New Zealand Cross…. A very rare award

Sergeant George Rowley Hill; Armed Constabulary (New Zealand)

April 10th 1869


Original publication reads: “For bravery at the relief of Jerusalem Pa. Mohaka and several other places. He also hods two Royal Humane Society Medals for Bravery”. :

Sergeant George Rowley (1837-1930). He emigrated in 1863 and won The New Zealand Cross after joining von Tempsky’s Forest Rangers. His award was for valour in action at Jerusalem Pa near Mohaka in April 1869. Hill was awarded two medals by the Royal Humane Society for saving life, one in 1860 and the other in 1896. He later served with the NZ army and tried to enlist for the South African War at the age of 63. His retirement was spent at Takapuna, New Zealand.

In the book “The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period: Volume II: The Hauhau Wars, (1864–72)”:

“In recommending George Hill for the New Zealand Cross, Colonel Whitmore wrote: “Constable (now Sergeant) George Hill, No. 1 Division A.C., accompanied the Wairoa natives who under Ihaka Whanga proceeded to relieve Mohaka, then being attacked by Te Kooti. A party volunteered to run the gauntlet of the enemy’s fire and to dash into the Jerusalem pa, then sorely pressed. This was a dangerous service, and it was in a great measure due to the example set by Constable Hill, who led that party, that it was successfully carried out … Hill animated the defenders by his exertions, and contributed greatly to the repulse of Te Kooti; and his conduct is spoken of in admiration by the natives themselves.”

Got to give him his due this man had “guts” trying to enlist in the army aged 63!!!!  He died in 1930 aged 93 years old! They sure built them tough back then!


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