Major Gustavus Ferdinand von Tempsky (15 February 1828 - 7 September 1868) was an Prussian adventurer, artist, newspaper correspondent and soldier in New Zealand, Australia, California, Mexico and the Mosquito Coast of Central America. Major is a Military rank the use of which varies according to country Events 590 - Khosrau II is crowned as king of Persia 1637 - Ferdinand III becomes Holy Roman Emperor The year 1828 ( MDCCCXXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap Events 1251 BC - A Solar eclipse on this date might mark the birth of legendary Heracles at Thebes Greece. Year 1868 ( MDCCCLXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap Prussia ( Latin: Borussia, Prutenia; Prūsija Prūsija Prusy Old Prussian: Prūsa) was most recently a historic state New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. The Caribbean Mosquito Coast (or Miskito Coast) historically consisted of an area along the Atlantic coast of present-day Nicaragua, named after its native He was a skilled amateur watercolourist, who painted the New Zealand bush and the military campaign.
He was born in Braunsberg into a noble family of Silesia with a long military tradition, and brought up in Liegnitz in Lower Silesia. Braniewo ( former Brunsberga Prūsa is a Town in northeastern Poland, in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, with a population of 18068 (2004 Etymology One theory claims that the name Silesia is derived from the Silingi, who were most likely a Vandalic (East Germanic people Legnica (Liegnitz is a City on the Kaczawa river in Lower Silesia in south-western Poland. Lower Silesia (Niederschlesien Silesia Inferior Dolny Śląsk is the northwestern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia; Upper Silesia is to He went to a junior cadet school in Potsdam, then a cadet school in Berlin. Also see Potsdam New York (in the USA For the Potsdam Conference see Potsdam Conference. In 1844 he was commissioned into his father’s regiment in the Royal Prussian Army, possibly the Garde-Fusilier Regiment (in which his brother Benno Waldemar was a second lieutenant). The Prussian Army (Preußische Armee was the Army of the Kingdom of Prussia.
In 1846, tiring of routine, he left the regiment after only nine months for the Prussian settlement on the Mosquito Coast of Central America. The Kingdom of Prussia (Königreich Preußen was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918 and from 1871 was the leading state of the German Empire, comprising The Caribbean Mosquito Coast (or Miskito Coast) historically consisted of an area along the Atlantic coast of present-day Nicaragua, named after its native He accepted a commission to command a force of Mosquito Indians, which had been set up by Britain. In 1850 he went to the new California goldfields, but did not strike gold. California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. In 1853 he returned to the Prussian Colony, via Mexico, Guatemala and Salvador, and later wrote a book, Mitla, about his journey. He had been courting Emelia Ross Bell at the nearby British settlement of Bluefields (or Blewfields) before he left, but her father did not approve, probably because of his youth and lack of prospects. Bluefields is the capital of the Municipality of the same name and of R After his return, on 9 July 1855 at Bluefields, he married Emelia, the elder daughter of the British government agent from Scotland, James Stanislaus Bell. The family moved to Australia in 1858 and New Zealand in 1862.
Following the collapse of the Mosquito Coast colony, von Tempsky travelled to Australia in 1858, to the goldfields around Bendigo. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. Bendigo is a regional city in central Victoria Australia, located in the City of Greater Bendigo. From there he travelled to New Zealand in 1862, settling on the Coromandel Peninsula, as a goldminer and newspaper correspondent. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island Year 1862 was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting on Monday The Coromandel Peninsula lies in the North Island of New Zealand.
Upon the outbreak of war in 1863 von Tempsky moved to Drury just south of Auckland. The Invasion of Waikato was an invasion during the New Zealand Wars fought in the North Island of New Zealand from July 1863 to April 1864 between Year 1863 ( MDCCCLXIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Drury is a small Town located within the limits of Franklin District at the southern end of the Auckland metropolitan area in New Zealand. The Auckland metropolitan area or Greater Auckland, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country Here he quickly struck up a friendship with Captain Jackson and the officers of the Forest Rangers and was soon invited to accompany them on their patrols. Forest Rangers FC The Forest Rangers was a Canadian television series that ran from 1963 to 1965. Soon afterwards, on 26 August 1863, Governor Grey responding to a suggestion by Captain Jackson granted von Tempsky British citizenship and made him an officer of the Forest Rangers. Events 1071 - Battle of Manzikert: The Seljuk Turks defeat the Byzantine Army at Manzikert. Year 1863 ( MDCCCLXIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common
The Forest Rangers were an irregular force intended to take the war into the bush and to fight the enemy Māori on their own ground. Irregular military refers to any non-standard military Being defined by exclusion there is a lot of variance in what comes under the term This article discusses the Māori people of New Zealand For their language see Māori language, and for other meanings see Māori (disambiguation. Jackson was a cautious officer who was determined to give his men a thorough training. Von Tempsky relied more on dash and élan; he was also a tireless self-publicist, avid for glory and admiration.
In November of 1863 the Forest Rangers were disbanded, not because they were unsuccessful but because their period of enlistment was finished. However Jackson was immediately authorized to form a new company along similar lines. A few days later von Tempsky was promoted to captain and also commissioned to raise a second company of Forest Rangers. From then onwards he and Jackson were always in competition for men, resources and glory.
During the early stages of the Waikato War the Forest Rangers were used to protect the army's supply lines from marauding Māori, patrolling mainly in the Hunua Ranges south of Auckland and trying to intercept enemy war parties before they reached the Great South Road. Hunua Ranges form a block of hilly country to the southeast of Auckland in New Zealand 's North Island. It was during this time that von Tempsky emerged as a very effective leader who was able to inspire great loyalty in his men. He was known to the Māori as Manurau, "the bird that flits everywhere".
Later the Forest Rangers were moved to the front and took part in the siege of Paterangi. It was during this period that they were involved in a dramatic rescue of some soldiers ambushed by the Māori while swimming in the Waikato River. The Waikato River is the longest River in New Zealand. In the North Island, it runs for 425 Kilometres from the eastern slopes of Mount Both Jackson and von Tempsky received an honourable Mention in Despatches and Von Tempsky later painted a well known water colour showing himself in a very dramatic light. Mentioned in Despatches (MID is a Military award for gallantry or otherwise commendable service However it was another officer, Charles Heaphy, who was awarded the Victoria Cross as a result of his bravery in this action. Major Charles Heaphy VC (1820 - 3 August 1881 was a New Zealand explorer and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious See below the section "Separate Commonwealth awards" Note that since It was later said that von Tempsky felt slighted by this and determined to win a Victoria Cross for himself, a decision that may have caused his subsequent unnecessary death.
The Forest Rangers were involved in the siege of Orakau, and then heavily implicated in the massacre which followed the breakout of the defenders.
By 1865 Jackson had resigned his commission and von Tempsky, now a major, was in command of the Forest Rangers. Year 1865 ( MDCCCLXV) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year They were soon involved in the Second Taranaki War. The Second Taranaki War is a term used by some historians for the period of hostilities between Māori and the New Zealand Government in the Taranaki district This was a frustrating period because of the conflicting loyalties and objectives of Government forces. The commanders of the British Imperial Troops had had enough of fighting what they saw as unnecessary wars on behalf of the New Zealand Government. On the other hand the New Zealand-raised units such as the Forest Rangers wanted to pursue the war with vigour. The deadlock was only broken when Governor Grey personally took command of the New Zealand forces. For other men with a similar name see George Grey (disambiguation or George Gray Sir George Grey, KCB ( 14 April Von Tempsky however missed the subsequent action being laid low by rheumatism. Rheumatism or Rheumatic disorder is a non-specific term for medical problems affecting the Heart, Bones Joints Kidney, Skin
After a brief holiday in Auckland, von Tempsky became involved in the Tauranga Campaign (though it is not clear how) and was present at the siege of Opotiki. The Tauranga Campaign took place in New Zealand, from January 21 1864 to June 21 1864, during the New Zealand Opotiki is a town in the eastern Bay of Plenty in the North Island of New Zealand. From there he sailed to Wellington and resumed command of the Forest Rangers who meantime had mutinied and were refusing to embark and sail for the East Cape War. Wellington (ˈwælɪŋtən is the Capital of New Zealand, the country's second largest urban area, the The East Cape War, sometimes also called the East Coast War, refers to a series of conflicts that were fought in the North Island of New Zealand from Finding that when he got there he would be expected to serve under an officer he considered junior to himself von Tempsky joined the mutiny and refused to accept any further orders.
He was arrested and court-martialled. A court-martial (plural courts-martial) is a Military court. These military courts can determine Punishments for members of the Military subject The outcome could have been serious but a fortunate change in government brought new personalities to the scene and von Tempsky was given a second chance. While the bulk of the Forest Rangers went off to the East Cape von Tempsky and the other mutineers were allowed to return to Wanganui where he took part in McDonnell's and Chute's later Taranaki campaigns against the Hau Hau. Major-General Sir Trevor Chute KCB ( July 31, 1816 &ndash March 12, 1886) was an Irish Soldier in the British Geography and people Taranaki is situated on the west coast of the North Island surrounding the volcanic peak
The Forest Rangers were finally disbanded in Te Awamutu in mid 1866. Te Awamutu is a town in the Waikato on the North Island of New Zealand. Year 1866 ( MDCCCLXVI) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Von Tempsky was immediately invited to take command of No. 5 Division of the Armed Constabulary. When Titokowaru's War broke out in 1868 von Tempsky and his division were very soon drafted and sent to the front. Titokowaru's War was a military conflict that took place in the South Taranaki region of New Zealand 's North Island from June Year 1868 ( MDCCCLXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap
On 12 July 1868 there occurred an incident which is still a matter of controversy among New Zealand historians. Events 1191 - Saladin 's garrison surrenders ending the two-year Siege of Acre. Year 1868 ( MDCCCLXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap While in command of the fort at Patea von Tempsky was told that an unfinished redoubt about seven kilometers away was under heavy attack. Patea is the second-largest town in South Taranaki, New Zealand. A redoubt is a Fort or fort system usually consisting of an enclosed defensive emplacement outside a larger fort usually relying on earthworks though others Giving his second-in-command strict orders to hold the fort he immediately rushed off on foot to join the battle. By the time he arrived ten of the defenders were dead and another six injured while the attackers were able to escape. Had he chosen instead to send out the mounted troopers he had available they could have arrived on the scene in time to prevent some of the deaths. But that would have meant the glory going to someone else.
The Government was anxious for a quick end to the conflict and they pressured McDonnell into making a premature attack on Titokowaru's main Pa, Te Ngutu o Te Manu or The Bird's Beak. The defenders were ready and waiting when the militia arrived and they came under heavy and accurate fire. Wisely McDonnell very soon decided to withdraw; he would have been very well aware of the futility of trying to attack a defended Māori Pa. This was too tame for Von Tempsky, he protested and then began to advance on the Pa. Within a few moments he was dead, killed by a bullet through his forehead, one of the fifty or so killed and wounded in the engagement.
Von Tempsky was held in high esteem by the Maori due to his warrior skills and was named Manu-Rau by them. The story passed down from generation to generation is that von Tempsky was in fact eaten by the Maori (a sign of respect) and to this day, Maori have refused to disclose where his bones were laid to rest. The local Maori returned his sword sheath to this widow and it is held these days by the Thomsons in Hawkes Bay. There is some mystery surrounding the whereabouts of the sword as it was a treasured prize. It is rumoured to lie under the whare which is said to attract good luck.
His contemporaries said later that it was his hunger for glory and particularly his desire to win the Victoria Cross which drove him to attack in such a desperate situation. This may seem to be a harsh judgement but von Tempsky had written earlier: "Heaphy has the Cross and I want it. Major Charles Heaphy VC (1820 - 3 August 1881 was a New Zealand explorer and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious "
After the loss of their leader his unit fell apart. Many of the men mutinied and then deserted refusing to serve under any other commander. At the end of September the 5th Division of the Armed Constabulary was disbanded and never reformed.
His widow, Emelia, died in 1900. His daughter lived in New Zealand. Two of his three sons, Ronald and Louis moved to Hawaii where they became ranchers, see VF-111. The VF-111 Sundowners, a world famous US Navy fighter squadron was originally established in 1942 as VF-11 Louis managed the Haleakala Ranch. Armine von Tempsky a daughter of Louis became one of Hawaii's best-known writers. Armine von Tempski (or Tempsky) (1892 Maui, Hawaiian Islands — December 2[[ 943]] Fresno California) was an American They sometimes used the Polish spelling of their surname, (von) Tempski.
More descendants of von Tempsky remain in New Zealand and especially in the Hawkes Bay (Thomson family).