PA2011_084.jpg "The Entrance to the Armed Constabulary camp at Pungarehu in Taranaki" (c1881). Harold W.R. Petersen. Collection of Puke Ariki (PA2011.084).

This sketch of the entrance to the Pungarehu Armed Constabulary camp shows soldiers relaxing at the gates to the camp. A dog lounges at their feet and the distinctive shape of a military bell tent is visible behind them. The watercolour was painted by soldier Harold W. R. Petersen for a family member.

Pungarehu Camp was established on 21 June 1880 and was occupied by numbers 4, 5 and 6 Companies of the Armed Constabulary. It quickly became the most important military and road making post in the district.  In 1881 it was used as the Armed Constabulary headquarters prior to the 5 November 1881 advance on Parihaka pā. An inscription on the rear of the sketch states that “a thousand men” were stationed at the camp. After the invasion of Parihaka, the number of men stationed at Pungarehu was reduced. The final two mounted constables were withdrawn on 22 July 1885. The blockhouse still remains and was converted into a residence in 1950.

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