Setting the Record Straight on Rangiaowhia 1864
On 21 February 1864, 1000 British troops marched into
the tiny, defenceless village of Rangiaowhia and wantonly slaughtered a hundred
women and children. Or did they?
- Piers Seed
There is no way that General Cameron, the chivalrous Commander of the Colonial troops in the Waikato War, would contemplate the killing of women and children. He had criticized Kingite general, Wiremu Tamihana, for having women in the front lines at the earlier Battle of Rangariri.
Cameron did want to occupy Rangiaowhia, because it was the major source of food for the Kingite forces, notably at the powerful set of forts at Paterangi. To get to the village he had cleverly by-passed these fortifications in the dead of night to avoid casualties.