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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

Mr. George Taylor

Mr. George Taylor, South Street, Newton, is an old colonist of over half a century's standing, and landed in Auckland in September, 1845. He was born in Colchester in 1829, and at the age of fifteen he enlisted in the 58th Regiment, and left for Sydney on board the ship “Anne.” Soon after arriving in Sydney in June, 1845, the regiment was sent to this Colony under Colonel Wynyard, and proceeded to Kirikiri and Kororareka, Bay of Islands, where a halt was made for a concentration of troops. When the Governor, Sir George Grey, arrived in New Zealand in November 1845, Mr. Taylor formed one of the guard of honour. The regiment then moved on to Ruapekapeka, where a force of some 1700 men stormed the pa, which they eventually captured. Mr. Taylor was also present, and saw active service with the natives under Tamiti Waka Nene. About the latter end of January, 1846, the forces returned to Auckland, and were given orders to move on to Wellington to check Rangihaeata, who had been guilty of cruel murders. Rangihaeata and Te Rauparaha were the principal chiefs who led the natives at the Wairau massacre. Mr. Taylor was present at the capture of Te Rauparaha at Porirua, and at the fight at Horikiwi Valley, when a bugle was recovered that had been captured by the natives when a guard and Bugler Allen were killed at the Hutt Valley. After a few skirmishes the regiment went to Wanganui, where Mr. Taylor was one of the first soldiers to land, and led the advance guard. As a member of the 58th Regiment in Wanganui, he took an active part in many engagements and assisted in building the Rutland Stockade whilst the 65th Regiment built the York Stockade. The battle of St. John's Hill—one of the biggest fights that took place in Wanganui—was one that Mr. Taylor well remembers as well as a skirmish under Colonel McLevetly, in which many were killed and wounded. Peace being made by Sir George Grey, the regiment went back to Auckland, and Mr. Taylor got his discharge. He then joined the General Post Office at Auckland, remained in the department for thirty-three years, and had charge of the mail room for twenty-two years, when he retired on a pension. Whilst occupying that position, he, as an old military veteran, never lost an opportunity of furthering volunteer movements. He was senior lieutenant of the Rutland Volunteer Company, and first lieutenant under Colonel Thomas Gore Browne and Sir George Grey, saw active service in the Papakura disturbances, and was always congratulated on all sides for keeping a smart lot of men. In 1850 Mr. Taylor, while in the Bay of Islands, volunteered and assisted Interpreter Duncan in taking the Maori census, as far south as Ngunguru, during which time he traversed the whole of that territory, and visited the famous Waimeo caves. In the early sixties, when Auckland was divided into districts for defence purposes, Lieutenant Taylor was placed by the late Colonel H. C. Balneavis, in command of the south-west portion of the city, and received the commendation of Brigadier-General Carey for the judicious manner in which he placed the men under his command.

Mr. G. Taylor.

Mr. G. Taylor.