ALLEN, Private William, known as “Bugler Allen”
In the early months of 1846 Boulcott's Farm at Belmont, near Wellington, was the most advanced outpost of regular troops stationed in the Hutt Valley. It was garrisoned by 50 men of the 58th Regiment under Lieutenant G. H. Page. In spite of warnings by settlers and Maoris, including a hint from Te Rauparaha of an impending attack by Te Rangihaeata, the number of militia in the Hutt Valley was reduced to 25 men early in May.
The blow fell half an hour before dawn on 16 May 1846 when a Maori force of an estimated 200 men attacked the outpost, killing six troops and wounding four others before Lt. Page was able to rally his forces, who by their steady gunfire repulsed the marauders.
Amongst those killed was a young private, William Allen, who had his right arm severed from the shoulder by a tomahawk blow when he was courageously attempting to raise the alarm by a bugle call. Allen then grasped the bugle with his left hand and, while still endeavouring to sound the alarm, was struck down and killed. On the following day, together with the others slain in the attack, Allen was buried at Boulcott's Farm. Later, Governor Grey in a dispatch reported that “the men composing the guard were effectually surprised and slain after having given proofs of great personal gallantry”.
by John Sidney Gully, M.A., DIP.N.Z.L.S., Assistant Chief Librarian, General Assembly Library, Wellington.
- Evening Post, 11 Aug, 4 Oct 1921.