Yours truly



Dean of Lichfield.”