…when they are model soldiers. They can be restored to their former state, even improved, with some metal primer, new paint and a steady hand. These models, in the 1845 uniform of the Manchester regiment, the 96th Regt. of Foot, were made in moulded lead by a former officer of the same regiment and presented to Russell Museum in 1958. They had begun to show signs of age so we sent them to “Regal Toy Soldiers” in Greytown for a little R&R. The officer bears the regimental colours and is flanked by a sergeant and a private – on the left before restoration and on the right as we received them back in the mail last week. The models will soon be returned to their permanent display space inside the museum.
How are they relevant to us? The Manchester regiment was on duty at the Maiki Hill Flagstaff on March 11th 1845. After the night’s engagement with the forces of Heke, Kawiti and Kapotai, the 96th’s casualties were: killed, Privates Giddens, Ireson, Jackson and Millar; died of wounds, Private Duross; and wounded, Privates Guttridge, Scott and Welton. The five privates are buried near St Paul’s Church in Paihia and commemorated with a bronze plaque. Another plaque on the corner of Church and Robertson Streets, here in Russell, was erected 150 years after the Battle of Kororāreka to remind us to remember the events, and the many other consequences and unnamed casualties of that night’s conflict
Source. History of the Manchester Regiment (Late the 63rd and 96th Foot). Vol 1 1758-1883. Compiled by Colonel H.C. Wylly C.B. 1923. p 221.