Object #1018371 from MS-Papers-0032-0663

6 pages written 27 Jul 1869 by Captain Henry William Young to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Surnames, Yar - XY, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0663 (27 digitised items). Correspondents:Col C C Yarborough, Tunbridge Wells, 1875 (1 letter); George Young, Napier, undated (1 letter); H W Young, Wellington, 1868 & undated (14 letters); H W Young, Ngaruawahia, 1869 to Sir George Bowen (1 letter); Mary Young, Remuera, 1864 (1 letter); T Young, Wellington, 1871-1872 (2 letters); W Young, Wellington, 1867 (1 letter); William Young, Remuera, 1856-1876 (5 letters).Includes an anonymous letter from `XY' requesting of a photograph of McLean (undated letter). The return address is c/- Mrs I J Fletcher, Christchurch. Transcript included.

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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English (ATL)

COPY. (PRIVATE) 27th. July 1869

Dear Mr. McLean,

On the afternoon of the 7th. October 1868, my Detachment landed at Wanganui wharf. It was very wet, but there was a large crowd to welcome us.

As we marched through, I hear the remark - ''We are safe now!''

That same evening, strolling through the town, we were accosted by a man - ''Glad you're back, Sir! I shall sleep safe to-night; and I haven't had a good night's rest for three months!''

The Eanganui Militia had been drilling daily (1st. and 2nd. class.) Since the 1st. October, Col. McDonnell was occupying Patea and Kakaramea, and the Wanganui natives were throwing up a Redoubt. at (Wereroa), Titonwaru had advanced to the upper Patea district, and his whereabouts were uncertain. It was not known whether he had crossed the stream, or not.

Business appeared to be at a stand-still in Wanganui. Many of the leading inhabitants had sent their wives away to Auckland and the South Island, and settlers living within 3 miles of the town of Wanganui came in to sleep every night.

On the 18th. October there was a regular panic in the town. I was informed at 6 a.m. by the Officer commanding the Militia, that Tito might be at Nukumaru that evening, and was crossing the Waitotara river.

Ammunition was sent out to the Friendlies at Wereroa, who, it was said, would fall back on Nukumaru, (29 miles from Wanganui.)

The whole of that day was employed by me, although Sunday, in repairing the Imperial Stockades.

There was another false alarm (2nd. Nov.) on which occasion not only women and children, but stoutbodied men, came and asked for shelter of the stockades. Ou reply was - ''Go and join the Militia, and take over your arms.'' Militia service seemed very unpopular in Wanganui.

The only people who showed anything like a soldierly spirit, or willingness to do their work, were the Volunteer lads under Tunnimore, and the Veterans under Kells (who, however, were only embodied about the 15th. November.) Powell's young fellows at Wereroa, of course, behaved very well, as everyone knows, in their defence of that post. I allude to the general feeling only which prevailed in Wanganui, when we arrived, and do not refer to any individual in particular.

Noake could tell you how many deserters he had, when the Detachment of Militia was first ordered to Wereroa!

Believe me
Yours very truly (Signed)
H.W. Young.

Part of:
Inward letters - Surnames, Yar - XY, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0663 (27 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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