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THE GATE PA FIGHT.

GAVE THE WOODED WATER > We notice the New Zealand Herald has started a discussion on S!!bov. topic and prmt. a letter > om Mr S Folej,nowatXarangahake and one from Capt G. $£' on the subject both of which we quote below. Mrs Folevaeek. to take sole credit for fiving water to Colonel Booth f n d others after the defeat of the Britiab assault and discredits T " W* •*»?• The latt f r Btlll resides hero and is a well known fisherman and he gave hw version of the etory two years ago to the Governor, Lord Glasgow, when he Waited this district The late Mr Qt Gardiner, who acted as interpreter on that occasion, gave us the following translation of Te Ipu's story which we printed io our issue of January 10th, 1896 — Aftor the fight was over and evening fell, he (Te Ipu), with a comrade crawled back mto the Pa and there they found Colonel Booth still alive and lying back against the sod breastwork. He called to them for water and one of them went and brought a calabash of water from the swamp and, after this had partially revived the wounded roan, he handed his sword to Ta Ipu, giving him to understand that he wished to be put out of his pain. This however, he and his comrade refused to io but got some more VB ter and gave him a piece of bread that was loft in the Pa and leaving by him also a preparation of htnau berries and some water in a calabash crawled away in the darknes", the wounded Te Ipu being then carried away up to the bush by his friends.' Mrs Foley's account is rather different ; she writes to the Herald as follows :— ' It was I who gave water to the three wounde' soldiers at the Gate Pa, and not Te Ipu. There were two pas. Though close together, they were separate. Te Ipu was in the larger pa among his people— Ngaiterangi, about 300. I was in the small one, withTe Koheriki, who numbered only about 30. It was in this pa that Colonel Booth fell. I accompanied au only and much devoted brother who, despite my entreaties, was determined to gee a good fight. It was n<»t that I loved fighting, but I desired to be with him to see him fall, or perchance fall side by side, as we were much attached to each other. Thus I accompanied him, much against his wish. On the morning of the engagement I assisted to prepare a breakfast (which we lost}, and personally handled the cooking utensils. After our com-mander-in-chief (Rawiri Puhiraki) had dismissed the enemy's messenger we were called to prayers, as was' bur custom morning and evening. I was seated on the parapet, with our mini-tor on one side and Patuiti cm the other; my brother with our uncles below my feefc in the temeh riite-mi. When our chapkin was concluding the Bervice with ' tho grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and — ' I was pulled by a strong arm down into the rifle-pit, and at the same moment came a terrific cmeh, the bursting of the first (110 -pounder Armstrong) shell fired at our pa, blowing our chaplain and Patuiti, my comrades, to atoms. Two more shells were fired at our pa, theu general firing ensued. The storming of the pas commenced about midday, when we were ordered to ' charge.' We all rushed out, firing and striking with tho guns. We were soon driven back into the pa. We repulsed the soldiers again, and tho enemy left some wounded men behind. Towards evening I heard a wounded man calling for water Feveral times, and his repeated calls aroused my compassion. I slung my gun in front of me by means of a leather strap. I said to my brother, • I am going to give that pakeha water.' He wondered at me. I sprang up from the trench, ran quickly in the direction cf cur hangi (oven), where we had left water in small tin cans, but found them gone. I then crossed to another direction where I knew a larger vessel was, aa old nuil can, with the top knocked in and no handle. It was full of water; I seized it, poured out about half, of the water, and with a silent prayer as I turned, ran towards the wounded jnan. The bullets were coming tbick and fast. I soon reached ««J. He was rolling on his back and then on hh aide. I said, Here i 3 water; will you drink?' He said, * Oh, yea,' I lifted his jjeari [on my k Qees Qn< j g aVQ flnnk> He drank twice, saying « me, « God Mess you.' This was Colonel : Booth, as I judged from jus uniform and appearance. I believed ho was the superior officer. Af terwardsMajorSt. John wM me that when Colonel Booth *** carried from the pa next day «« related how a woman had pen jiim drink and had spoken "aun io English. White I was jwwfr him the water I heard «wther wounded man begging of ma to give him water also. I r°* the water to him and gave a '» drink, aud another wounded f** do *c by tried to crawl over r* * drink. 1 gave him drink, ™°* the can and placed it by WHonel Booth's side, and I sprang A i./? mv bother, feeling "jankful indeed a* being again at f» side. Space w ill not allow me ? **y more. Tl is ia the true *??v i ow the mounded soldiers li^ S ate Pa fi s ht ™ re su pP»w ) with water, and why Te Ipu ' l0 «W Ret the credit of my action a *aat I cannot understand.' m en Vp erenoe f 0 the above 6tate- ?! , Ca Pt™ Gilbert Mair writes follows toMwFoty:-' ShortVQut notes relating ),■**'*«* Hght. which i

all I have heard from survivore both native and European. Whei I first visited the Bay of Plenty shortly after the engagement, . heard from all sides that it wa you who had given poor Colone Booth and other dy ng soldien water. Both Colonel St. Johi and Dr. Manley mentioned youi name, and later on while a Maketu, Dr. Nesbitt, who was then R.M., gave me fuller details Dr Manley displayed great courage and bravery in attending ttit wounded at the Gate P, for whicli he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Colonel Booth told him just before his death how he bad been succoured most tenderly by a woman during that dreadful night. When Sir George Grey met the Ngaiterangi and generously returned to them the larger part of their lands, which had been confiscated, he made special reference, in very eloquent terras, to the chivalrous conduct of the Ngaiterangi in tHe war, their [ treatment of the wounded at the Gate Pa, and their disdaining to molest solitary or unarmed persons, and it was entirely on tbie account, he said that on'y 50,000 acres instead of a quarter of a million would be taken from them. I have known Te Ipu for 30 years, and often conversed with him about the Gate Pa fight, but he never in the old days took credit for giving the wounded soldiers water. Moreover; he himself was badly wounded, and was quite inoapable of moving about to help others even if he had tho inclination. You can make any u&e you please of this letter. — Yours faithfully, Gilbekt Mair.'

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/BOPT18980225.2.15

Bibliographic details

THE GATE PA FIGHT., Bay of Plenty Times, Volume XXIV, Issue 3665, 25 February 1898

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THE GATE PA FIGHT. Bay of Plenty Times, Volume XXIV, Issue 3665, 25 February 1898

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