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19th-Century Grave of British Soldiers Found in New Zealand

Friday, December 15, 2017

battle Ruapekapeka PaNORTHLAND, NEW ZEALAND—According to a report in the New Zealand Herald, the remains of 12 British soldiers who died in the last battle of New Zealand’s Northern Wars have been found in a communal grave at the site of Ruapekapeka Pa. Also known as the “Bat’s Nest,” Ruapekapeka Pa was a Maori hilltop fortress complete with a palisade, trenches, and tunnels. Over several days in January 1846, more than 1,000 British troops bombarded the fortress and opened a breach in the palisade. They found only a few Maori warriors remaining within the fortress, but the fighting intensified and about a dozen British soldiers were killed as they took control of Ruapekapeka Pa. Archaeologist Jonathan Carpenter said a smoking pipe and a percussion cap were found in the grave. A bullet was found lodged in the rib cage of one of the men. “The graves had last been seen in 1851,” Carpenter said. “The local community, and the local Maori community in particular, were concerned the men were not adequately acknowledged or cared for.” For more, go to “World Roundup: New Zealand.”

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