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Gilbert Mair

Image of gravestone near St. Faiths Church at Ohinemutu Cemetery provided by Paul Baker. - No known copyright restrictions

Image of gravestone near St. Faiths Church at Ohinemutu Cemetery provided by Paul Baker. - No known …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Gilbert AWMM
  • Surname
    Mair AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Tawa AWMM
    • Tawatawhiti AWMM
  • Service number
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • Attack on Taumata AWMM
    • Puraku Pa AWMM
    • 1868-1872 Campaigns against Te Kooti, 1868-1872 AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • New Zealand Cross (NZC) AWMM
      Gilbert Mair was awarded the NZC on 1 April 1886 for preventing the negotiation of a truce between the Te Awara elders and Te Kooti in February 1870. It was believed at the time that "Mair had prevented a massacre of the inhabitants of Rotorua while their fighting force was away." (DNZB, p. 261) AWMM
    • New Zealand Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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  • Embarkation details

Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Gilbert Mair was the eighth of twelve children to Elizabeth Gilbert Puckey and Gilbert Mair, a merchant trader in kauri gum.

    Two of his brothers, Cpt. Henry Abbott Mair and Mjr. William G. Mair, were also both active in the New Zealand Wars. See Henry and William's individual Cenotaph records for more details.

    In helping his father with his kauri gum business, Gilbert Mair had frequent contact with the Te Awara people and subsequently learned to speak Maori fluently and acquired a life-long interest in Maori culture and history.

    He obtained his provincial surveyor's certificate in 1864.

    He was employed as clerk of court and interpreter at the Resident Magistrate's Court in Tauranga in 1867, when fighting errupted over confiscation of lands within the Pirirakau hapu's tribal boundaries.

    Mair married Eleanor Katherine Sperrey on 19 September 1888 while in his mid- forties. They had a son, who died in childhood, and a daughter.

    "In 1901 [Mair] organized the celebrations in Rotorua for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and of York." (DNZB, p. 261)

    He was also an avid collector of Maori artifacts. His collection was purchased by the Auckland Institute and Museum. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    29 November 1923 AWMM
    TaurangaBay of Plenty AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Ohinemutu Cemetery, Rotorua, New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
    Wikidata Entity
    Further Reference
  • References
    • Cowan, J. (1922). The New Zealand wars : a history of the Maori campaigns and the pioneering period. Vol. 1 1845-1865. Wellington, N.Z.: Government Print. AWMM
    • Moorhead, M. (2005). The Queen's Heroes: Victoria and New Zealand Crosses. New Plymouth, N.Z.: Zenith. AWMM

The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.

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