The Elms mission station

The Elms mission station

The Elms mission house at Tauranga. The building was completed in 1847 on land bought for the Church Missionary Society by missionary Alfred Brown in 1839.

On the evening of 28 April 1864, the night before the assault on Gate Pā, nine officers whose units were to lead the attack gathered for dinner at The Elms. Only one of these men, Assistant Surgeon William Manley of the Royal Artillery, was to survive the chaotic events of the following day. Manley was awarded a Victoria Cross for tending to the wounded with little regard to his own well-being.

Community contributions

1 comment has been posted about The Elms mission station

What do you know?

Catherine Mitchell

Posted: 23 Jan 2014

Certainly Manley was the only officer at that dinner to survive and as noted was to be awarded the Victoria Cross for tending to the wounded. I am unable to see in any other text associated with this entry that one Samuel Mitchell was also awarded a Victoria Cross - namely for saving his Commanding Officer Hay under enemy fire...For his gallant conduct at the attack at Te Papa, Tauranga, on the 29th of April last, in entering the Pah with Commander Hay, and when that Officer was mortally wounded, bringing him out, although ordered by Commander Hay to leave him, and seek his own safety. This man was at the time 'Captain of the Fore-top' of the "Harrier," doing duty as Captain's Coxswain; and Commodore Sir William Wiseman brings his name to special notice for this act of gallantry." Samule Mitchell was British however his descendants live on here in NZ - my father-in-law is his grandson and my husband his great-grandson.