Title: Robley — Soldier with a Pencil

Author: L. W. Melvin

Publication details: Tauranga Historical Society, 1957

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Ronald Melvin

Part of: The Moko Texts Collection

This text is the subject of: National Library of New Zealand Catalogue

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Robley — Soldier with a Pencil


page 19


1. Robley to J. C. Adams, Tauranga.

2. Manuscript memoirs.

3. Horace Fildes, who saw him at his London lodgings a few weeks before his death, wrote J. C. Adams that Robley was heavily tattooed on both arms; and probably on his body as well.

4. The fight at Te Ranga, June 21st, 1864, ended the Tauranga campaign. Te Ranga is about six miles south of Tauranga on the Pye's Pa Road to Rotorua.

The Maoris, having decided to again meet the British, had gathered at Te Ranga to fortify a position, but their preparations had just begun when they were observed. A British force of eight hundred comprising cavalry, infantry, and a field-gun advanced and catching the poorly armed Maoris in the open, in the words of national historian James Cowan, "exacted a terrible vengeance for their defeat at Gate Pa."

5. A Centennial History of Tauranga.

6. Some dates given by Robley in his memoirs prove incorrect when checked against files of the Illustrated London News.

Of the Robley illustrations in A Centennial History of Tauranga, it must be mentioned that an error has been made in crediting that facing p241 to him. It is in fact, an illustration of the trenches at Rangiriri, vide Illustrated London News of February 27th, 1864. The fighting at Rangiriri occurred prior to Robley's arrival in New Zealand.

7. His collection contained numerous fine examples, some of which have merited illustration in the works of Elsdon Best and A. Hamilton.

8. For an account of the troop movement to the Wairoa pa see A Centennial History of Tauranga pp236-7.

9. Reminiscences and Maori Stories p

10. Bay of Plenty Times office, Tauranga; 1937 edition.

11. Obituary, Journal Polynesian Society.

12. Obituary. JPS.

13. His numerous exploits are detailed in Cowan's Maori Wars vol. 2 Gilbert Mair also tells a tale about him in Reminiscences and Maori Stories.

14. Antonio Rodriquez was a trooper of the Taranaki Cavalry. See Gudgeon's Defenders of New Zealand, p65.

15. Leviticus, ch 19 v 28.

16. The Story of New Zealand; 2 vols; London 1859: vol 1 p78.

17. W. J. Phillips to L. W. Melvin, August 24th, 1956.