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Remains of British soldiers from New Zealand’s Northern War discovered

The remains of a dozen British soldiers who fought in New Zealand’s Northern War have been found.


The bodies were found in a mass grave in Kawakawa, a small town in the Northland Region of northern New Zealand, 170 years after the final battle.

“These men took the Queen’s shilling. They came from halfway around the world and ended up dying here and now their bones have become part of the earth,” archeologist Jono Carpenter, who has been searching for the remains for four years, told One News.

A descendant of Maori chief Kawiti, who defended the Pa, and colonel Robert Wynyard, who led the British troops, Pita Tipene added: “We’ve been wondering for years and years, ever since 1986, where the soldiers were buried.

“We didn’t know where they were buried, we couldn’t give them the reverence and the respect that they deserved so this is absolutely huge.”

The Northern War happened in 1845-46, between local Maori tribes and the British Army.

The remains were found six metres underground – and a musket ball located beneath the rib cage of one of the soldiers.

The Department of Conservation and local Maori tribes will decide how the remains of the troops will be remembered.



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