New Zealand Fencible Society Incorporated

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New Zealand Fencible Society Incorporated


Donald Clow GALLAGHER, President of the New Zealand Fencible Society Inc., sadly passed away Tuesday 26th April 2022. Don had been our President since 1997, a total service in the role of 23 years, prior to that he was also Vice President for one year. In 2004 Don also took on the role of Editor, a position he ably filled right up to his passing, having just completed the Mar–Apr issue. He also undertook many speaking engagements promoting our Society.

Don was a ‘joiner’, filling numerous positions over the years in many organisations. He was an active member of his much loved church, All Saints Birkenhead. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge and was active in the Genealogy Computing Group, Probus and the residents committee at the Waterford Retirement Village where he lived. He will be greatly missed by all these groups for his willingness to step up and undertake whatever was required of him. We will also miss him for his warm friendly personality.

Rest in peace Don.


The Society has a growing library of books, magazines and audio tapes, that are available to members. A large number of the books and tapes are available for postal borrowing within New Zealand. A reference library is available for research at some meetings and by members at other times by arrangement.


Meetings are held periodically at which the Society's library and other resources will be available. Some of these meetings will also have a guest speaker. The meetings are held in Auckland.



Sunday 13 November 2022

LIVE DAY: Settling In- The 175th Anniversary of Fencible Families

Howick Historical Village, 75 Bells Road, Pakuranga

Stay Tuned. More information to follow. 

Howick has a number of events between now and the end of the year to celebrate the arrival of the Royal New Zealand Fencible Corps
Refer to the link


The Fencible Bugle.

Six bi-monthly magazines are issued to members, which contain Fencible related articles, details of meetings and new members interests.

May June 2022

  • Obituary Donald Clow Gallagher                             p3
  • Thomas Gallagher Fencible                                    p4
  • Old Colonists                                                           p5
  • Delia Brennan / Historic Houses                             p6
  • AJCP / Fencible Database                                      p7
  • How Ensign McKenna earned the Victoria Cross   p8
  • Soldiers of the Empire                                            p10
  • Notice AGM                                                            p12
  • Fencible Meeting Dates for 2022                           p12  

July August 2022 - Onehunga

  • St Peters Onehunga                                               p15
  • Elizabeth Yates                                                       p16
  • Grave Insights Onehunga                                       p18
  • Sgt William Smith and Sarah Ryan                         P20
  • Rev Dr. Arthur Guyon Puurchas                   P22
  • Fencible Meeting Dates for 2022                            p24  

Distribution is by PDF attached to an email

Members joining during the year will receive back copies of the current Volume 

Back copies of the Fencible Bugle - $5 per volume (year) plus $2 postage

Name and subject indexes to the Fencible Bugle - $1 per volume plus $2 postage 




The Royal New Zealand Fencibles 1847-1852.

Due to limited supply the book is now only available to paid up members of the Society.  Please email the Society at the address below for the application form to be sent to you to complete.

Published in 1997 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Fencibles to New Zealand.

The book is comprised of two sections. Part one records the events that gave rise to their formation, the terms and establishment of the corps and the history and development of the Fencible villages: Part two contains brief biographies in essay form of the Fencible men and their families. Included is a large number of photographs, documents, maps and pictures.

It is A4 in size, 256 pages, soft cover at a cost of $30 including packaging and courier within NZ. Overseas prices on application.

The book can be obtained by emailing us for bank account details for funds transfer. 


The Royal New Zealand Fencibles were a troop of retired soldiers who enlisted from England and Ireland, embarking upon their journey to New Zealand at Governor Grey’s request.  Civil unrest in this fledgling country provoked Governor Grey and Governor Fitzroy to call for “men in receipt of pensions... of good character... under 48 years of age, with a minimum of 15 years service”, during the years 1847-1852.  The candidates approved were enrolled to serve in our country for seven years, and travelled with their families on one of the ten Fencible ships.

This book records their arrival in New Zealand and the establishment of the four Auckland based villages designed for the Royal N.Z. Fencibles – Onehunga, Howick, Panmure and Otahuhu.  A number of interesting photographs, documents, maps and pictures are included.  The final section of the book compiles a collection of dossiers researched and donated by members of the NZ Fencible Society.  Included are biographies of the Fencibles, their wives and families.

This book has been written to record and preserve the history of the ‘Royal N.Z. Fencible Corps’ for future researchers, historians and genealogists.


Face Book

The Society has created a Face Book page as a means for members and other persons interested in the Royal New Zealand Fencible Corp to exchange information or post queries.  We can all use our combined knowledge to help each other and keep the memory of the Fencibles alive.

The site has a few posting and pictures

The URL is: 

The is:  https://www.faceboo  

Please join the group and like.


Copyright © 2003 New Zealand Fencible Society Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.