Michael Daniels
Edward St John Daniel VC
 The story of the first man to forfeit the Victoria Cross



The Life of Edward St John Daniel


NZ Armed Constabulary


On 26th November 1867, Edward St John Daniel enlisted as a Constable in No. 2 Division of the NZ Armed Constabulary. His Regimental Number was 154. He later achieved the rank of Lance Corporal in the Constabulary.

In March 1868, disturbances arose among the Irish Catholic and Protestant communities in the West Canterbury Goldfields, South Island, after news was received that "Fenians" (Irish Catholic supporters) had been sent to the gallows for the murder of police officers in Manchester, England.

To quell these disturbances, members of No. 2 Division, including Daniel, were sent to Hokitika, a busy, lawless port on the West Coast and the centre of the riots. The 70-strong force, under Lieut.-Col. Thomas McDonnell, arrived at Hokitika aboard the steamer St Kilda on 4th April 1868.

The danger of insurrection was soon dissipated and, on 21st April 1868, McDonnell embarked for Patea, South Taranaki, with half of the force. The remaining detachment, which included Daniel, had little to do other than guard the prisoners and frequent the very large number of local hostelries at Hokitika.

    Thomas McDonnell
Thomas McDonnell

Hokitika c.1870
Hokitika c.1870

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