New Zealand Wars memorials overseas

New Zealand Wars memorials overseas

The foundation stone for the first memorial to soldiers killed in what became known as the New Zealand Wars was laid at Anglesea Barracks in Hobart, Tasmania on 27 May 1850 by the commander of the 99th Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Despard. One side of the imposing 12.2-m sandstone pillar completed a few months later bears the inscription:

This Pillar
Was erected by the Voluntary Subscription
of the Officers
Non Commd. Officers and Privates
of the 99th Regiment
to perpetuate the Memory of these brave Men
of that Regiment who fell
in the Service of their Queen and Country
during the Campaigns in New Zealand
in the Years 1845 and 1846.

Another side bears the names of two officers, one sergeant and 21 privates of the regiment. Australia’s first war memorial, it was also one of the first memorials erected in a secular space which named ordinary British soldiers who had fallen in combat in the colonies. Most of these men had died during or shortly after the disastrous frontal assault on Ōhaeawai pā on 1 July 1845, during the Northern War. The 99th Regiment was based in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) from 1848 until 1856, when it returned to Ireland.

A stone arch in a public park in Burwood, western Sydney, lists the conflicts in which Australians have fought. At the top is ‘N.Z. Wars’.

Further afield, the former Royal Naval College at Greenwich, London, has a memorial to 21 officers and men of the Royal Navy who died in New Zealand in 1863–64. A plaque in Lisburn Cathedral, Northern Ireland, commemorates Captain Henry Mercer, who was mortally wounded at Rangiriri ‘while leading in forlorn hope his escort of Artillerymen’. Commander E. Hay and men of HMS Harrier who died while attacking Gate Pā are commemorated at St Mary’s Church, Portsmouth. Lichfield, York and St Paul’s (London) cathedrals, and the Royal Garrison Church of All Saints (Aldershot), have monuments or plaques to regiments which served in the New Zealand Wars.



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