THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT
PREECE George Augustus
George Augustus Preece (1845 -1925) was a son of the church Missionary Society lay missionary James Preece and his wife Mary Ann nee
George spent his early years with his parents at mission stations at Parawai on the Thames, at Ahikereru in the Urewera mountains and at
Whakatane. When in 1856 his father retired from missionary work George lived with his parents near Coromandel.
George spoke Maori fluently. In December 1864 he was appointed Clerk and Interpreter to the Resident Magistrate Samuel Deighton at the Wairoa
District Court. In 1865 and 1866 he served as Interpreter under Colonel Fraser in the East Coast Campaigns. With the cessation of hostilities
George returned to his former position at Wairoa.
Following the Poverty Bay Massacre of November 10 1868 (when thirty-two Europeans were killed) George served with the Wairoa Native
Contingent, and then as interpreter to Colonel Whitmore in the East Coast and West Coast Campaigns of 1868 and 1869. He was made Captain
in February 1870.
He commanded No 2 Company of the Native Contingent of the Armed Constabulary in the Urewera during the pursuit of Te Kooti. He served as
Sub Inspector in the Armed Constabulary until May 1876 when he returned to the Civil Service as Resident Magistrate for the Opotiki District. He
later served as Resident Magistrate in Napier and Christchurch before retiring to become a Land Agent at Palmerston North.
George married Ada Clayton on November 15 1877. They had six children none of whom married.
George Preece was awarded the New Zealand Cross for bravery and determination during the first attack on Ngatapa Pa.
Died 11 July 1925 Palmerston North, New Zealand
Buried Terrace End Cemetery, Palmerston North (Plot 036, 037)
New Zealand Cross
New Zealand Maori War Medal
Captain PREECE's New Zealand Cross is held at the Hawkes Bay Museum in Napier, New Zealand