Article image
Article image
This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.

THE LATE LIEUTENANT. COLONEL JAMES FRASER.

It was our mournful duty to announce in an extra yesterday the demise of another of our gallant officers. Lieutenant-Colonel Jauica Fraser died at Tauranga on the 10^ instant of a low typhoid fever, afte^; rtn illness of 14 days._ We rmrneis giving a short account t . n j g g erv ices, which have been so Suable to the colony, James Fraser was of Scottish Origin, being descended from the Lovat family, His parents settled in Canada, and in course of time lie entered her Majesty's oervice as an ensign in the 73rd Regiment ; with it he served in India during the Mutiny — for some time as adjutant of a wing of the regiment. On his retnru home, being anxious for active service, ho sold out, with a view of j< ining the Federal avmy, but eventually came to New Zealand. In August, 1864, he was appointed captain of military settlers in Napier. In October of that year Mr. Volkner w^s murdered at Opotiki> and a general rising took place aW» the East Coast. At that time the whole military force of the country was employed on the West Coast under General Cameron, and with the exception of the force at Tauranga there were no Imperial troops on the East Coast, These were not moved, and the Work had to be done bv the colonial forces. Mr. McLean sent Captain Biggs off with thirty men to Waiapiv, and I Fraser volunteered to join hinu He accordingly embarked with feixiy men and began his career of success. A series of skirmishes occurred before he was enabled, with the help of Morgan and his tribe, to attack and Pakairo- I miromi. He led the attack in person, being the first man in the pa and getting his cap shot off. The rebels here suffered very heavily^ Shortly afterwards he invested Pukemaire, a pa believed to be impregnable, but after hard fighting in the trenches, finding themselves in imminent danger, the Hauhaus evacuated the place, and retired to an interior fortress in Hicks's Bay. Biggs, his companion in arms, followed up with vigour, supported by Fraser, and the result was the surrender of 500 rebels. Immediately after this he was ordered to Poverty Bay, and here his soldierlike talents shone forth. He led not only the enemy but his own people to believe he intended to attack Pukeameonga. On this hill the Hauhaus entrenched themselves strongly, and Fraser, by a night march, left them on his left and attacked Wairangahika (a pa built close by the Bishop's house). The fighting here for two days was very severe, and many lives were lost ; but the upshot was that the enemy were defeated again with very heav^ lossWairoa was the next scene of operations, and, in concert with Eopata, Fraser invaded the Urewera country and chased the enemy right up to the Waikaremoana late and fought him at Onepoto. Subsequently, on the occasion of a Hauhau attack on Napier in 1806, he intercepted one column of the enemy at Petane and defeated it with slaughter. The results of his campaign on the East Coast may be briefly summed up: 1,800 natives submitted and prisoners. GOO stand of arms taken — besides those destroyed. Several strongholds captured. Upwards of 200 of the enemy actually buried by us, with loss and casualties on our side only 31. For these services he was promoted to a Majority and appointed E.M. On the formation of the Armed Constabulary, Major Fraser received the oommand of No. 1, the mounted division, which was quartered in Hawke's Bay, In 1868, he ntaited with his division for O|>otiki, and for the next eighteen months was constantly in the field. After taking his share in several expeditions into the Urewera country, including the skirmishes up the Waimane and capture of Otara and Te Ponga, was placed in garrison at Whakatane, until the news of Te Kooti's landing again put him on the move. Prevented by stress of weather from reaching Colonel Whitmore in time for his advance, he yet caught him up, and was hotly engaged at the fight at Ruaheturi, where he gallantly covered ths retreat. It was shortly after this that his division was removed to the West Coast — a removal which occasioned bo muoh dispute in the Houso. He assumed command at Patea, when thing 3 were in a fearful state, and his piosence and decision quelled a mutiny, which might have had more serious consequences, From this he was again brought round to the East Coast, and assisted in the operations previous to and at the fall of Ngatapa. The position he held there was the most difficult of all, and the indomitable pluck of himself and his men drove back, under great disadvantages, every sortie of the enemy. He was mentioned in despatches, and promoted to LieutenantColonel. From Poverty Bay round again to Whanganui was the next move. His was the nearest division to the enemy at Taurangaika. Ho was engaged in the marches and skirmishes consequent. He was prevented by sickness from taking part in the action at Otauto, but joined his division in time to start on a march round Mount Egmont. While on this march he was seized with an epileptic fit, which necessitated his being sent back to Patea. Joined again at Waitara, and came round to East Coast once more. His division formed part of the centre column under Colonel St. John in the march up the Urewera country, and he specially distinguished himself by the coolness with which he led his men at the taking of Tatahoata pa. He remained with his division on the Rangitikei till the force was broken up, when No. 1 went to Tauranga. On the re-modelling of the Constabulary he was appointed to this district, and in its command he died. Colonel Fraser was, emphatically, an officer and a gentleman. He had a very good eye for ground, and knew how to handle his men. A cool brave man, hu was enabled during the hottest fire to take advantage of every opening which was left him. Where dash was required he led the way himself, and had many a narrow escape. Wherever the report of his death reaches in New Zealand there will be found some old fellow-soldier of his to reverence his memory. To say that his brother officers and men deeply regret his loss is using merely a common-place phrase. They lament his untimely death, and feel true grief. The country can follow their example, as, in the list of gallant and public-spirited officers who have lost their lives while loyally doing their duty, none has deserved more than James Fraser.

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/DSC18700318.2.24

Bibliographic details

THE LATE LIEUTENANT. COLONEL JAMES FRASER., Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXVI, Issue 3922, 18 March 1870

Word Count
1,121

THE LATE LIEUTENANT. COLONEL JAMES FRASER. Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXVI, Issue 3922, 18 March 1870

  1. New formats

    Papers Past now contains more than just newspapers. Use these links to navigate to other kinds of materials.

  2. Hierarchy

    These links will always show you how deep you are in the collection. Click them to get a broader view of the items you're currently viewing.

  3. Search

    Enter names, places, or other keywords that you're curious about here. We'll look for them in the fulltext of millions of articles.

  4. Search

    Browsed to an interesting page? Click here to search within the item you're currently viewing, or start a new search.

  5. Search facets

    Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.

  6. View selection

    Switch between images of the original document and text transcriptions and outlines you can cut and paste.

  7. Tools

    Print, save, zoom in and more.

  8. Explore

    If you'd rather just browse through documents, click here to find titles and issues from particular dates and geographic regions.

  9. Need more help?

    The "Help" link will show you different tips for each page on the site, so click here often as you explore the site.

Working