Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gill, Michael

Mr Michael Gill
Crimean War Veteran

(By Telegraph—Press Association.) Palmerston N., This Day.

The death has occurred at the Old People's Home of Mr. Michael Gill, aged 96.

The deceased was a veteran of the Crimea War, joining the 57th Foot Regiment ("The Diehards") as a drummer boy, at the age of 17 years. He remembered meeting Florence Nightingale, and the privations of the troops before the fall of Sebastopol.

Later he did garrison duty at Malta and at Aden, and saw active service against the Arabs. He came to New Zealand during the Maori War, and was a member of von Tempsky's Forest Rangers, being present when the leader was killed. Later he was transferred, and was engaged in the hunt for Te Kooti.

He retired to Wanganui, and then to Clive.

Mr. Gill entered the Parke (or Parko) Island Home, near Napier, and was there when the big earthquake occurred in 1931. He was buried for two days before he was discovered practically unscathed. Subsequently he was transferred to the Old People's Home at Palmerston North.

The only survivor* of the Crimean War in New Zealand is now Sergt.- Major Bezar, of Wellington, who celebrated his 96th birthday yesterday.
Evening Post, Volume CXVII, Issue 42, 19 February 1934, Page 10

* James Archer Crawford was also alive at this time and living in Naseby.

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