Camden Remembers
Soldiers' Memorial Macarthur Park
The New Zealand database is being compiled and names will be added as they become available. If you have information or would like to include someone here please contact us.
British soldiers based in Australia fought across the Tasman in the Anglo-Maori wars of the 1840s and 1860s.
Resulting from the continuing expansion of European settlers onto Maori land and the colonial government's determination to crush native independence, the first war took place in 1845-6. With insufficient troops in New Zealand to meet the threat, the 58th Regiment of Foot, then based in Australia, was dispatched in February 1845, soon to be followed by further troops. Fighting died down after 1846 but flared again in 1860 before a truce was declared and peace returned.

By 1863 hostilities had reignited, and New Zealand's colonial authorities requested further assistance from Australia. A contingent of British troops was dispatched, along with the Victorian Colonial steam corvette, Victoria.
In July 1863 British troops invaded the Waikato area and news of the continuing campaign spread through the Australian colonies. Some 2,500 volunteers offered their services on the promise of settlement on confiscated Maori land by New Zealand recruiters; most joined the Waikato Militia regiments, others became scouts and bush guerrillas in the Company of Forest Rangers. Few of these volunteers were involved in major battles, and fewer than 20 were killed.
(This summary was referenced from the Australian War Memorial.)

To date we have discovered one soldier with connections to Camden. His story follows.

John POOLE (Private 551)
Until the 1850's it was customary for the British Army to send various regiments to the colonies for garrison duties. In 1843 it was decided that the 58th Rutlandshire Regiment of Foot (known as the Black Cuffs because of the facings on their uniforms) should take over garrison duties in New South Wales from the 80th Regiment of Foot which was going to Madras. The 58th provided the guards for 19 convict ships that left London and Ireland for Tasmania. One such soldier was Private 551 John Poole. John was born c.1808 in County Wicklow, Ireland and enlisted in the British Army c.1826.

On 14th June 1843 in the parish church at Great Oakley, Essex, England John married Susannah Richardson, daughter of William Richardson and Mary Emily Collings. Susannah had been born at Great Oakley in 1822. When John was given escort duty on the convict ship 'Maria Somes' Susannah sailed with him. The ship arrived in Hobart on 30th July 1844.

The 58th Regiment then saw service in NSW. In 1845 NSW reluctantly gave permission for the 58th to go to New Zealand because of the unrest with the Maori in the Bay of Islands. John was mustered with the main part of the Regiment which left for New Zealand. He and Susannah arrived in Auckland on 28th March 1845 on the ship 'Velocity'. Susannah must have been pregnant during this voyage as she gave birth to their son George on 30th June 1845 in Auckland.

The Regiment took part in actions at Okaihau, Ohaeawai, Ruapekapeka, Boulcott's Farm, Horokiri and St. John's Wood. It is not certain which of these engagements John took part in.

John, Susannah and their young son George returned to Sydney in April 1847. John was attached to the 99th Regiment on furlough during 1847 and 1848 while awaiting his final discharge. He qualified for a Military Pension but died in Sydney in 1849. The couple had another son John William born 14th October 1849 in Sydney.

Susannah Poole then married James Butler in Camden 24th March 1851 and had six children all born in Camden. Susannah died 15th July 1898 at Waterloo, Sydney and is buried at St. John's Churchyard Cemetery, Camden.

John and Susannah's two sons remained in Camden and married local girls. George married Esther Thorn, born 22nd March 1850 Camden, daughter of Elias Thorn and Sarah Lane, on 2nd September 1875 at St. Paul's Church Cobbitty and had seven children. George died 23rd November 1899 at Brownlow Hill and is buried in St. John's Churchyard Cemetery. Esther died 25th December 1923 in Camden and is buried at St. John's.

John William married Fanny Wheeler, born 1st November 1856 Camden, daughter of John William Wheeler and Fanny Hopson, on 13th October 1880 at St. John's Church, Camden and had four children. John William died 24th August 1925 in Camden and is buried in St. John's as is his wife Fanny who died 7th March 1916 in Camden.

John Poole's grandson John Lambert Richardson POOLE (son of George Poole and Esther Thorn) died from wounds received in France in WWI.