In March 1950 in the Auckland Weekly News, there was an article describing the sorry state of the Opepe Cemetery, the resting place of those ill-fated men of the Bay of Plenty Cavalry who were massacred there on 7 June 1869 by Te Kooti’s men.
Members of ‘Y’ Squadron made the trip in company with Fred JUDD and Fred COMER in June and were amazed at the state of neglect at Opepe, with fern and scrub five to six feet high around the graves.  Fallen trees lay across broken fences and the wooden headstones were bare of paint and the inscriptions almost unreadable.
On the first trip contact was made with Mr PRICE, the Taupo Town Board’s Officer, and he offered any help he could to the Legion if the cleanup decision was made.
Members reported back to the Squadron and it was resolved that something would be done at Opepe.
On Labour weekend that year some twelve members took part and never did a party work better, weeds, scrub, and downed trees were removed, fences repaired.  The graveyard and track from the road was cleared, and the many odd jobs attended to, including the cleaning out of the by then dry well, and its surrounding fence.  The large notice boards at the roadside and at the grave yard, drew up a plan of the cemetery headstones and this along with the large boards were taken to Rotorua to be repainted and rewritten by the Ministry of Works.
Today the cemetery is maintained by the New Zealand Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

Those killed
Lieutenent Hector Gillian ROSS
Ensign Ernest LAWSON
Sergeant Charles DETTS
Sergeant Michael SLATTERY
Trooper Charles JOHNSTON
Trooper Charles POTIERS
Trooper John COOK
Trooper Joseph BIDOIS
Trooper Frederick GILL
Trooper Alex McKILLOP

[© Book - " ‘Y’ Squadron, our first 16 years 1944-60", ‘Y’ Squadron, Legion of Frontiersmen]

[© Unpublished photos, NZ Command, Legion of Frontiersmen]
Behobeho          East Africa 1915 - 1917          Nyangao          Kilimanjaro          Great War 1917          Belgium 1914 -18
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