History of War

WILLIAM MANLEY

As the defeated attackers fled away from the Maori defences at Gate Pa, surprised at the ferocity of the defenders’ counterattack, Assistant Surgeon William Manley made his way in the opposite direction, back into the pa (a Maori fort or fortified settlement). Having attended to the mortally wounded commander of the force, Manley returned to the body-strewn defences to find more wounded.

The New Zealand Wars were a series of conflicts fought by British and colonial troops against various Maori tribes between 1845 and 1872. 15 Victoria Crosses were awarded during the wars. Initially they were localised land disputes with individual Maori tribes and the colonial New Zealand government. By the 1860s, however, 10,000 British troops were requested by the new governor of New Zealand, Sir George Grey. These were to be used to suppress the wider Maori King (Kingitanga) movement and suppress more unified resistance, even though the campaigns remained relatively localised.

“THERE IS NOT A MORE GALLANT REGIMENT THAN THE 43RD… BUT NOW WHERE WERE ALL THE LAURELS THEY HAD WON IN THE PENINSULA AND INDIA? SOILED AND TRAMPLED IN THE DUST” Major General Sir James Alexander Bush Fighting (London, 1873)

In 1863 and 1864 the 68th Durham Light Infantry Regiment and 43rd Regiment of

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