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Photographs supplied by Russell Byers / John Huth

A plaque commemorates Ensign Henry Middleton Blackburn (aged 23 years) of the 99th Regiment who was killed in action in the Valley of the Horokiwi, New Zealand in 1846.

On 6 August 1846, a battle occurred between approximately 400 imperial, colonial and kūpapa (Māori fighting alongside the government) forces, and several hundred Ngāti Toa led by Te Rangihaeata. 

Troops under Major Edward Last began climbing Battle Hill at about 9 a.m. on 6 August. In miserable conditions they struggled up through the wet, heavy bush that covered the steep hillside, following a party of soldiers who felled trees as they went. Three of the advance party were killed. One was Private Thomas Tuite of the 99th Regiment, a former labourer from Dublin. Another – Leading Seaman William Roberts, captain of the mizzen-top on HMS Calliope – was mortally wounded.

Acting Ensign Henry Middleton Blackburn of the 99th Regiment, who was one of the officers leading the advance party, was shot by a Ngāti Toa sniper concealed in a tree.

It was initially intended to bury Blackburn at ‘Camp Paramatta’ (on the site of the Paremata Barracks, now in Ngatitoa Domain, Porirua City, New Zealand).  Instead his body was conveyed to Wellington on H.M.S. Castor and interred with military honours in the presence of Governor George Grey on 14 August. 

Ensign Blackburn.-A neat marble tablet (by Patten) has just been placed in St. James's Church, to the memory of the late Ensign Blackburn. It bears the following inscription :-" In Memory of Ensign Henry Middleton Blackburn, 99th Regiment, who was killed in action with the rebel natives in the valley of Horokiwi, New Zealand, August , 1846, aged 23 years. This monument is erected by his brother officers in testimony of their esteem and regard."
Sydney Morning Herald (NSW),  23 December 1847.



Address:173 King Street, St. James Anglican Church. North Wall No 72, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.869486
Long: 151.211172
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:06-August-1846
Actual Event End Date:06-August-1846


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1847
Front Inscription

                 In Memory Of
Ensign Henry Middleton Blackburn,
               99th Regiment ;
Who Was Killed In Action With The Rebel Natives
     In The Valley Of The Horokiwi,
               New Zealand ,
August 6th 1846. Aged 23 Years.

This Monument Is Erected By His
Brother Officers In Testimony Of Their Esteem And Regard.

Source: MA,SJ,NZHO
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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