Role of the 4th Bde RA March 1864-66

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Role of the 4th Bde RA March 1864-66

Postby opcmh » 13 Mar 2010 04:39

Hello: I am searching for any information on the 4th Brigade Royal Artillery activites in New Zealand from March 1864 - 1866........regards jack
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Re: Role of the 4th Bde RA March 1864-66

Postby Kent Young » 18 Mar 2011 01:07

I've done some research on Robert Jessup, who was a member of the 3rd Battery of the 4th Brigade, which was stationed at Shorncliffe, in Kent by January 1, 1860, and then transferred to Woolwich in March, 1860. This unit was sent to New Zealand in late 1860 to participate in the 2nd Maori War [1861] and remained there for the third Maori War [1863 – 1866]. The 3rd Battery of the 4th Brigade of Captain Henry Mercer left Woolwich on November 21, 1860 and sailed from Deal in the ship Norwood, under Captain Frank Bristow. Capt. Mercer had to put down a mutiny of some of his men while aboard the ship. This occurred on December 29, 1861. After 99 days at sea, the ship arrived at Auckland Harbor on the North Island of New Zealand on March 4, 1861. After a week of unloading the artillery and supplies, half of the brigade, under Capt. Mercer, was dispatched to Taranaki to participate in the engagement against the Maori there; Robert, however, was among those that remained in Auckland, under command of Lt. Hunter, awaiting a contingent from Australia, commanded by Capt. Watson, with 180 horses. This was confirmed by the muster report, which shows that he was in Auckland at that time. Robert, therefore, did not participate in the brief action of 1861. This fact was reflected in his application for the New Zealand War Medal. This application was submitted along with others of his unit on March 19, 1869 at Hilsea, north of Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, since the medal was not officially authorized until 1869. Robert noted on the application that he was Shoeing Smith #1315 of C Battery, 4th Brigade. He had served in the field, in New Zealand, in 1863 through 1866 under Captain Henry Mercer (killed Nov. 20, 1863), Lieutenant A. J. Rait, and Captain J. H. Peile, and he had participated in the following engagements of the Maori Wars: Katikara [June 4, 1863], Kerri Kerri [Kerikeri] [July 22, 1863], Rangiawhia [February 21, 1864], and Orakau Pah [March 30 – April 2, 1864] during the Waikato War of 1863/4 and Teranja [Te Ranga] [June 21, 1864] during the Tauranga War of 1864, during several of these engagements, the Royal Artillery took on the roll of cavalry and even was ordered to make an infantry charge. Jessup later indicated on the record that he was in New Zealand for a total of 5 years and 240 days, which confirms that he had arrived in 1861. It is also interesting to note that he still served under Captain Peile in March, 1869, which implies that he remained with the 4th Brigade C Battery, which left Auckland aboard the Trevelyan on June 27, 1866, and arrived at Woolwich on October 29, 1866. Apparently, the unit lived at the Albert Barracks in Auckland, at least during the time just prior to leaving New Zealand. Robert’s record shows that he was back in Woolwich on September 26, 1867, to enlist for a second engagement for a period of 12 years 44 days. Robert’s service record next shows a separate entry for the period December 1, 1865 to March 31, 1869 (3 years 121 days), at which time he was still called a Shoeing Smith and he was still attached to C Battery, 4th Brigade, so the reason that this was a separate entry is a mystery – perhaps he had earned another stripe at that time (shoeing smith 2nd). Upon their return, 4th Brigade C Battery was first stationed at Aldershot, in Surrey, in 1867 and into 1868. By October 1868, they had been reassigned to Hilsea, north of Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. During that time, the Royal Artillery was undergoing some changes, which resulted in C Battery, 4th Brigade being redesignated as H Battery, 11th Brigade. Robert’s New Zealand Medal application taken on March 18, 1869 was taken in Hilsea, at which time he confirmed that he was still, and previously had been while in New Zealand, a member of C Battery, 4th Brigade (Capt. Peile noted when the medal roll was approved in July, 1869 that it was H Battery 11th Brigade, late C Battery, 4th Brigade). On April 1, 1869, Robert’s record denotes this change as a transfer to [H Battery,] 11th Brigade. H Battery remained stationed in Hilsea and Robert remained attached to this unit as a Shoeing Smith until January 31, 1871 (1 year 306 days). His home was the Hilsea Barracks, during that same time period, as this was given as his residence on his marriage license. On February 1, 1871, Robert was appointed to the rank of Farrier Sergeant. He remained with the 11th Brigade H Battery until February 28, 1871 (another 28 days).
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