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Life in Early Poverty Bay

Mr. Smith in Tight Corner

Mr. Smith in Tight Corner.

As the Hauhau rebellion broke out in the following year, Mr Smith's plans naturally became upset, for he at once joined the volunteers. He first of all saw service at Waerenga-a-hika under Capt. Wilson. During the engagement Mr Smith had a very narrow escape. With others he was engaged in trying to prevent the rebels from obtaining their water supplies, when a reinforcement of 200 strong from Opotiki for the rebels turned up and the party had literally to cut their way out through them, only half a dozen escaping. The deportation of Te Kooti and a large number of rebels to the Chathams had followed the quashing of the rebellion.

When Te Kooti and his party returned to Whareongaonga, Mr Smith, together with Mr Thelwall and others, joined the party sent to intercept them. This proved an ill-fated mission and the rebels, after more than holding their own at Paparatu, got away inland. Returning to his farm on the Flats, Mr. Smith worked on industriously and successfully till the fateful November 10, 1868 when the awful Massacre occurred. On that page 104 night, he happened to be at Mr Parker's, assisting with the shearing and on hearing the firing the whole household left the premises, taking cover in the scrub till daylight, when they came on to Gisborne, Mr Smith having to carry Mr Fred Parker (then a mere boy) most of the way. Again Mr Smith took the field, remaining with the forces till 1870.