This memorial commemorates Ōtāhuhu settler and Franklin MHR Colonel Marmaduke George Nixon, who commanded the Colonial Defence Force Cavalry during the Waikato War and died from a wound received at the battle of Rangiaowhia in 1864.
The New Zealand Wars battle site of Te Ranga is located in a paddock on Pyes Pa Road (SH36) near the corner of Joyce Road, about 10 km south of the centre of the Bay of Plenty city of Tauranga. Here, on 21 June 1864, British forces decisively defeated local Māori.
The heavy British defeat at Pukehinahina (Gate Pā) on 29 April 1864 shocked New Zealand’s European settler community, and its military and political establishment.
The Maori settlement of Ōmarunui was on the south bank of the Tūtaekuri River, about 13 km south-west of Napier. On the morning of 12 October 1866, the kāinga was the scene of a battle in which settlers and local Ngāti Kahungunu fought a Pai Mārire (Hauhau) faction of Ngāti Hineuru.
This memorial, known as the 1st Waikato Militia memorial, in fact commemorates 25 colonial and imperial soldiers and sailors from the 68th Regiment, 1st Waikato Militia and Naval Brigade who died in 1864 and 1867.