New Zealand Medal : Able Seaman William Jones, HMCS Victoria

Accession Number REL/12685
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Medal
Physical description Silver
Maker Wyon, Alfred Benjamin
Wyon, Joseph Shepherd
Place made United Kingdom, United Kingdom: England
Date made c 1880s
Conflict New Zealand Wars, 1845-1872

New Zealand Medal. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

History / Summary

2442 Able Seaman William Jones served aboard Her Majesty's Colonial Ship (HMCS) Victoria, a gunboat belonging to the colony of Victoria. In 1860 he was 20 years old when the ship, under the command of Captain William Norman, was sent to New Zealand to take part in the Taranaki War, arriving at New Plymouth, NZ, on 30 April 1860. This was the first time Australian troops served in an overseas war. The ship carried two companies of the British 40th Regiment of Foot, many who had taken part in the suppression of the Eureka Stockade in 1854. The Victoria stayed in New Zealand for a year and served as a despatch vessel attached to HMS Pelorus in the Waitara District. In July 1860 a party of 40 men was drawn from the ship's crew to serve ashore at New Plymouth as a part of the Imperial Naval Brigade. Over the next few months men from Victoria took part in armed reconnaissance and attacks on Maori pas (fortifications), culminating in an attack at Matarikoriko Pa in December 1860. They help build a redoubt at Kairau under heavy fire from Maori forces. On 28 January 1861 the party returned to HMCS Victoria. Victoria left New Zealand for Melbourne in April 1861. After returning from New Zealand, the ship was sent to the Gulf of Carpentaria to search, without success, for members of the Burke and Wills Expedition. Members of the Victoria's crew who had served in the Imperial Naval Brigade and were involved in at least one land based engagement were eligible to apply for the New Zealand Medal, which was instituted in 1869. Those who remained on board during the ship's time in New Zealand were not. To receive the medal former crew members had to apply in person and prove they had been under fire, which was usually confirmed in writing by a senior officer. Only 10 men from the Victoria claimed their medals. One of these was 2442 William Jones, who received his medal in June 1888 in New Zealand.