Permanent link to this item
DTe Ngutu-o-te-Manu., Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LVI, Issue 0, 7 September 1908
FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL SERVICE.
A BIG GATHERING.
Splendid weather was experienced on Suuday, when a large crowd of settlers from all parts of the district, variously estimated at between 1500 and 3000, assembled at Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu Park. The famous clearing, with its surrounding belt of timber, bore a more animated appearance than on any previous occasion. By mid-day many picnic parties were distributed amongst the sheltering trees, and conversation generally was of the stirring event's of the 'sixties. Forty years is a short span in the history of a nation, but it has meant much to the Maori race. It was here, such a comparatively short time ago, that the native warriors triumphed. To-day, amongst that large , concourse ot people the writer saw but two Maoris — a youth and a boy — one a volunteer, the other a cadet. It appeared that the Maoris by common agreement had absented themselves, which was rather singular when it is remembered that it .'as a British defeat and not a British victory that the pakehas had assembled to commemorate. Boys climbed high into the pine trees, and as they showed themselves through the foliage one thought of the Hauhaus perched in the ratas, long since dead, from whose weapons those leaden messengers came J to call the brave men whose names are now inscribed on the monument in the clearing.
WHERE YON TEMPSKY FELL.
The face of the country has been changed of late years, and Tihere is a hopeless disagreement between the survivors of to-day concerning the spot where the gallant Major fell. There is confusion even as to the ground upon which the fight took place, but perhaps the balance of testimony is that it was within a hundred paces to the mountain side of the monument that the mortal wound was received. There is also a conflict of opinion as to the location of Te Ngutu-o-te r Manu and Rua-aruru, but on this point it see us probable that the proper position was selected as a reserve by the authorities. Some hot debate as to dates and localities took place on Sunday between veterans who were themselves engaged, and at the end the difference of opinion was unbridged. However, it is not surprising that the recollection of men, travelling through unknown country and under such exceptional conditions, should vary.
THE MEMORIAL SERVICE
Massed in front of the monument (upon which a wreath had been hung by Mr Arthur Peters, of Matapu) were the _ Hawera Rifles (under Captain Wilkie and Lieut. Wright), Hawera School Cadets (Captain Strack), Hawera Mounted Cadets (Captain Mitchell and Lieut. Broderick), Opunake Mounted Rifles (Sergt.-Major Newsham), Eltham Rifles (Captain Clarke), Hawera Mounted Rifles (Lieuts. Sutherland and Young), Kaponga Brass Band (Bandmaster Eccleston), Manaia Brass Band (Bandmaster Cosgrove). The Rev. Klingender read the service, which was deeply impressive, the hymns being assisted by the band music. The Rev. F. W. Boys yead'th© first chapter of the book of Joshua.
In opening his remarks Rev. Klingender read apologies from his Excellency the Governor, Colonel Bauchop, Hon. John Bryce, Lieut. Hertzel (who, besides Captain Robertson, was the only one of yon Tempsky's officers who escaped), Captain Davies, Mrs Kettle (Major yon Tempsky's sister), Lieut.Colonei Roberts, Lieut.-Colonel Newell, and Colonel Gorton, all of whom expressed great regret at their inability to be present, owing to various causes. Mr Klingender said he had not the slightest idea when he first suggested the service that it would extend as it had done, but as soon as it was advertised he found it would be a "big thing. It was manifest that the settlers of to-day had not forgotten that the peace and prosperity they now enjoy was due in a great measure to the sacrifice and work of the men whose memory they were now honoring. We were apt now to take things as a matter of course, and forget the perils and sufferings of 40 years ago. However, it was good to think that what was done then would be done now if occasion arose. Those around him would be ready to take part, although it would not be against savages, but against men better instructed in military affairs than themselves, men whom it would be much harder to defeat than the Maoris of forty years ago, warlike though they were. Since to-day's service had been taken up so whole-heartedly he thought it should be made an annual affair, and such arrangements could be made that future gatherings would be better organised.
THE VETERANS. Twelve veterans were present, and the medals they wore so proudly were objects of veneration. Seven of them participated in the tragic and disas-Ja-ous encounter at Te Ngutu. They were : —
Private J. Livingston (Taranaki Volunteers), Hawera.
Private J. Flynn (Taranaki Volunteers), Bjawera. Private J. H. Walker (Wellington Rangers and A.C.), Waitara. Private J. Hickman (Wellington Rangers and A.C.), Urenui. Private J. O'D. Quigley (No. 3 Mounted A.C.), Inglewood. Private J. J. Griffiths (No. 3 Mounted A.C.), New Plymouth. Private T. P. Lister (Armed Constabulary), New Plymouth. The others were Sergt. Wallace and T. Hickman (Wellington Rangers and 2nd Armed Constabulary), J. Heslop (Waipawa Constabulary), W. N. Jenkins (Wairoa Rifles), and J. Tait (2nd Waikato Forest Rangers).
HQN. R. McNAB'S SPEECH.
The Hon. R. McNab, addressing the gathering, said he did not require to tell thorn that this opportunity of speaking to them gave him very great pleasure indeed. He was there to represent .the Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, and his presence showed the very great importance the Government attached to the occasion they were now commemorating, which had an important bearing, indeed, upon the defence of the country. Those who had lived here f would notice the great change that had been made on the face of the district, and this great demonstration and ceremony would bring be-
fore their minds, and the minds of the young cadets who were now preparing themselves for future defence, the perilous work their fathers had to do before they were able to settle this country. The early settlers found here
a brave and warlike race, who did what
any other race would do when they found their country was slipping away from them: they fought for every inch of ground. Rules of warfare were different, and they must not blame the natives if some of their rules were very savage indeed. He believed if we had many more ceremonies such as this the problem of defence would be greatly simplified. At the present there was no doubt we were living in a Fool's Paradise. Because there were now no enemies within this country it must not be thought that the defence was solved, for with the advance of civilisation Powers were able to strike from great distances. What he wanted to impress upon the old settlers was that the work they did 40 years ago was living after them, and would live after they had passed away, And he also wanted to show the volunteers of today that in after years there would be the same recognition of their services. He welcomed the hundreds who had come to pay their tribute of respect to the departed dead. While travelling abroad one of the things which struck him most was the national recognition in the United States of those who fell in connection with their civil war. One day a year was set apart for this purpose, and the nation's recognition of valor built up a sentiment around which a rallying point was formed. It Jvas fitting to remember that he whose death they were now commemorating was not born in this country. He was trained in an army against which the British had fought. But yon Tempsky travelled to America, to Australia, and then came to New Zealand, and was so pleased that he took service under the British flag and fought and died for this country. Mr McNab, continuing, said he was not here to-day to go through the details of that day forty years ago — some of which were mistaken doings, but which they must expect in that class of warfare. He would merely close by repeating those lines from Bracken — Brave young land, thy roll of glory shines with many a gallant name, Thou hast many a thrilling story dear to honor, true to fame, Thou canst boast a band of heroes
whose undying deeds shall blaze
When thy chronicles of valor shall be read in after days . "We are now," said Mr McNab in conclusion, "reading in after years the chronicles of those heroes whose undying deeds are still ablaze."
Rev. Mr Boys (Hawera) dealt shortly with the three periods o| a young nation — first the soldier, then the pioneer, then the peaceful settler. He paid a warm tribute to the brave work of those soldier pioneers who were so rapidly passing away, and expressed the belief that it was a strenuous manhood that was growing up to carry on the work of those who had gone before. One of the finest things in volunteering was the teaching of discipline, and if men were to arrive at the highest point they must learn self-discipline, to obey God. Mr Major, M.P., referred to the great results which had evolved from Mr Klingender's suggestion. That the day marked an epoch was shown, he said, in the fact; that the Government had considered it sufficiently important to send a Minister ,of the Crown here whilst Parliament was in session. It was a long time before we could subdue this land, but the country was worth fighting for. Coming out to-day with the Minister they saw many evidences of prosperity, but in what they saw along the road, and in the faces before them now, they found no traces of the child slavery about which they heard so much in the city. What they saw was robust health, intelligence, and contentment. (Applause.) As Mr McNab had said, we must not permit ourselves to 'live 'in a Fool's Paradise. We want to be prepared. Just as in Australia they wanted a White Australia, so we want a White New Zealand. The Maoris had been defeated, but he would say that no race of conquered people had been so well treated as the natives of this country. He believed they realised that, too, for there were no native difficulties now. He believed this commemoration day should and would be an annual affair, and that not only from Taranaki but from all parts of the Island people would come to visit the scene of one of the most stubborn fights in the history of the Dominion. He thought thanks were due to Mr McNab, Mr Klingonder, and Mr Boys for what they had done and said to-day.
Mr Hunt, Chairman of the 'Manaia Town Board, said an obelisk had been raised at Manaia to the memory of the fallen men, and by virtue of that recognition, and as representative of Manaia, he was present. He regretted that the opportunity for securing invaluable records was being lost through the death of old soldiers and old natives. . He paid a tribute to the courage of yon Tempsky's men, and said the South African campaign showed that this generation was willing to emulate their deeds.
The troops, headed by the bands and led by the veterans, marched past the monument, and upon returning the bugle band attached to the Hawera School Cadets sounded the Last Post. The Hon. Mr McNab then inspected the ranks and was personally introduced to the veterans, with whom he cordially shook hands and whose medals he examined with evident interest. The various companies were then dismissed and a most interesting ceremony was ended.
Of the two local survivors of the engagement one was a rescuer and the other a rescued. Mr Livingston, who fought strenuously, escaped uninjured. Mr John Flynn, of Hawera, who belonged to the Taranaki Volunteers (40 strong), under Captain Rowan, has vivid recollections of his experiences in that memorable campaign. The first engagement at Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu (also a name applied to the district for miles around) was on August 21, 1868, when four of the Britishers' party were killed and six wounded, aIL- of whom were brought into camp. A large village, with whares, fortifications, etc., was destroyed. For the next three weeks a good deal of reconnoitring was done, and on September 7 the battle at which yon Tempsky fell was fought. The position taken up by the attacking party proved very unfavorable. Mr Flynn says: "We had to go to them, as they would not come to us, and that was how so many of us fell."
Early in the fight Mr Flynn was shot in. the thigh and was disabled. He was placed under a tree near where the fighting was going on. From the largeness of the wound the doctor supposed that he had been hit by a bullet from a "Brown Bess" or a fowling piece. Mr Flynn saw the brave yon Tempsky fall, whose last word's were: "Men, I am done. Do the best you can. Try aud take my sword and watch to my wife." They were waiting orders from McDonald when this occurred. Many attempts were made to rescue the dying yon Tempsky, but the deadly shooting of the enemy made this extremely hazardous. One man known as '.'Frenchy" was wounded in about six places iv an attempt to carry the major to cover. The chief officers of the party having been shot down, an effort was made to fight a way out. Word was passed round to retreat with the wounded, and Mr Flynn, who had not expected to get out of the affray alive, was carried with the retreating and disorganised force on a stretcher. Captain Noonan displayed great courage in this engagement. The retreat to the "Waihi camp was very eventful, and about twenty times the party had to run to cover to enable them to keep back the enemy. Waihi was eventually reached after experiencing great difficulty, the force being harassed and attacked ' all the way. Next morning Sub-Inspector Roberts (later Colonel) brought in a party of 60 men that had been cut off from the main body. There were 44 killed and six wounded that day, 10 of those belonging to the Taranaki Volunteers. It was not until 1872 that Mr Flynn learned from the Maoris what had been done with the bodies of the dead and wounded the Maoris got possession of, and he was then told that "they were all put in a big fire and burned."
During his sermon last night at the Methodist Church, Rev. T. Q. Hammond (West Coast Maori minister) said he would not say much about the Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu gathering, but he 1 thought it was a mistake, because it would have a very bad effect upon the Maori people, and would stir up bitter feelings. "I shall feel the effect of this, Mr Haddon will feel the effect of this, as we go about our work," said Mr Hammond.
DTe Ngutu-o-te-Manu., Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LVI, Issue 0, 7 September 1908
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.
Papers Past now contains more than just newspapers. Use these links to navigate to other kinds of materials.
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.
Enter names, places, or other keywords that you're curious about here. We'll look for them in the fulltext of millions of articles.
Browsed to an interesting page? Click here to search within the item you're currently viewing, or start a new search.
Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.
Switch between images of the original document and text transcriptions and outlines you can cut and paste.
Print, save, zoom in and more.
If you'd rather just browse through documents, click here to find titles and issues from particular dates and geographic regions.
The "Help" link will show you different tips for each page on the site, so click here often as you explore the site.