Headstone of James Harmer (c1836-1864)

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Headstone of James Harmer (c1836-1864).

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James Harmer (Hanner) was born at Leeds in Yorkshire, England in c1836. He was a Labourer before he enlisted in the 68th (Durham) Light Infantry (The Faithful Durhams) on 10 November 1853 (Service No: 3158). He became a Sergeant. In 1864 the 68th arrived in New Zealand from Burma. They arrived in Tauranga on board the HMS Miranda under Colonel Meurant. James was killed via a gunshot wound to the chest during the Battle of Gate Pā at Pukehinahina on 29 April 1864 (Southern Cross, 2 May 1864, p.5)He was buried in Tauranga Mission Cemetery (Otamataha Pā). His headstone reads: 'Sacred to the memory of Sergt James Harmer of H. M. 68th D. L. I. who was killed at Pukenahena [Pukehinahina], April 29th 1864,  aged 28 years, Erected by his brother sergeants.' James is also remembered on the Tauranga 1st Waikato Militia New Zealand Wars memorial (1909). Text and photograph by Debbie McCauley (22 November 2016).

See also: Battle of Gate Pā: British   http://tauranga.kete.net.nz/battles_of_gate_pa_and_te_ranga_1864/topics/show/1502

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