General Chute's march

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General Chute's march

Postby colsjt65 » 16 Mar 2015 23:06

Last weekend, my group took part in filming an episode of an upcoming documentary series called "Radar's Chequered Past". Hosted by a famous-in-New Zealand comedian/TV personality, stage name "Te Radar" (real name Andrew Lumsden), it it a series of snippets of New Zealand historical events (mostly quirky events or near-disasters) presented in a light-hearted format, to stimulat interest in our history.

So we re-enacted Major General Sir Trevor Chute's march through the bush inland of Mount Egmont, which was part of his scorched-earth campaign of Jan-Feb 1866. This was designed to prove to the enemy (and the colonial detractors) that the Englishman was not afraid of fighting in the bush and nowhere was safe from imperial power. After fighting three battles, storming three strong pa and burning all villages and crops he could find in South Taranaki, he took a force of 514 men, including 38 Royal Artillery (without guns); 247 men of the 2nd Bttn, 14th Regt.; 44 Forest Rangers; and 73 Wanganui Native Contingent; with 91 horses, into the dense bush along a disused Maori track from Normanby to Lepperton (now a 60 km, 40 minute road trip). Having been assured by guides that it was a three day march, his men were in light marching order, with three days rations. Apart from encountering some enemy on the first day (killing three), no other Maori were seen and the enemies was the countless streams, gulleys, swamp, trees and incessant rain. By day three they had gone 6 km and it was obvious that the guides were lost. After day 4 they killed two horses for food, which they ate raw because to the rain. Finally staggering out of the bush on day 9, they marched triumphantly into New Plymouth the following day. After that the force marched all the way back to Wanganui by the coastal road, destroying several pa and villages on the way.

Major Von Tempsky, the commanding officer of the Forest Rangers, painted some nice detailed depictions of the march.

Chutesmarch-von tempsky - sm.jpg
The start of the march. chute on the left with Dr Featherston, Von Tempsky leading his men.
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Re: General Chute's march

Postby colsjt65 » 16 Mar 2015 23:14

Chute's march 3  - sm.jpg
Deep in the bush
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Re: General Chute's march

Postby colsjt65 » 16 Mar 2015 23:17

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Re: General Chute's march

Postby colsjt65 » 16 Mar 2015 23:19

Here are photos taken during breaks in the filming. as you can see, some details are wrong - on a film shoot the wardrobe mistress thinks she knows what looks best, not what's right, so that's why 'Chute' is wearing a patrol jacket, and a pill box hat, but overall, I'm proud of the boys and the general look.
chuteandmen.jpg
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Re: General Chute's march

Postby colsjt65 » 16 Mar 2015 23:21

Nativecontingent.jpg
They're on our side!
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Re: General Chute's march

Postby colsjt65 » 16 Mar 2015 23:22

Deepinthebush.jpg
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Re: General Chute's march

Postby colsjt65 » 16 Mar 2015 23:25

Sorry for all the separate posts, but it keeps logging me out :-(
5 minute job took 20.
Vonand Ranger.jpg
Von
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Re: General Chute's march

Postby rd72 » 20 Mar 2015 03:05

Sans whiskers, Bruce???

Good God man, hardly recognized you! or maybe it's just the lighting...

Well done. The guys look good and grubby in a couple of those pictures... looks way better...
Cheers,
Rob
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Re: General Chute's march

Postby colsjt65 » 20 Mar 2015 03:41

Thanks Rob
From the original photos it seems that musetache only was the fashion for sergeants by 1866.
I won't be cleaning my uniform. I still haven't got all my 'makeup' out from round my fingernails.
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