Battle of Kororāreka

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Battle of Kororāreka
Part of the Flagstaff War
HekeFlagstaff.jpg
Hone Heke removing the British colors from Flagstaff Hill in Kororāreka
Date11 March 1845
Location
Kororāreka, New Zealand
Result Māori victory: Flagstaff blockhouse seized, flagstaff felled, Kororāreka evacuated. Successful British and American rescue operations
Belligerents
 United Kingdom Māori
Commanders and leaders
Royal Navy: Acting-Commander David Robertson-Macdonald, RN; Lieutenant George Phillpotts, RN

British Army: Lieutenant Edward Barclay, 96th Foot; Ensign John Campbell, 96th Foot

Civic Guard: Mr Cornthwaite Hector
Hone Heke
Te Ruki Kawiti
Pūmuka
Strength
~60 soldiers
~90 marines and sailors of HMS Hazard
~70 armed colonists
"The Hazard’s compliment of sailors and marines, reckoning 8 to a gun, must have been 164."[1]
~600 warriors
Casualties and losses
11 killed
~8 wounded[2]
Unknown

The Battle of Kororāreka, or the Burning of Kororāreka, on 11 March 1845, was an engagement of the Flagstaff War in New Zealand. Following the establishment of British control of the islands, war broke out with a small group of the native population which resulted in the fall of the town of Kororāreka, present day Russell, to Māori warriors.[3]

Background[edit]

Although he had been the first to sign the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840, Nga Puhi chief Hōne Heke became increasingly unhappy with the outcome. He objected to the relocation of the capital to Auckland and changes to custom tariffs that caused a serious loss of revenue to the Ngāpuhi.[4]

In July 1844, Heke and a group of warriors entered the town, and the Pakaraka chief Te Haratua cut down the flagstaff.[5] Heke himself had set out to cut down the flagstaff, but had been persuaded by Archdeacon William Williams not to do so.[6]千亿体育官网 Six months later on 10 January 1845 the flagstaff was cut down a second time - this time by Heke. A new and stronger flagstaff sheathed in iron was erected later that month and guard post built around it - but the next morning the flagstaff was felled for the third time.

Governor FitzRoy sent over to New South Wales for reinforcements. A block-house was built around the base, a guard of 20 soldiers was placed in this, and a fourth flagstaff erected.[7]

Battle[edit]

On 11 March 1845 Hōne Heke and his men, along with Te Ruki Kawiti and his followers together attacked the town.

British forces were outnumbered. HM Sloop Hazard landed a party to aid the detachment of 96th Regiment commanded by Lieutenant Edward Barclay. In all there were about 140 soldiers, sailors and marines. The American sloop USS St. Louis, under Captain Isaac McKeever, USN, was also present and her crew assisted in evacuating the British subjects.[8]

Heavy skirmishing lasted for a while until a large explosion destroyed all of the defender's reserve ammunition. The explosion also set a building on fire which spread. At about that time the British had begun to withdraw to the safety of the ships anchored in the bay and evacuate the civilian population. HMS Hazard then bombarded Māori positions.

Ten military defenders and three civilians were killed in action or died of wounds. At least thirty-six were variously wounded. The town was mostly destroyed after evacuation and over the following days.


Killed in Action and Died of Wounds
Māori Name and Identity Action Buried Ref
Pūmuka. Rangatira, Ngāpuhi, Te Roroa, Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Pou Matavia Pass [6]
Hirawanu [6]
Kereopa [6]
千亿体育官网 31 more unnamed [9]
Military
Royal Navy James McCarthy. Colour-Sergeant, Royal Marines, HMS Hazard Matavia Pass Christ Church, Kororāreka, 11 March [10][9][11][12]
Alexander May. Private, Royal Marines, HMS Hazard Matavia Pass Christ Church, Kororāreka, 11 March [10][12]
Whitaker Denby. Seaman, HMS Hazard Matavia Pass Christ Church, Kororāreka, 11 March [10][11][12][13]
William Love. Seaman, HMS Hazard Matavia Pass Christ Church, Kororāreka, 11 March [10][11][12]
William Lovell. Seaman, HMS Hazard One Gun Battery, Matavia Pass Christ Church, Kororāreka, 11 March [10][11][12]
Frederick George Minikin. Seaman, HMS Hazard Matavia Pass Christ Church, Kororāreka, 11 March [10][11][12]
British Army William Giddens. Private, 96th Regiment Flagstaff Blockhouse St Paul's Church, Paihia, 12 March [11][14]
Henry Ireson. Private, 96th Regiment Flagstaff Blockhouse St Paul's Church, Paihia, 12 March [14]
George Jackson. Private, 96th Regiment Flagstaff Blockhouse St Paul's Church, Paihia, 12 March [14]
William Miller. Private, 96th Regiment Flagstaff Blockhouse St Paul's Church, Paihia, 12 March [14]
Civil
Government John Thompson. Seaman, HM Colonial Brig Victoria; Police boatman Stockade explosion. Burns

Died, HMS Hazard, 14 March

At sea, 14 March [11]
Civilian Henry Torre. Commander, schooner Dolphin; solicitor Stockade explosion. Burns

Died, HMS Hazard千亿体育官网, 12 March

St Paul's Church, Paihia, 12 March [11][15]
Fanny Wing. Daughter of Rautangi and Thomas Wing Flagstaff Blockhouse St Paul's Church, Paihia, 12 March [11][16]


Memorial[edit]

A memorial in Russell for the men of HMS Hazard who died in the battle

Six men from the Hazard who died in the action are remembered by a grave marker in Russell. The last two verses of the poem England's Dead by Felicia Hemans are inscribed on the marker in memory of them:[2][17]

England's Dead

The Warlike of the Isles
The Men of Field and Wave
Are not the rocks their funeral piles
The Seas & Shore their grave?

Go Stranger, track the Deep,
Free, free the white sails spread,
Wave may not foam, nor wild wind beat,

Where rest not England's dead.




See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ . The Australian. New South Wales, Australia. 8 April 1845. p. 2. Retrieved 2 January 2020 – via Trove.
  2. ^ a b King, Marie (1992). . Northland Historical Publications Society.
  3. ^ . Russell Museum. from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  4. ^ Kawiti, Tawai (October 1956). . No. 16 Ao Hou, Te / The New World, National Library of New Zealand. p. 46. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  5. ^ , Te Ara
  6. ^ a b c d Carleton, Hugh (1874). . The Life of Henry Williams. Early New Zealand Books (ENZB), University of Auckland Library.
  7. ^ THE NEW ZEALAND WARS: A HISTORY OF THE MAORI CAMPAIGNS AND THE PIONEERING PERIOD: VOLUME I (1845–64). Chapter 4: The fall of Korarareka.
  8. ^ Colledge, J. J.; Ben Warlow (2006). Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy. London, England: Chatham University. p. 159. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
  9. ^ a b Selwyn, George Augustus (1847). "A Letter from the Bishop of New Zealand to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel; Containing an Account of the Affray Between the Settlers and the Natives at Kororareka". Church in the Colonies, New Zealand, Part 4. London: The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. 13: 27.
  10. ^ a b c d e f HTF (20 October 1885). . Sydney Morning Herald. New South Wales. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Admiralty, Captain’s Log, HMS Hazard, 01 April 1841–6 May 1847 (The National Archives Kew, ADM 51/3613)
  12. ^ a b c d e f Phillpotts, George; Veitch, John Topwell (22 March 1845). . Daily Southern Cross. 2 (101). p. 2.
  13. ^ Dewhurst, Jonathan (2016), , Britain's Small Forgotten Wars, retrieved 31 December 2019
  14. ^ a b c d Barclay, Edward (22 March 1845). . Daily Southern Cross. 2 (101). p. 2.
  15. ^ Davis, CG (15 July 1845). . Letter to Cobb. Plymouth.
  16. ^ Byrne, T B, , Te Ara-The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, retrieved 1 January 2020
  17. ^ Morris, Edward Ellis (1890). . Cassell & 千亿体育官网. p. 125.