New Zealand Medal 1845-47 & 1860-66

J Anthony Qr Master HMS Pelorous

J Anthony
Qr Master
HMS Pelorus

The medals for both periods were conferred upon “Surviving” officers, NCO’s, soldiers and ratings of the British regular forces etc who took part in operations against the enemy. It is the most complex of all campaign medals with 28 known different dated reverses.

The First Governor, Captain Hobson landed on 29th January 1840, the year New Zealand was annexed as a colony by the British government and signed the Treaty of Waitangi 6th February as a result of which local Maori rulers (not all of them) ceded large tracts of land which caused much resentment. In 1845 war broke out with the Maoris led by Hone-Heki and Kawiti.  The British encountered native fortification known as “Pahs” and often had to traverse a lot of forest / bush  to reach these fortifications. order was eventually restored on the North Island in 1846 and the South Island in 1847.

Serious conflict resumed again a decade later when, in March 1860, the Maoris under Chief Wiremu Kingi, faced up to the British because they were being made to part with tracts of their land at unfair prices. The situation was serious enough for the Britis to send additional troops from Burma, India and Britain to Tauranga and Taranaki  on the west coast. The Maoris were defeated at Mahoetahi on 6th November 1860 and peace was restored by March 1861. 2 years later fighting broke out again with the Waikato people on the North Island on 4th May 1863 with major skirmishes at Rangairiri  followed by Gate Pah which was attacked on 28th February 1864. The war continued until 3rd July 1866 and skirmishes between Maoris and settlers continued until about 1881.

1860 to 1861 – 116 Medals 6o HMS Pelorus

HMS Pelorus

HMS Pelorus

In June 1860, as flagship of the Australian Squadron under Captain Frederick Seymour, she participated in the attack on Puketakauere pā during the First Taranaki War. Later that year, the crew landed at Kairau to support British troops under attack from Maori and in January 1861 a gun crew from the ship helped defend the British redoubt at Huirangi against the Maori. She left the Australia Station in July 1862 for Plymouth.

677 Serjt Albt C Ward 5th Battn Mility. Trn

677 Serjt Albt C Ward
5th Battn Mility. Trn 1865 – 1866 Rev

1865 – 1866 – 76 Medals to Military Train

3467 Jas Gearling 43rd Lt. Infy

3467 Jas Gearling
43rd Lt. Infy 1863 – 1866 Rev

1863 – 1866 – 377 Medals to 43rd Regt

In September 1863, the 43rd left India to take part in the New Zealand Wars. The 43rd led the storming column at Gate Pa in April 1864 and took part in the assault on the fort at Te Ranga in June 1864. The regiment returned to England in February 1866.

362 Thos Hudson 4th Battn Mility Trn

362 Thos Hudson
4th Battn Mility Trn – 1864 Rev


Lieutenant General Sir Duncan Cameron arrived in 1864 with a large reinforcement of troops. Among these was the 4th Battalion of the Military Train. . The battalion left Ireland and sailed from Woolwich on 7 November 1863, arriving at Auckland on 21 February 1864. The old rivalries between the Commissariat and the Military Train flared up and the Commissariat indicated that they would not be able to feed the troops if they lost control of the transport system. Consequently, in order not the upset the arrangements that was working so well, the Military Train was employed on transport duties at the base at Auckland. They clearly chafed at this and so they were allowed to deploy a troop as part of General Cameron’s 1865 campaign in Wanganui. This troop served as light cavalry and distinguished itself in two charges – one at Nukumaru on 24/25 January and the other at Kakaramea on 13 March. The troop stayed in the field in support of operations until 1866. The Military Train rotated its soldiers through the deployed troop and so not all members of the battalion received the medal. Those who participated in the two charges are indicated on the medal roll (WO100/18).


304 Richd Eales 43rd Lt Inftry

304 Richd Eales
43rd Lt Inftry 1863 – 1866 Rev

1863 – 1866

On 21 June Greer, leading a reconnaissance patrol of about 600 men of the 43rd and 68th Regiments and 1st Waikato Militia, came upon the 500-strong Māori force labouring on Te Ranga’s defences. Knowing any delay would allow his foe to strengthen their defences, Greer chose to launch an immediate attack. He sent back to Te Papa for reinforcements, then deployed his men to fan out and open fire on the pā’s outposts and trenches. As the reinforcements—220 men including cavalry and one Armstrong gun—arrived two hours later, he ordered a charge on Te Ranga. The Māori responded to the ferocity of the advance of British bayonets with double-barrelled guns, but had little time to reload and were forced to fight hand-to-hand with tomahawks. In what became a short climax to the conflict, between 83 and 120 Māori were killed or fatally wounded, half of them with bayonets, and Gate Pā commander Rawiri Puhirake was among them. His death prompted the survivors to flee. Thirteen privates of the 43rd and 68th Regiments were killed in the battle, and six officers and 33 non-commissioned officers and privates wounded


3378 Robert Shannon 57th Regt

3378 Robert Shannon
57th Regt – Undated Rev


New Zealand’s first recorded association with the 57th Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) – the ‘Die Hards’ – was inauspicious. In 1830, a regimental detachment on convict duty was overpowered and brought to New Zealand. The ship was subsequently recaptured by whalers, and the detachment returned to Sydney with the convicts.

1st Battalion, known as the 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment, served in New Zealand in the 1860s. It was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Henry James Warre and Major Robert Abraham Logan.

The regiment landed in New Zealand from India on 25 January 1861. Three days later, HMSS Cordelia arrived at Waitara from Manukau with a detachment of the regiment.

After campaigning in Taranaki, the 57th was transferred to Waikato in 1866. Regimental headquarters was at Te Awamutu, with companies stationed at Ngāruawāhia and Te Rore.

The 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment returned to England in early 1867 after a 13-year absence. Before they left New Zealand, this obelisk memorial was supplied by a London mason and erected by members of the regiment in New Plymouth’s Te Henui Cemetery. It is dedicated to the memory of the officers and men who had been killed in action or died of disease during the New Zealand Wars.


NZ Medal 1863-64 Rev - T Goldsmith, Boy 1st Cl, H.M.S. Esk

NZ Medal 1863-64 Rev – T Goldsmith, Boy 1st Cl, H.M.S. Esk

1863 to 1864 Reverse

119 Medals attributable to HMS Esk


The Launching of the Screw Corvette H.M.S. Esk at Millwall 12th June 1854

On 5 April 1864 Lieutenant General Duncan Cameron abandoned hope of pursuing Ngāti Hauā leader and prominent Kingite Wiremu Tamihana after his foe evacuated the besieged Te Tiki o te Ihingarangi pā near Orakau. He switched his attention to Tauranga, arriving there on 21 April in HMS Esk and established his headquarters at Tauranga. Reinforcements from Auckland arrived on the Esk and HMS Falcon and within days Cameron decided he had sufficient forces to finally march against the fortification at Gate Pa that stood as a challenge to the British front.


NZ Medal 1860-64 Rev - 3408 G Carnell 40th Regt

NZ Medal 1860-64 Rev – 3408 G Carnell 40th Regt

1860 to 1864 Reverse


The 40th Regt transferred to New Zealand from Australia in 1860. it suffered heavy losses at Puketakauere Pa in Taranaki and was present at the actions of Huirangi and Te Arei. It also fought in Waikato in the actions of Rangiriri and Orakau. The regiment remained on garrison duty in Waikato after the fighting ended and returned to England in 1866.

NZ Medal 1860-65 Rev - 2. Corpl John Campion, 65th Regt

NZ Medal 1860-65 Rev – 2. Corpl John Campion, 65th Regt

1860 to 1865  Reverse

Approx 139 medals issued to the 65th Regt with these dates.

The 65th Regt arrived in New Zealand from Australia in 1846 and stayed until 1865. It saw action around Wellington and Wanganui in 1846-47 and later distinguished itself in Waikato in 1860-65.

On 4 March 1860, Governor Thomas Gore Browne ordered Colonel Charles Emilius Gold, commanding the 65th Regiment, the Taranaki Militia and the Taranaki Rifle Volunteers, to occupy the disputed block of land at Waitara in preparation for a survey. Four hundred men landed at Waitara the next day to fortify a position and the survey of the land began on 13 March without resistance. On the night of 15 March, however, Kingi and about 80 men built an L-shaped pā, or defensive strong point, at Te Kohia, at the south-west extremity of the block, commanding the road access. The next day, they uprooted the surveyors’ boundary markers and when ordered the next day, 17 March, to surrender, they refused. Gold’s troops opened fire and the Taranaki wars had begun.

L Pa - Waitara

L Pa – Waitara

NZ Medal 1860-66 Rev - 3457. Stepn Bellingham, !st Bn 12th Regt

NZ Medal 1860-66 Rev – 3457. Stepn Bellingham, !st Bn 12th Regt

1860 to 1866 Reverse

Very Scarce as only 13 medals are known with these reverse dates.

The 12th Regiment arrived at Sydney in 1854 and served in New Zealand from 1860 – 66. It was engaged in the first Taranaki War being present at No. 2 Redoubt and was in action throughout the Waikato War. Itsustained losses at Rangiriri and fought at Gate Pa. The HQ moved to Napier in December 1865 and then moved to Tauranga in 1866, where part of the regiment took part in the Tauranga bush campaign.


New Zealand 1863-65 rev - 525. Wm Dean, 70th Regt

New Zealand 1863-65 rev – 525. Wm Dean, 70th Regt

1863 to 1865 Reverse 

The 70th Regiment arrived in New Zealand in 1863 and fought at Kaikara, Taranaki, before moving north for the actions at Koheroa, Cameron Town and Orakau. It then returned to Taranaki and fought at Kaitake and in Chute’s Taranaki campaign.

Cameron’s initial invasion force set up camp on the site of an old pā on a hill above the stream. Reinforcements continued to arrive and within days he had 500 troops. On the morning of 17 July Cameron led 553 men on a raid on a new and unfinished entrenchment at Koheroa, near Mercer. Cameron ran ahead of his force after they took early fire from Māori outposts and the Māori fighters fled. According to Belich, the Māori force numbered between 100 and 150 and about 15 were killed, some of them by bayonet. Among the dead were their leader Te Huirama, a relative of King Tāwhiao

Early on 30 March 1864 two surveyors working at Kihikihi observed through a telescope construction of entrenchments at the Orakau pa and immediately passed the information to Brigadier General G.J. Carey, who had been left in charge of the British forces. Carey, keen to surprise the Kingites, immediately began organising an expedition and at midnight the first of three separate columns, comprising members of the 40th, 65th and 18th Royal Irish Regiments, as well as Forest Rangers and Waikato Militia, set out for Orakau with two Armstrong six-pounders, arriving before daybreak. The total force for the mission was 1120 men. The two cannon were set up on a small plateau 350m to the west and about the same height above the pa. They were shooting across the front of the 40th regiment who were situated 250 m south of the Pa behind a small hill.

Plan of orakau pa

Plan of orakau pa


NZ Medal 1864-65 Rev - 793 Patk. O'Connell, 65th Regt

NZ Medal 1864-65 Rev – 793 Patk. O’Connell, 65th Regt

1864 to 1865 Reverse 

The 65th Regiment arrived in New Zealand from Australia in 1846 and was active in Wellington and Wanganui in 1846-47. It subsequently saw much active service in Waikato and Taranaki in 1860-65.

The Regimental return dated at Dublin 26th March 1869, records Sergeant Patrick O’ Connell as having served in Wanganui (1845/6/7), Taranaki  (1860/61) and Waikato (1863/4/5).

Cameron arrived at Rangiriri with about 850 men, chiefly of the 65th, 14th and 12th Regiments, to make the frontal assault. A second division of 320 men of the 40th Regiment under Lieut-Colonel Arthur Leslie with additional naval backup, were transported by barge further south with the aim of gaining possession of a ridge 500 metres behind the main entrenchment and cutting off any escape.[7] The assault force, armed with three Armstrong guns, revolvers, Enfield rifles with fixed bayonets and hand grenades, faced a Māori force of about 500 men, mostly armed with double-barreled shotguns and muskets.

Waikato Invasion Military Posts

Waikato Invasion Military Posts

NZ Medal 1865 Rev - 1012 Jas. Wilson, 65th Regt

NZ Medal 1865 Rev – 1012 Jas. Wilson, 65th Regt

1865 Reverse Date 

Approx 38 medals with this date issued to 65th Regiment.

The 65th Regt arrived in New Zealand from Australia in 1846 and stayed until 1865. It saw action around Wellington and Wanganui in 1846-47 and later distinguished itself in Waikato in 1860-65.

NZ Medal 1866 Rev - 2023 John Brazier, 4th Natn. Mility Trn.

NZ Medal 1866 Rev – 2023 John Brazier, 4th Batn. Mility Trn.

1866 Reverse


NZ Medal 1861-66 Rev 1536 Timty Lawlor 2nd Bn 14th Regt.

NZ Medal 1861-66 Rev
1536 Timty Lawlor 2nd Bn 14th Regt.

1861-66 Reverse



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s