This church was the scene of one of the first battles of the Waikato War of 1863-64. On 14 September 1863 a sizeable raiding party, most of them Ngati Maniapoto, attacked the Pukekohe East Church, around which a stockade had been built. Inside were seventeen local men serving as militia. A battle ensued and the militiamen were able to hold out until reinforcements arrived from nearby camps.

Evidence of the attack is seen in the bullet holes in the walls of the church. There is a memorial to the Maori who died in the battle, six of whom are buried in the cemetery. There is also a brass plaque listing the names of the settlers who fought.

Image attribution: David Green.

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Map showing Pukekohe East Church