Land Wars Medal & Print of Captain (later Colonel) William Bazire Messenger. THIS IS THIS ONLY MEDAL NOT HELD BY DESCENDANTS OR MUSEUMS* I believe. William Messenger is perhaps one of the more well known of all the veterans of the Maori Wars. His military career spanned some 50 years and he figured in the history of not only the New Zealand Wars, but also the Volunteer period and the Boer War. Messenger served in the Taranaki Rifle Volunteers, New Zealand Militia, Forest Rangers, Armed Constabulary, New Zealand Permanent Militia, 10th New Zealand Contingent to the Boer War. He has omitted Taranaki Military Settlers, Taranaki Bush Rangers and New Zealand Artillery.
William enlisted in the Taranaki Volunteers in June 1858 as a Private, promoted to Sergeant in 1859. When hostilities broke out in 1860 he assisted in the construction of the Omata Stockade. On 3 March 1860 he was commissioned as Ensign in the Taranaki Militia.1871 to 1872 Captain Messenger served in the Armed Constabulary in the pursuit of Titokowaru. Messenger was in command of the Bush Rangers and the Militia.
After the campaign against Titokowaru, he commanded the Armed Constabulary post he had constructed. In 1881 Inspector Messenger commanded the Armed Constabulary Force that occupied the Taranaki settlement of Parihaka –where Titikowaru was hiding.
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. In 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. Colonel Messenger was placed in command of an Australian Contingent and accompanied them back to Melbourne. Messenger retired in 1903. He lived in retirement in New Plymouth for a further 19 years.