Thursday, September 6, 2012

A family friend?

While I was looking for photos of the 50th Queen's Own Regiment I came across this image in The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Gazette (copied with their permission). He's not quite family, but never mind. He served Her Majesty in all the same places as David Whybrew, so perhaps they knew each other.

Mascot of HM 50th 1863-76
Proudly wearing his New Zealand Medal

The text from the Gazette reads:
“POKENO” – Dog, HM 50th
This little lad was found in the deserted Maori village, after which he was named, in late 1863  – a starving pup found and adopted by Private John Pigg. He served throughout the Waikato Rebellion -charging with HM 50th in the engagement at Rangiawhia (22nd Feb 1864); and in the West Coast Campaign, being with the piquet of HM 50th when it repulsed a major Maori assault at Nukumaru (25thJan 1865).

He later served in Australia, England, and finally in Ireland, where at Kinsale, Dublin, on 20th Oct 1876, at the respectable age of 13, this gallant little veteran of the Maori Wars and faithful follower of HM 50th, passed away peacefully in the company of  his best friends. The Regimental Pioneers made his headstone, and his little grave, on the green in front of the new married quarters, was always well tended and often found adorned with flowers. The path running next to it down to the town was named “Pokeno Street” in his memory.

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