>Colvile’s Story, Part 4: Wounded at Warea

>From the aftermath of the Battle of Te Ranga, we follow Major Colvile and the 43rd Regiment to their next posting.

On 19th November the S.S. Alexandra landed part of the 43rd Regiment, under Major Colvile, at New Plymouth [59]. While General Cameron and the bulk of his army planned to march northwards from Wanganui, Colvile and a force of 230 men, later augmented by the remainder of the 43rd, received orders to work their way south from New Plymouth. The plan was for the two forces to establish redoubts along the way, meet up somewhere in the middle, and thus reopen the coastal route, which had been closed to Europeans since the outbreak of hostilities in the Taranaki in 1860 [30].

Image © and courtesy of the Alexander Turnbull Library
Taranaki military encampment, c.1865 [60]
Their first task was the reoccupation of the Tatairamaka Block some 20 kilometres to the south-west of New Plymouth, which Major Colvile carried out with 250 men, and without resistance, less than a week after arriving in the district [59]. After the remainder of the regiment had joined them in late January 1865, they continued through Tukitukipapa to Te Ngana, where they constructed a redoubt [61]. On 21st March “Major Colvile was promoted to Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel … for distinguished service at Te Ranga.” [9]

Image © and courtesy of Open2view.com
Location of the Warea Redoubt, Old Taranaki coast road [62]
On the 22nd April, by which time the 43rd were camped at the Stoney River, a mounted and lightly armed group of soldiers out searching for stray livestock in the vicinity of Warea was attacked, with two of the group being killed [63]. On 1st June, a short distance inland from Whatino, in a brief but vigorous encounter, a further three Maoris and a private of the Mounted Corps were killed [64]. Otherwise, their progress southwards along the coastline was largely uneventful and, after being joined at Opunake by Colonel Warre and a detachment of Mounted Bushrangers, the expedition met up with the southerly force somewhere between Opunake and the Waingongoro River on the 9th June.

Image © and courtesy of the Alexander Turnbull Library
57th Regiment taking a Maori redoubt, Katikara River, Taranaki [65]
Once the two British forces had re-established the coastal route from New Plymouth to Wanganui, keeping it open necessitated continual forays inland, which resulted in far more aggressive encounters [30]. Colonel Colville and the 43rd were part of a large force under Colonel Warre that penetrated some distance inland of Warea on 13th June, destroying villages, crops and food stores, and killing several Maori, including some women. Some six weeks later, on 28th July, a large party of soldiers from the detachment of the 43rd Regiment stationed at the Warea Redoubt were ambushed while gathering firewood inland, an officer and a private being killed [66]. In follow up operations between 29th July and 4th August, Colonel Colvile took a flying column to Warea and then inland to Kairuru, attacking and destroying the village of Okea [67].

Image © and courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand/Te Papa Tongarewa
Locality near Warea where Major F.M. Colvile 43rd Regt.
was severely wounded, Oct 22nd 1865 [68]
Then, on Sunday 22nd October Colvile and a party of about 80 soldiers were attacked near Warea while trying to set an ambush, resulting in several casualties, including Colvile himself with a “gun-shot wound in the thigh, with bone fracture.” [69] On the 28th October the Taranaki Herald was able to report:

Sergeant Clifford and Private Pratt have been buried in the cemetery with military honors on Wednesday last. Colonel Colville has been removed to town, and considering the nature of the wound (the bone being broken) is doing well. But to lose his services just now is to lose a great deal, for there is not, we believe, a better officer in New Zealand. [70]

His wound took several months to heal and, shortly before Christmas, word was received that the 43rd was to sail for England in March [71], meaning that he would see no further active service in New Zealand. A further Herald report on 10th February stated that, “Colonel Colvile … is convalescent, and can bear being taken about in a litter, but the pieces of fractured bone have not yet come away.” [72]

The remainder of the of the regiment marched in from their camp at Warea in early March, and sailed for Auckland on board the H.M.S. Brisk and S.S. Ahuriri between the 11th and 22nd [73,74,75].

Colonel Colville, whose activity and gallantry had won him general admiration here, was sufficiently recovered from his wound to be a passenger. [74]
The last of [the 43rd] regiment left Taranaki on Thursday by the Ahuriri for Auckland where they will embark for England. This gallant regiment, which has been in this province since 1864, won the goodwill of the inhabitants by the excellent character of its men, several of whom, we are glad to say, remain. The 43rd were just getting into the way of dealing with the rebels when they were removed. We wish the regiment a pleasant and prosperous voyage to the ‘Old Country.’ [75]

The regiment proceeded to England by way of the S.S. Prince Alfred and S.S. Silver Eagle in late March and mid-April, arriving in Plymouth on 1st July 1866 [76] and disembarking for Angelsea Barracks in Portsea three days later [9].

Continued in the final Part 5: Postings in England & Ireland, Epilogue

References

[9] Levinge, R.G.A. (1868) Historical Records of the Forty-Third Regiment, Monmouthshire Light Infantry, London: W. Clowes & Sons, 353p, Google Books.

[30] Cowan, James (1922, 1955) The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Periods: Volume I (1845-1864), Wellington: R.E. Owen, Courtesy of the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre, Victoria University of Wellington.

[59] Anon (1864) Military, New Plymouth: Taranaki Herald, Vol XIII, Issue 643, p.2, 26 November 1864, Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.

[60] Taranaki military encampment, c.1865, Watercolour (283 x 480mm) by J.T. Johnstone, Alexander Turnbull Library ID: B-079-023, Courtesy of Timeframes.

[61] Anon (1865) Taranaki. Occupation of Te Ngana, near the Stony Rover (Hangatahua), Nelson: Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Vol XXIV, Issue 14, p.3, 2 February 1865, Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.

[62] Digital photograph of the location of the Warea Redoubt, adjacent to the old Taranaki coast road, undated, Courtesy of Open2view.com.

[63] Anon (1865) To the Editor of the Taranaki Herald, New Plymouth: Taranaki Herald, Vol XIII, Issue 665, 29 April 1865, Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.

[64] Wells, B. (1878) The History of Taranaki, New Plymouth: Edmonson & Avery, Early New Zealand Books, The University of Auckland.

[65] The war in New Zealand: The 57th Regiment taking a Maori redoubt on the Katikara River, Taranaki, Wood engraving (206 x 330mm), Illustrated London News, 29 August 1863, Alexander Turnbull Library ID: PUBL-0033-1863-212, Courtesy of Timeframes.

[66] Anon (1865) The War in New Zealand, London: The Morning Post, Vol. 28661, 21 October 1865, 19th Century British Library Newspapers, Gale CENGAGE.

[67] Colvile, F.M., Major (1865) Letter to Commanding Officer, in The War in New Zealand, Glasgow: Glasgow Herald, 20 November 1865, 19th Century British Library Newspapers, Gale CENGAGE.

[68] Locality near Warea where Major F.M. Colvile 43rd Regt. was severely wounded, Oct 22nd 1865, Print by unidentified photographer, Undated, Museum of New Zealand/Te Papa Tongarewa Regn. No. O.012385.

[69] Anon (1865) From the News, October 26, Nelson: Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Vol XXIV, Issue 136, p.8, 11 November 1865, Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.

[70] Anon (1865) Skirmish near Warea, New Plymouth: Taranaki Herald, Vol XIV, Issue 691, 28 October 1865, Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.

[71] Anon (1865) Friday, December 22, Auckland: Daily Southern Cross, Vol XXI, Issue 2630, 22 Dec 1865, Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.

[72] Anon (1866) Military Movements, New Plymouth: Taranaki Herald, Vol XIV, Issue 706, 10 February 1866, Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.

[73] Anon (1866) Arrival of H.M.S. Brisk with Troops, Auckland: Daily Southern Cross, Vol XXII, Issue 2600, 12 March 1866, Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.

[74] Anon (1866) Military Movements, New Plymouth: Taranaki Herald, Vol XIV, Issue 711, 17 March 1866, Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.

[75] Anon (1866) Shipping Intelligence, New Plymouth: Taranaki Herald, Vol XIV, Issue 712, p.2, 24 March 1866, Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.

[76] Anon (1866) Arrival of the Silver Eagle, Auckland: Daily Southern Cross, Vol XXII, Issue 2839, 31 August 1866, Courtesy of Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.

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~ by gluepot on Sunday, March 13, 2011.

2 Responses to “>Colvile’s Story, Part 4: Wounded at Warea”

  1. >I've just awarded you the One Lovely Blog Award. Have a look – http://intheshadeofmyfamilytree.blogspot.com/2011/03/one-lovely-blog.html

  2. >Thank you Fi, that's very kind of you.

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