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Puketakauere NZ Wars memorial

This memorial obelisk stands in Waitara Historic Cemetery on McLean Street in the Taranaki town of Waitara. It was erected by the New Zealand government in 1915 to record the names of 34 imperial troops who died in attacks on Puketakauere pā and Matarikoriko pā in 1860.

Almost all of these imperial troops served with the 40th Regiment. One exception is Able Seaman Alfred Broome of HMS Pelorus, who was part of the naval brigade that took part in the battle for Matarikoriko pā, upriver from Puketakauere, on 29 December. Here the memorial inscription is inaccurate: severely wounded that day, Broome died on 5 January 1861 and was buried at Waitara Historic Cemetery the following day.

Casualty lists from the two engagements confirm that the remains of the 34 men recorded on the memorial are buried in Waitara Historic Cemetery. Lieutenant Denis Jackson, killed at No. 3 Redoubt and memorialised on the headstone marking the grave of Lieutenant Charles Francis Brooke, is buried at St Mary’s Cathedral Church in New Plymouth.

Lieutenant Charles Francis Brooke is the only soldier to have an individually marked grave in Waitara Historic Cemetery. Brooke’s officer status and role as Aide-de-Camp to Major-General Sir Thomas Pratt probably explain this preferential treatment.

Additional images


Unveiling on 24 June 1915



Front face [A]:
They / live in memory / by / their deeds / Erected / by the New Zealand Government / 1915 / To perpetuate the memory of the / brave men who fell in the / attack on Puketakauere Pah / on June 27th 1860 / And also those / who fell at the attack on Kairau, / on the 29th December 1860.

Face [B]:
40th Regiment of the line / (“Fighting 40th.”) / Somerset Regiment. / 2nd Battalion Lancaster Regiment

Face [C]:
Lest we forget / Killed at Kairau 29th December 1860 / A. Broome: A.B. of H.M.S. Pelorus / Private M. Lehane 40th Regt. / [Private] J. Chinnery.

Face [D]:
Lieut. Brooks
Sergt. O’Callaghan
Corpl. Samuel McBurney
Corp. David Vahey
[Corporal] Edward Ryan
Gunner W. Weir (Royal Artillery)

Patrick Broderick Thomas Dumphey
Wm. Hickey J. Douglas
Walter Scott Patrick Fagan
John Downes Samuel Alroy
W.F. Perry James Gore
John Webber John Fillingham
Wm. Hayes H.E. Martyn
T. Byrne J. Allen
Archibald McCann Peter McCabe
Wm. Cliff Edw. G. Harris
T. Gill Geo. Marsden
Wm. Markham Francis Robinson
J. Macguire 

Brooke grave:
In memory of / Charles Francis Brooke / for some time Aid-de-Camp to / Major General Sir Thomas S. Pratt K.C.B. / commanding the forces / also of the non-commissioned officers / and men of the 40th Regt. who fell bravely / performing their duty during the war of / 1860–61, some of whom lie interred in this / spot and others in the Waitara District. / Also of Lieut. Denis Jackson 40th Regt. / who fell in action in front of Huirangi / 25th Jan. 1861.

Further information

  • James Cowan, ‘Operations at Kairau and Huirangi’, in The New Zealand Wars: a history of the Maori campaigns and the pioneering period: volume I: 1845–1864, R.E. Owen, Wellington, 1955, pp. 201–4
  • James Cowan, ‘Puke-Ta-Kauere and other operations’, in The New Zealand Wars: a history of the Maori campaigns and the pioneering period: volume I: 1845–1864, R.E. Owen, Wellington, 1955, pp. 183–92
  • Chris Maclean and Jock Phillips, The sorrow and the pride: New Zealand war memorials, GP Books, Wellington, 1990, p. 34
  • Chris Pugsley, ‘Walking the Taranaki Wars: The Battle of Puketakauere, 27 June 1860’, New Zealand Defence Quarterly, no. 10 (Spring 1995), pp. 35–40

Modern images: Margaret Marks, 2007; Jock Phillips and Chris Maclean, c. 1986

Image of the 1915 unveiling: Archives New Zealand
Reference: IA 76 Box 5 Record 29 p48.
Permission of Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga must be obtained before any reuse of this image

How to cite this page

Puketakauere NZ Wars memorial, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated