medal code j2300

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SCARCE NEW ZEALAND 1845-66 SEVERELY WOUNDED DURING AN AMBUSH IN OCTOBER 1863 DURING THE SECOND TARANAKI WAR

NEW ZEALAND 1845-66 REVERSE UNDATED ‘102. CORPL. HY. HEWETT, C. S CORPS’

Henry Hewitt was born in Gamsbro, Lincolnshire in 1834 and attested for service in the Royal Artillery on the 26th November 1855. He transferred to the Commissariat Staff Corps as Private on the 1st October 1859 gaining promotion to 2nd Corporal in 1864, Corporal in 1868 and Sergeant in 1872. Hewitt saw service in New Zealand during the Maori Wars and suffered a serious gunshot wound through his body from right to left shoulder in an ambush by Maori rebels when travelling back from leave in Auckland to his post at Galloway Redoubt on the 26th October 1863.

Galloway Redoubt was established in July 1863 as advance post which was part of a Pākehā fortification line along the Wairoa River valley to Papakura, for control of Māori movement north from the Hunua Ranges. It was held by detachments 2nd Battn, 18th Royal Irish, 65th Regts and Rifle Volunteers.

Newspaper account of the ambush:
‘THE WAR IN AUCKLAND. [From the correspondent Daily Southern Cross.} WAIROA.

October 27th. Yesterday (Monday) was another exciting day in this district, and moreover exceedingly wet and disagreeable for any out door exercise. Nevertheless there were parties out in all directions. About 3 o'clock p.m. a man named^ Henry Hewitt belonging to the commissariat department and who is employed at the Galloway Redoubt, as a baker, came galloping into camp with the intimation that he had been fired at by a body of natives, and that he had been wounded. Hewitt had been to Auckland on leave of absence, and was returning on a pony which had been lent him by Mr. McNicol, and as he was riding along in the neighbourhood of Mr. Steels he was fired at by a body of natives who were laying in ambush. One ball struck him, and the pony started off immediately at a gallop and brought the unfortunate man safely to the camp. He was immediately attended to by Dr. O'Carrol who found that he had been wounded in the back, and that the bullet was still in him. The ball had entered a little below the the right shoulder- blade and lodged against the left shoulder-blade. It was without loss of time extracted by means of incision made a little below the spot where the bullet was lodged, and then by gently working it down. The wound though very serious is not now considered dangerous. The doctor tells me he is going on very well.’

Hewitt was discharged from the Army Service Corps on the 2nd December 1876 having served for a total of 21 years with nearly 7 years on active service in New Zealand where the Commissariat Staff Corps were often deployed as cavalry due to no British Cavalry Regiments being posted there. Only 243 New Zealand War medals to the Commissariat Staff Corps.

Condition VF, few contact marks. With service papers, newspaper articles on CD. A scarce casualty medal.

Code J2300         Price £