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The Story Of Gate Pa, April 29th, 1864

Prior to the Fight — Fraternising with the Natives

Prior to the Fight
Fraternising with the Natives

During the several months our troops were stationed in Te Papa prior to actual hostilities, the Tommies, aye, all the officers too, had closely fraternised with the hospitable and chivalrous Ngaiterangi, and a strong mutual regard and admiration had grown up between the two races; hence, as the hour of battle drew nearer, none of the Imperial troops looked forward to it with eagerness and enthusiasm. Whether this feeling had any co-relation to the subsequent defeat I cannot say, but certain it is that the men had gloomy anticipations and all felt the deep seriousness and uncertainty of the adventure they were about to participate in. This being so, the greatest care was exercised by the General and staff in selecting the assaulting column, the details of which were known at least two days previously.