New Zealand Medal awarded to George Crosswell

This is the New Zealand Medal awarded to Trooper George Crosswell of the Bay of Plenty Volunteer Cavalry following a clash with Te Kooti’s forces at Ōpepe, near Taupō. 

On 7 June 1869, a detachment of the Bay of Plenty Volunteer Cavalry was ambushed by a party of Te Kooti’s followers as they camped at Ōpepe. The attack was a complete surprise – nine of the 14 troopers were killed and their weapons and horses captured. Crosswell, who had been drying his clothes over a fire when the attack started, managed to escape and travelled naked for 64 km on foot to Fort Galatea in the middle of winter.

The medal, believed to be a duplicate issued to Crosswell in 1913, is currently on display at the National Army Museum in Waiōuru.

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Kevin Isemonger

Posted: 10 Jan 2020

This page states that the 'New Zealand Medal' was "Awarded" to George Crosswell following action at the Opepe Massacre near Taupo.

The New Zealand Medal is a Service Medal, so he should have received this regardless, as did all local (as opposed to British Servicemen) survivors that served during the New Zealand Wars.

There was however a 'New Zealand Cross" awarded - some what controversially, to Cornet Angus Smith, Bay of Plenty Cavalry Volunteers, for his action (or rather lack of) at Opepe 07-Jun-1869

The whole story can be found here;