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The Story Of Gate Pa, April 29th, 1864

Reports on the Engagement at Te Ranga

page 38

Reports on the Engagement at Te Ranga

3. Leiut.-General Cameron, C.B., to His Excellency the Governor, Sir George Grey, K.C.B.

Headquarters, Auckland, 23rd June, 1864

Sir,—I have great satisfaction in forwarding to Your Excellency the enclosed account of an engagement between the troops, under the command of Colonel Greer, 68th Regiment, and the rebels at Tauranga, in which the latter were defeated with great loss.

Our own loss was small, considering the number engaged, the heavy fire to which they were exposed in advancing to the attack, and the resistance made by the enemy in their rifle pits.

This very successful action reflects the greatest credit upon Colonel Greer and the troops under his command, who fought with the greatest gallantry.

D. A. CAMERON, Lieut.-General.


Colonel Greer to the Deputy Quarter-Master-General
Camp Te Papa; Tauranga,
21st June, 1864.

Sir,—I have the honour to report for the information of the Lieutenant-General Commanding that I marched out of Camp with a force as per margin. (3 Field Officers, 9 Captains, 14 Subalterns, 24 Sergeants, 13 Buglers, 531 Rank and file) this morning at 8 a.m.

I found a large force of Maoris (about 600) entrenching themselves about four miles beyond Pukehinahina. They had made a single line of rifle pits of the usual form across the road in a position exactly similar to Pukehinahina—the commencement of a formidable pa. Having driven in some skirmishers they had thrown out I extended the 43rd and a portion of the 68th in their front and on the flanks as far as practicable, and kept up a sharp fire for about two hours, while I sent back for re-inforcements as per margin (1 gun, 220 men). As soon as they were sufficiently near in order to support I sounded the advance, when the 43rd., 68th. and First Waikato Militia charged and carried the rifle pits in the most dashing manner, under a tremendous fire, but which was for the most part too high.

For a few minutes the Maoris fought desperately when they were utterly routed. Sixty-eight were killed in the rifle pits. The position was a very favourable one for their retreat; otherwise few could have escaped. The advance force pursued them several miles, page 39 but could not get well at them owing to the deep ravines with which the country is everywhere intersected. The infantry pursued as long as they could keep the Maoris in sight. All did their duty gallantly.

The 43rd. was under the command of Major Synge (whose horse was shot); the 68th. under Major Shuttleworth, the First Waikato Militia under Captain Moore, and they each led their men well.

It is impossible for me in this hurried report to do justice. I will therefore have the pleasure in a subsequent report to bring those to your notice who more particularly distinguished themselves.

I marched the men back to camp this morning.

107 Maoris were found and carried up to the rifle pits, and we have brought in 27 wounded, all severely, and 10 prisoners. Many more must have been killed in the ravines, whom we did not find.

I enclose a report which shows that a large number of Chiefs have been killed, including Rawiri. I am happy to say our casualties have been comparatively small.

I enclose a report of the killed and wounded.

I must not conclude without remarking on the gallant stand made by the Maoris at the rifle pits; they stood the charge without flinching, and did not retire until forced out at the point of the bayonet.

The name of the position which the Maoris occupied is “Te Ranga.”

I have thought this of sufficient importance to request Captain Phillimore to take my report up in the “Esk.”

I have, etc.,


Colonel Commanding Tauranga District.
The casualties among the rebels in the engagement fought this day at Te Ranga were:—
Killed … …105*
Wounded …27
Prisoners …10

Among the former are Rawiri Tuaia, a principal King or Chief of Tauranga, and the Leader of the rebels at Gate Pa; Poihipi, of the Whahatohea Tribe (Bay of Plenty); Henare Taratoa, the writer of the first challenge, and much respected by the rebels for his education and ability; Timoti, a man of note in Tauranga; Kaingarara of the Ngatimataku, a man of great influence in that locality.

Among the wounded is Te Tera of the Ngaiterangi, Tauranga, and among the prisoners Ihaia Motuiti of Te Arawa, Potoma, claiming to be a chief of rank.

page 40

It will be seen that a severe blow has been given to the rebel forces at Tauranga, nearly the whole of their leaders being killed, and I do not think there are any men left of sufficient energy or influence to carry on the war among the Ngaiterangi (Tauranga) tribe.


Camp, Te Papa,
21st June, 1864.

5. Lieut.-General Cameron to His Excellenty Sir George Grey, K.C.B.

Headquarters, Auckland,
30th June, 1864.

Sir,—I have the honour to forward for Your Excellency's information a second and more detailed report from Colonel Greer of the recent action at Tauranga.

The valour and discipline of the troops, and the ability of their Commander, were conspicuously displayed on this occasion, and the 43rd and 68th Light Infantry, on whom the brunt of the engagement fell, behaved in a manner worthy of the high reputation of these distinguished regiments. The conduct of the Colonial Forces also reflects the greatest credit upon them. The enemy appear to have fought with the most determined courage.

I have, etc.,




Colonel Greer to the Military Secretary.
Camp, Te Papa, Tauranga,
27th June, 1864.


I have the honour to state for the information of the Lieut.General Commanding in New Zealand that I have little to add to the report which I sent in on the 21st inst. relative to the engagement at Te Ranga beyond bringing to his notice those who more particularly distinguished themselves.

About 10.30 o'clock the troops were so disposed in front and on both flanks that retreat without heavy loss seemed impossible for the Maoris.

About 12.30 o'clock, having reinforced the skirmishers (with two companies of the 68th) and cautioned the men to reserve their fire (which they did in the most steady manner), the advance was sounded, and the men moved as if on parade. To the dash, determination and steadiness with which the attack was made the success which followed is due.

page 41

From the fact that the attack was made in Light Infantry order, and from the Maoris having waited for the charge and made a desperate hand-to-hand resistance, more opportunity was offered of showing individual gallantry than might occur in much more extensive operations; but the attack was so simultaneous, and all did their duty so well, it is difficult to make selections. I beg, however, to bring the following to the favourable notice of the Lieut.-General Commanding.

Major Synge, 43rd Light Infantry, commanding the line of skirmishers, who had his horse shot under him in two places when close to the rifle pits.

Major Colville, 43rd Light Infantry, who gallantly led the left of the line of skirmishers into the rifle pits, being one of the first in.

Major Shuttleworth, 68th Light Infantry, who commanded the support, consisting of the 68th Light Infantry and the 1st Waikato Militia, and brought them up in the most soldier-like manner, and rushed on the pits at the critical moment.

Captain Trent, Acting Field Officer, 68th Light Infantry, who fell severely wounded when leading two companies of the 68th into the left of the rifle pits, and continued cheering on the men until the pits were taken.

Captain Smith, 43rd Light Infantry, who is reported to have been first into the right of the line of rifle pits, and whose gallant conduct was so conspicuous. I have forwarded evidence with a view to his being recommended for the Victoria Cross. He was wounded severely in two places.

Captain Casement, 68th Light Infantry, who was severely wounded in two places, in front of his company, when leading them into the rifle pits.

Captain Berners, 43rd Light Infantry, who was also severely wounded when leading in front of his company, close to the rifle pits.

Captain Seymour, 68th Light Infantry, who took Captain Trent's place when that officer fell, and led into the left of the rifle pits in the most gallant manner.

Lieutenant Stuart, 68th Light Infantry, who was one of the first into the left line of rifle pits, and had a personal conflict with a Maori armed with an Enfield rifle and bayonet, and by him he was slightly bayonet-wounded, but succeeded in cutting him down with his sword.

Captain the Honorable A. Harris, 43rd Light Infantry, who was detached to the right in command of two companies of the 43rd to enfilade the enemy's position, and afterward brought the companies at the critical moment to assist in the assault.

page 42

Captain Moore, who commanded the 1st. Waikato Militia, and led his men up to the rifle pits and shared in the assault.

Lieutenant Acting Adjutant Hammick, 43rd Light Infantry, who performed his duty with great coolness and courage under a heavy fire.

Lieut.-Grubb, R.A., whose coolness and excellent practice with the six-pounder Armstrong under his command when under fire during the action and subsequently on the retreating Maoris when they had got beyond the reach of the Infantry, was admirable.

Surgeon-Major Best, 68th Light Infantry, principal medical officer, who performed his duty assiduously under fire, paying the greatest attention and care to the wounded.

I can say the same of Assistant Surgeons Henry, 43rd; Applin, 68th; and O'Connell, Staff; the former was particularly brought to my notice by Major Synge, commanding the 43rd L.I.

Lieutenant and Adjutant Covey, 68th Light Infantry, FieldAdjutant, and Ensign Palmer, 68th L.I., acting as my Orderly Officer, who performed their duty coolly and gallantly, affording me valuable assistance. Lieutenant Covey having been sent a message by me to Major Shuttleworth, when he was on the point of attack, went with the supports, and was dragged into a rifle pit by a Maori, who thrust a spear through his clothes. Ensign Palmer was struck in the neck by a musket bullet and knocked from his horse insensible when riding beside me; when he recovered and had his wound dressed he performed his duty during the rest of the day.

Sergeant-Major Tudor, 68th L.I., who went in front and distinguished himself in several personal conflicts with the enemy in the rifle pits.

Sergeant-Major Daniels, 43rd L.I., and Acting-Sergeant-Major Lilley (70th Regiment) of the 1st Waikato Militia, who also distinguished themselves by their coolness and courage.

No. 2918 Sergeant Murray, 68th L.I., whose gallantry and prowess were so distinguished I have thought the matter worthy of being recommended for the Victoria Cross, and have with that view forwarded evidence.

No. 2832 Corporal J. Byrne, V.C., 68th Light Infantry, who, when the order to charge was given, was the first man of his company into the rifle pits. A Maori, whom he transfixed with his bayonet, seized his rifle with one hand, and holding it firm, with the bayonet through him, endeavoured to cut him down with his tomahawk. His life was saved by Sergeant Murray.

No. 3641, Private Thomas Smith (severely wounded) and No. 518, Private Daniel Caffery, 68th L.I., both distinguished themselves by their gallant conduct in the field, and their prowess in the rifle pits.

page 43

I beg to add that during the engagement several reports were forwarded to me stating that a large body of natives were coming down by the Wairoa to attack the camp at Te Papa at low water, the information having been given by friendly natives. Low water on that day was at half-past three o'clock. I was back in camp about half-past two o'clock and artillery, Mounted Defence Force and reinforcements of infantry were following me. I, however, found that every necessary arrangement had been made by Lieut.Colonel Harington, 1st Waikato Militia, who was in command at the Camp during my absence.

I beg to bring to the notice of the Lieut.-General Commanding the readiness with which Captain Phillimore, H.M.S. “Esk,” and the Senior Naval Officer at this station, and Commander Swan, H.M.S. “Harrier,” responded to my request (which I sent immediately on finding the Maoris) that they would lend all their available force for the protection of the Camp.

I have since learned that the report of the natives coming down to take Te Papa was true, but that the result of the affair at Te Ranga disarranged their plans.

For nearly an hour previous to the assault I had seen a Maori reinforcement coming down from the woods, yelling and firing their guns, and when the advance was sounded they were not more than 500 yards from the rifle pits.

I beg further to add that while in command here I have only endeavoured to carry out the instructions given me by the Lieut.General Commanding and if I have had any success it is to the foresight of those instructions, and to the good discipline and courage of the troops under my command, it is to be attributed.

On Wednesday morning last (22nd inst.) I sent a strong patrol under Major Colville, 43rd L.I., to bury the dead and fill in the rifle pits. 108 Maoris were buried in the rifle pits which they had themselves dug the morning before. The patrol returned the same afternoon without having seen anything further of the hostile natives, nor have any been since observed in the neighbourhood.

In addition to the number buried in the rifle pits, fifteen of the wounded prisoners have died since they were brought in. I am sending up 8 wounded and 11 unwounded prisoners by the Alexandra, and nine are detained for treatment in the hospital at this station, making a total of 151 Maoris accounted for. Enclosed are lists of the arms captured from the enemy and handed over to the Military Store Department, and returns of the killed and wounded of the Forces under my command.

I have, etc.,


Colonel Commanding Tauranga District.
page 44
Nominal Roll of Killed and Wounded at Gate Pa, Tauranga, N.Z., April 29, 1864
12th Pte. Wm. Brissington Gunshot, chest Killed
12th Pte. Pat Monaghan 23 Gunshot, right thigh Severe
12th Pte. And. Mitchell 22 Gunshot, right arm Slight
14th Sergt. Wm. Armstrong 28 Gunshot, right thigh Very slight
14th Pte. Thos. Burdett 23 Gunshot, right shoulder Slight, ball extracted
14th Pte. John Ruth 27 Gunshot, left foot Severe
14th Pte. Wm. Power 22 Gunshot, both shoulders Severe
40th Pte. Jas. Hungless 30 Gunshot, left hip Severe
43rd Lieut.-Col. H. J. Booth Gunshot, spine and rht. arm Dangerous, died April 30
43rd Capt. R. C. Glover Gunshot, hd., toma. rt. axila Killed
43rd Capt. C. R. Mure Gunshot, heart Killed
43rd Capt. R. T. F. Hamilton Gunshot, head Killed
43rd Capt. Edwin Utterton Gunshot, neck Killed
43rd Lieut. F. G. Glover Gunshot, abdomen Dangerous, died May 1
43rd Lieut. Charles J. Langlands Gunshot, chest Killed
43rd Ensign S. P. T. Nichol Gunshot, scalp Slight
43rd Ensign Wm. Clark Gunshot, right arm Severe
43rd Sergt.-Major J. Vance 37 Gunshot, chest Killed
43rd Pte. P. Fitzgerald 29 Gunshot, head Killed
43rd Pte. James Lane 29 Gunshot, chest Killed
43rd Pte. George Bradbrook 24 Gunshot, abdomen Killed
43rd Pte. J. Holubrook 37 Gunshot, chest and breast Killed
43rd Pte. Henry Goff 25 Gunshot, chest Killed
43rd Pte. S. Hornby 24 Gunshot, breast Killed
43rd Pte. Fred Tran 24 Tomahawk, shldr. and head Killed
43rd Bugler Jas. Blackwell 24 Gunshot, breast Killed
43rd Sergt. Edwin Young 30 Gunshot, jaw Severe
43rd Sergt. John Hurley 29 Gunshot, rgt. arm & shldr. Very severe
43rd Sergt. Thos. Collier 38 Gunshot, left arm Very severepage 45
43rd Sergt. John Cain 24 Gunshot, right forearm Very slight
43rd Corpl. Wm. Everet 29 Gunshot, left shoulder Severe
43rd Pte. Wm. Bridgman 36 Gunshot, both arms severe, rgt. arm amputated
43rd Pte. John Bryan 24 Gunshot, right shoulder Severe
43rd Pte. John Noble 23 Gunshot, left shoulder Very slight
43rd Pte. Jas Warburton 37 Gunshot, right side face Severe
43rd Pte. George Clarke 22 Gunshot, left shoulder Severe
43rd Pte. John Simmons 35 Gunshot, left arm Severe
43rd Pte. John McFarlane 20 Gunshot, upper lip Slight
43rd Pte. John Livesay 25 Gunshot, rht. jaw and chin Very severe
43rd Pte. Bernard Conroy 20 Cutlass wnd, rt. thigh (ac.) Slight
43rd Pte. Michael Casey 32 Gunshot, right temple Severe
43rd Pte. Wm. Sergeant 35 Gunshot, right thigh Severe
43rd Pte. James Audley 32 Tomahawk, head Dangerous, died April 30
43rd Pte. Thos. Madder 29 Gunshot, chest Severe, died April 30
43rd Pte. Robt. Phelan 35 Gunshot, head Dangerous died April 29
43rd Pte. Jas. Clarke 26 Gunshot, right shoulder Slight
43rd Pte. George Robbins 23 Gunshot, rt. lung, brain pen. Very severe, died May 1
43rd Pte. Martin Walsh 30 Gunshot, right shin Very Severe, leg amputated
43rd Drummer Thos. Wright 20 Gunshot, left leg Severe
68th Pte. G. Halliwell 38 Gunshot, left Nates Severe
68th Sergt. Jas Harmer 27 Gunshot, chest Killed
68th Pte. John Moffat 28 Gunshot, right knee joint Very severe
68th Pte. William Sloane 30 Shell, right foot Severe
68th Pte. Edwd. O'Neil 26 Gunshot, left thigh Dangerous
68th Pte. Dan Sweeny 25 Shell, right knee Severe
68th Pte. Wm. Watson 30 Shell, right hand Slight
68th Pte. John Logan 28 Gunshot, rt. hand and thigh Very severe
68th Pte. Pat McDonald 25 Gunshot, chest and left arm Dangerous (died later)
68th Pte. Wm. Johnson 24 Gunshot, mouth and neck Severe
68th Pte. Wm. Ashton 35 Gunshot, left arm Severe, arm amputated
68th Pte. Henry Black 27 Gunshot, right arm Slight
68th Pte. John Plat 24 Gunshot, chest Very severe (died later)
68th Pte. Jas. Byewater 30 Gunshot, head Slightpage 46
68th Pte. Hugh Toner 27 Gunshot, chest Severe
68th Pte. Pat Farrell 28 Gunshot, chest Slight
68th Pte. John Baxter 27 Gunshot, left Nates, Scrotum Dangerous
68th Pte. John Gamble 28 Gunshot forehead Slight
68th Pte. Jas. Watson 25 Gunshot, face Slight
68th Sergt. Wm. Atheron 27 Gunshot, leg Slight
68th Pte. Thos. McGough 29 Gunshot, neck and chest Killed
Naval Brigade
Curacoa R.N. Lieut. Hill Killed
Curacoa R.N. O.S. Thomas Tenan Gunshot, hip Very severe
Curacoa R.N. O.S. Wm. Fox Gunshot, jaw Severe
Curacoa R.N. O.S. John Watson Gunshot, left knee Very severe
Curacoa R.N. O.S. Amos Smith Gunshot, groin Dangerous
Curacoa R.N. Gunner Charles Ween Gunshot, lower jaw Severe
Curacoa R.M. O.S. James Harris Gunshot wound Killed
Miranda R.N. Lieut. Hammick Gunshot, right shoulder Very severe
Miranda R.N. Gunner M. Watts Killed
Miranda R.N. Bos's Mate John Noakes Gunshot, left shoulder Very severe
Miranda R.N. Capt. Main Top Jas. English Gunshot, left thigh Severe
Miranda R.N. A.B. Wm. Bryan Gunshot, left leg Severe
Miranda R.N. A.B. Sam Ruthven Gunshot, left lung and arm Very dangerous
Miranda R.N. A.B. George Charmbold Gunshot, left leg Very severe
Miranda R.N. A.B. Alex McAlister Gunshot, arm Severe
Miranda R.N. P.M. Levi Keane Gunshot, left thigh Dangerous (died)
Miranda R.M. Gunner George Alton Gunshot, left thigh Dangerouslypage 47
Esk R.N. Capt. Hamilton Gunshot, head Killed
Esk R.N. Lieut. Duff Gunshot back (two places) Very severe
Esk R.N. Q.-Master Wm. Dalton Killed
Esk R.N. Stoker W. Leigh Killed
Esk R.N. O.S. R. Fuller Shrapnel, leg Killed
Esk R.N. O.S. F. Donnelly Sprained leg
Esk R.N. Leadg. W. Allison Gunshot, chest and thigh Dangerous
Esk R.N. A.B. R. Jeffery Sprained leg
Esk R.N. Capt. Forecastle Jas. Knight Gunshot, right shoulder Very severe
Esk R.N. A.B. Edwin Martin Gunshot, hip and loins Very severe
Esk R.N. A.B. Thomas Roberts Gunshot, abdomen Dangerous
Esk R.N. A.B. Jas. Lawrence Gunshot, scalp Severe
Esk R.N. A.B. Jas. Lawrence Gunshot, right heel Severe
Esk R.M. Bombadier W. Foyer Gunshot, left arm Severe
Esk R.M. Gunner R. Ward Gunshot, right thigh Very severe
Harrier R.N. Commander Hay Dangerous, died April 30
Harrier R.N. Stoker And. Greenhorn Killed
Harrier R.N. A.B. G. Young Killed
Harrier R.N. Boy Henry Clark Gunshot, throat Killed
Harrier R.N. A.B. Alf. Lockie Gunshot, right elbow Very severe
Harrier R.N. A.B. Jas. Pullett Gunshot, finger Slight
Harrier R.N. O.S. Chas. Barrett Gunshot, left thigh Slight
Harrier R.N. O.S. Wm. Birchill Gunshot, right hip Very severe
Eclipse R.M.L.I. Sergt. Hy. Harding Killed


Surgeon, H.M.S. Miranda.


Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals, Principal Medical Officer.
page 48
Nominal Roll of Killed and Wounded at Te Ranga, N.Z., June 21, 1864
43rd Corps
Years Years
Capt. Fred. Aug. Smith 34 14 Gunshot, left groin & hand Very severe, hand slightly
Capt. H. Johannes Berners 28 10 Gunshot, left thigh Severely
Sergt. John Cain 24 5 Gunshot, right chest Slightly
Corpl. John Wheeler 25 6 Gunshot, head Killed
Pte. Robert Johnson 18 1 Gunshot, head Killed
Pte. Jeremiah Maher 36 18 Gunshot, left thigh Killed
Pte. William Varlow 24 5 Gunshot, head Killed
Pte. Henry Wilkinson 34 6 Gunshot, abdomen Killed
Pte. Robert Brown 24 5 Gunshot, right shoulder Severely
Pte. David Casey 29 12 Gunshot, right ankle Slightly
Pte. Reuben Corey 28 11 Gunshot, left thigh Severely
Pte. John Drury 32 14 Gunshot, left thigh Very severely
Pte. Daniel Felton 29 10 Gunshot, right shoulder Severely
Pte. Robert Longley 33 6 Gunshot, neck Slightly
Pte. John McAuliffe 29 10 Gunshot, right thigh Severely
Pte. George Martin 23 5 Gunshot, right arm Severely
Pte. John McGuire 33 14 Gunshot, left chest and arm Dangerous, died later
Pte. Charles Morris 25 6 Gunshot, left chest Slightly
Pte. John Payne 23 5 Gunshot, left arm Severely
Pte. William Warner 29 11 Gunshot, left leg Very severely
Pt.e. Thomas Warner 30 11 Gunshot, right thigh Slightly


Surgeon 43rd Light Infantry.
page 49
43rd Corps
Years Years
Capt. H. W. J. Trent 33 16 Gunshot, right arm Very severely
Capt. Thomas Casement 26 8 Gunshot, chest Very severely
Lieut. H. J. R. V. Stewart 27 9 Gunshot, neck Slightly
Ensign W. H. F. Palmer 23 4 Gunshot, neck Slightly
Sergt. Thomas Stafford 27 8 Gunshot, penis and thigh Severe
Sergt. Henry Marschner 31 6 Gunshot, chest Slight
Corpl. Lucas Beattie 29 9 Gunshot, chest and right leg Dangerously
Corpl. John Kearney 29 11 Gunshot, right arm, left leg Severe
Corpl. Charles Clayton 27 9 Bayonet, chest, left side Slight
Pte. Peter Shanaghan 40 17 Gunshot, chest Killed
Pte. James Taylor 34 6 Gunshot, head Killed
Pte. John Timms 27 9 Gunshot, chest Killed
Pte. James Bramble 29 11 Gunshot, right hand Very severe
Pte. Daniel Caffery 24 6 Bayonet, right thigh Slightly
Pte. Patrick Crawley 32 14 Gunshot, face Dangerously
Pte. John Derricott 27 9 Gunshot, left groin Very severely
Pte. James Hammill 27 13 Gunshot, right hand Severely
Pte. Thomas Mallee 27 9 Gunshot, right thigh Severely
Pte. John Mannion 29 6 Gunshot, right leg Severely
Pte. Lawrence Mannion 27 6 Gunshot, left side and spine Dangerously, died 22/6/64
Pte. John Martin 30 16 Gunshot, abdomen Severely
Pte. Patrick McGregor 27 9 Gunshot, right foot, left leg Severely
Pte. John Purdy 29 9 Gunshot, face Dangerously
Pte. Isaac Sargent 24 6 Gunshot, right foot Slightly
Pte. George Smith 33 6 Gunshot, lower jaw Dangerously, died June 21
Pte. John Smith 29 9 Gunshot, left leg and head Severely
Pte. Thomas Smith 28 9 Bayonet, right groin Severely
Pte. Abbott Thrift 25 6 Gunshot, right leg Severely
Pte. Henry Wade 23 6 Gunshot, left thigh Severely


Surgeon Major, 68th Light Infantry.