his services at White Cliffs following the murders Captain Messenger
received the thanks of the New Zealand Government.
massacre prompted Messenger to again take up a military post, this time
at Urenui. He was responsible for the contraction of the blockhouse at
Te Arei however later took up his old post at White Cliffs.
1871 to 1872 Captain Messenger served in the Armed Constabulary in the
pursuit of Titokowaru. He said he commanded Forest Rangers however as
that force had been disbanded by then it is possible he was referring to
his command of the Bush Rangers or perhaps had ex Forest Rangers under
his command. Messenger’s file includes an order to him from Major
Stapp dated 25 February 1869 confirming that at the time Captain
Messenger was in command of the Bush Rangers and of the Militia. As
Messenger also refers to his service in the Forest Rangers in a number
of documents including his application for his Colonial Auxiliary Forces
Decoration so, given that this information would have been officially
scrutinised by persons able to do so, his statements may well be totally
the campaign against Titokowaru, Messenger returned to White Cliffs
where he lived for a number of years, commanding the Armed Constabulary
post he had constructed. A nearby mountain was named in his honour
apparently due to his surveying it and his protection of the area. The
mountain is still named Mt Messenger and is just to the North of present
day New Plymouth.
1881 Inspector Messenger commanded the Armed Constabulary Force that
occupied the Taranaki settlement of Parihaka –where Titikowaru was
in 1885 the Messengers left White Cliffs, although moved nearby and
continued to farm the area. Messenger was promoted to Major in 1885 and
placed in command of the Permanent Artillery. In 1889 Major Messenger
commanded the force which apprehended Te Kooti on the East Coast.
1901 Colonel Messenger was place in command of the New Zealand
Artillery. He commanded the 10th New Zealand Contingent to the Boer War,
which sailed in April 1902. Whilst in South Africa he served on the
Staff of the New Zealand Prime Minister Richard Seddon, who was visiting
troops serving in the Boer War.
Messenger was placed in command of an Australian Contingent and
accompanied them back to Melbourne.
retired in 1903. He lived in retirement in New Plymouth for a further 19
years. He was known as an accomplished pianist. One of his quirks was
that he had no time for dentists and pulled his own teeth. (and those of
owned numerous farm properties in the New Plymouth area and died aged 88
years on 8 April 1922.