In October 1865 Major-General Trevor Chute arrived in New Plymouth to replace Duncan Cameron as commander of the army in New Zealand. Chute was determined to confront Māori forces in their forest strongholds. In December 1865 he marched out of Whanganui to attack pā sites and destroy villages in South Taranaki. On 17 January 1866 his 500-strong force, along with 90 horses, left Ketemarae (Normanby) to travel through the forest east of the mountain. The overgrown Māori trail soon proved unusable and the troops had to blaze their own path across many rivers in pouring rain. They ran out of food after three days and had to eat several of their horses. Chute’s force arrived in New Plymouth on 27 January to a rapturous welcome.
In this watercolour by Gustavus von Tempsky, General Chute stands on a rock in a stream, probably the Kurapete on the site of the future town of Inglewood, while a horse is butchered in the background. Tempsky includes himself at far left.
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The Fletcher Trust Collection
Watercolour by Gustavus Ferdinand von Tempsky
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