New Zealand Cross (1869)

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Original New Zealand Cross

The New Zealand Cross was introduced in 1869 during the New Zealand Wars in New Zealand. The wars were fought between natives of New Zealand, the Māori, and forces raised by European settlers known as Pākehā assisted by British troops.

Many acts of bravery, gallantry and devotion to duty were recorded among the local militia, armed constabulary and volunteers, but there was one militia Victoria Cross awarded to Charles Heaphy in 1867 for action in 1864.

On 10 March 1869, without checking the facts and under the mistaken impression colonial troops were not eligible for the Victoria Cross unless under command of British troops, the Governor of New Zealand, Sir George Bowen, instituted the New Zealand Cross as the highest New Zealand award.

He was widely criticised in England, and accused of usurping the prerogative of Queen Victoria, but she eventually ratified his action.[1]

Only 23 New Zealand Crosses were awarded with first six published in the New Zealand Gazette in 1869. There was one award gazetted in 1870 and the remaining 16 awards gazetted between 1875 and 1910, from six to 44 years after the actions commended.[2]

It has the form of a silver cross pattée. The obverse contains the words 'NEW ZEALAND' in the centre, gilded in gold, which are encircled by a laurel wreath. Each limb of the cross has a six-point star, in gold. The cross is surmounted by a gold Imperial State Crown. The reverse of the medal has two concentric circles with the name of the recipient engraved between the circles, and the date of the action engraved within the inner circle.[3] A crimson ribbon passes through a silver suspender clasp with small gold laurel leaves. For the first 20 medals cast in 1871, the reverse of the suspender clasp contains the cartouche of the goldsmith Messrs Phillips Brothers and Son of Cockspur Street, London; which was omitted from a further five medals cast in 1886.[4]

Recipients[edit]

Sergeant Solomon Black
Captain George Preece

Recipients of the original New Zealand Cross were:

One member of the New Zealand colonial forces, Major Charles Heaphy was awarded the VC for his actions in 1864, when he was commanding British troops.[27] See List of New Zealand Victoria Cross recipients and New Zealand Land Wars Victoria Cross recipients.

1999 Medal[edit]

In 1999, the New Zealand Cross was re-instituted. The Royal Warrant of 20 September 1999 created four awards for bravery and four for gallantry.

The new New Zealand Cross for Bravery is similar to the 1869 medal with some amendments. The Crown is now the current St Edward's Crown instead of the Victorian Imperial State Crown, and New Zealand fern fronds replace laurel leaves. The ribbon is bright blue, a colour traditionally associated with bravery awards.

There is also a new Victoria Cross for New Zealand for Gallantry, which has the same crimson ribbon and is made to the same design and of the same gunmetal as the British VC.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

The Queen's Heroes: Victoria & New Zealand Crosses by Murray Moorhead (2005, Zenith, New Plymouth) ISBN 1-877365-23-8

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ McLintock, A. H., ed. (1966). New Zealand Cross. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
  2. ^ McLintock, A. H., ed. (1966). List of Recipients. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
  3. ^ McLintock, A. H., ed. (1966). Designing of the Cross. Te Ara - the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand.
  4. ^ McLintock, A. H., ed. (1966). Number of Crosses Struck. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
  5. ^ a b Cowan, James (1923). "The New Zealand Wars. A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period. Volume II, The Hauhau Wars 1864-1872. Chapter 37: Expeditions to Urewera Country". nzetc.victoria.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  6. ^ Gudgeon, Thomas Wayth (1887). "The Defenders of New Zealand - [Pages 335-365]". enzb.auckland.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  7. ^ Scholefield, Guy, ed. (1940). A Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Volume 1. A–L (PDF). Wellington: Department of Internal Affairs. p. 26. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  8. ^ Gudgeon, Thomas Wayth (1887). "The Defenders of New Zealand - [Pages 236-263]". enzb.auckland.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  9. ^ a b Cowan, James (1923). "The New Zealand Wars. A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period. Volume II, The Hauhau Wars 1864-1872. Supplementary Notes to Chapters. The New Zealand Cross". nzetc.victoria.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  10. ^ Gudgeon, Thomas Wayth (1887). "The Defenders of New Zealand - [Pages 436-469]". enzb.auckland.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  11. ^ Cowan, James (1923). "The New Zealand Wars. A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period. Volume II, The Hauhau Wars 1864-1872. Chapter 31. Te Kooti's Attack on Mohaka". nzetc.victoria.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  12. ^ Gudgeon, Thomas Wayth (1887). "The Defenders of New Zealand - [Pages 470-482]". enzb.auckland.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  13. ^ Savage, Paula (2012). "'Mair, Gilbert', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand". teara.govt.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  14. ^ Cowan, James (1923). "The New Zealand Wars. A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period. Volume II, The Hauhau Wars 1864-1872. Chapter 34. The Taupo Campaign (1869)". nzetc.victoria.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  15. ^ Cowan, James (1923). "The New Zealand Wars. A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period. Volume II, The Hauhau Wars 1864-1872. Chapter 23: Repulse at Te Ngutu-O-Te-Manu". nzetc.victoria.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  16. ^ Cowan, James (1923). "The New Zealand Wars. A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period. Volume II, The Hauhau Wars 1864-1872. Chapter 15: McDonell's Taranaki Campaign (1866)". nzetc.victoria.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  17. ^ Cowan, James (1923). "The New Zealand Wars. A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period. Volume II, The Hauhau Wars 1864-1872. Chapter 38: Expeditions of Arawa Contingent". nzetc.victoria.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  18. ^ Dreaver, Anthony (1990). "'Te Rangihiwinui, Te Keepa', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand". teara.govt.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  19. ^ Cowan, James (1923). "The New Zealand Wars. A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period. Volume II, The Hauhau Wars 1864-1872. Chapter 43. Frontier Perils and the Final Peace. The Taranaki Frontier and the Expedition to Parihaka". nzetc.victoria.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  20. ^ "The second Taranaki war - War in Taranaki 1860-63 | NZHistory, New Zealand history online". nzhistory.govt.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  21. ^ Gudgeon, Thomas Wayth (1887). "The Defenders of New Zealand - [Pages 78-101]". enzb.auckland.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  22. ^ Cowan, James (1923). "The New Zealand Wars. A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period. Volume II, The Hauhau Wars 1864-1872. Chapter 33: The Surprise at Opepe". nzetc.victoria.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  23. ^ Gudgeon, Thomas Wayth (1887). "The Defenders of New Zealand - [Pages 402-435]". enzb.auckland.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  24. ^ Gudgeon, Thomas Wayth (1887). "The Defenders of New Zealand - [Pages 366-401]". enzb.auckland.ac.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  25. ^ Scholefield, G. H., ed. (1940). A Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Volume II. M–Addenda (PDF). Department of Internal Affairs. p. 532.
  26. ^ "Evening Post | 24 February 1898 | page 4 | Local and General". paperspast.natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  27. ^ Gudgeon, Thomas Wayth (1887). "The Defenders of New Zealand - [Pages 102-134]". enzb.auckland.ac.nz. Retrieved 9 September 2018.

External links[edit]