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A Kiwi in search of her Irish, English & Scottish tribes

Category: People (Page 4 of 10)

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand ~ Follow Friday

A great resource from the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre – a searchable full-text edition of all six volumes of The Cyclopedia of New Zealand.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand was published in six volumes between 1897 and 1908 by the Cyclopedia Company Ltd. Each volume deals with a region of New Zealand and includes information on local towns and districts, government departments, individuals, businesses, clubs and societies. Biographical entries frequently include the subject’s date and place of birth, the name of the ship by which immigrants arrived, spouse’s name, and the number and gender of children born to a couple. (NZETC website)

Members of the public paid to have an entry in the publication, so there is a bias towards those who could afford to do so. Few women, Māori or non-Europeans are included in the biographical section. However, it does give a wonderful snapshot of the towns and settlements in late 19th and early 20th century New Zealand, with the added bonus of maybe a snippet or two on your early settler ancestors.

Here is the entry for my great great grandfather, Michael Gaff(a)ney:

Gaffney, Michael, Farmer, “Belper Farm,” Arowhenua. Mr. Gaffney was born in 1836 at Belper, Derbyshire, England, and emigrated to New Zealand in 1858 by the ship “Cresswell,” landing in Lyttelton. He went to Timaru and was employed by Messrs. Rhodes Bros, for many years, principally at bush work and fencing. He was the first to take a waggon team to the Mackenzie country, and was engaged in the carrying business for some years. In 1861, he was the first who took up land on the Levels estate. The farm on which he resides comprises 548 acres, and he has another property of 252 acres at Washdyke, and a considerable amount of township property. In addition to wheat-growing, he fattens sheep for freezing, and disposes of a considerable number annually. Mr. Gaffney has been a member of the South Canterbury Hunt Club for many years and takes a general interest in sport. He was married in Christchurch to Miss Maggie Brosnahan, and has twelve children.1

Some of the biographical entries also included photos – perhaps you had to pay more for that?

This is just a little from the section on Temuka:

Temuka is on the main south line of railway, eighty-nine miles from Christchurch, and eleven miles to the north of Timaru. The surrounding district is rich agricultural country; towards the sea the land is particularly fertile, and was originally a wild swamp, but it now yields crops which average sixty bushels of wheat and from seventy to eighty bushels of oats to the acre. With a few exceptions, the holdings are comparatively large, and the whole district is dotted with fine plantations, which afford shelter to the stock and homesteads and lend a sylvan grace to the landscape. The district is well watered, as the Opihi and Temuka rivers are about half a mile from the town, the Orari three miles, and the Rangitata about ten. These rivers are known to all anglers as being stocked with trout, which, in respect to size and delicacy, equal the best in New Zealand. Temuka is, therefore, in high favour with anglers, some of whom come from Australia, and even England, every fishing season. In itself Temuka is a pleasant country town, with broad clean streets, and fresh water running in the side channels. It is well supplied with schools, churches, hotels, and livery stables. Many of the buildings are in brick, and the shops are supplied with articles equal to those to be seen in the larger centres of population. There are two doctors, two chemists, and one dentist in the town, which has a well kept park and domain, with a bicycle track, and tennis, cricket and football grounds. The post and telegraph office and the courthouse are built in brick. A large amount of business is transacted at the local railway station and the goods sheds. At the census taken on the 31st of March, 1901, Temuka had a population of 1,465; 767 males, and 698 females.2

According to the 2006 Census, Temuka now has a population of 4044: 1950 males, and 2091 females.2

Follow Friday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

  1. “Gaffney, Michael”, The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District], (The Cyclopedia Company Limited, 1903); digitised publication by New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-Cyc03Cycl-t1-body1-d6-d101-d2.html).
  2. “[Temuka]”,  The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District], (The Cyclopedia Company Limited, 1903); digitised publication by New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-Cyc03Cycl-t1-body1-d6-d97-d1.html)
  3. “QuickStats about Temuka”, 2006 Census Data, Statistics New Zealand, (http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2006CensusHomePage.aspx : accessed 10 Feb 2012).

Excerpts from The Cyclopedia of New Zealand shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand Licence.

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St Bede’s College Sports, 1928

This entry is part 4 of 18 in the series The Brosnahans of Temuka

My grandfather Dominic Gaffaney was a boarder at St Bede’s College, Christchurch, NZ for two years – from 1927 to 1928.  The college is the oldest Roman Catholic Boys’ College in the South Island, founded by Marist priests in 1911, and the only Catholic day and boarding college for boys in the South Island.1

Also attending St Bede’s at the time was his cousin Jim Brosnahan, and his first cousin George Gaffaney.  I love to imagine a bit of family rivalry going on between the three of them, especially when it came to sporting endeavours.

The annual sports of St. Bede’s College, held at the sports grounds, produced the usual keen competition and healthy rivalry, and although there were no outstanding performances the meeting was thoroughly enjoyable.

The senior championship was won by J. Brosnahan, a very promising distance runner and field athlete, G. Gaffaney and D. Gaffaney sharing second place.2

The following events where Dominic was placed:

220yds. Grand Handicap, Open (record, 22 2/5 sec., T.H.Lee, 1924) – First heat: J. Phelan (9yds.) 1, D Gaffaney (scr) 2, Time, 25 sec. Second heat: G. Gaffaney (1yd.) 1, G. Josephs (9yds.) 2, Time, 26 sec. Final: Phelan 1, G. Joseph 2, G. Gaffaney 3. Time, 25 sec.

440yds. Grand Handicap (record 58 4/5 sec. T.H.Lee, 1924) – A. Devonport (10yds.) 1, W. Doyle (20yds.) 2, D. Gaffaney (scr.) 3, Devonport ran splendidly to win very easily. Time 56 4/5 sec.

Mile Senior Championship (record, L. Carmody, 5 min. 1 sec., 1927) – J. Brosnahan 1, D. Gaffaney 2, F. McHugh 3. Time, 5 min. 10 sec.

880yds. Senior Championship (record, 2 min. 13 4/5 sec., J. Payne 1923) – J. Brosnahan 1, D. Gaffaney 2, J. McHugh 3. Time, 2 min, 26 4/5 sec.

440yds. Senior Championship – D. Gaffaney 1, J. Brosnahan 2, G. Gaffaney 3. Time, 59 1/5 sec.
Long Jump, Senior Championship (record, 18ft. 6 ½ in., J. Hendren, 1927) – G. Gaffaney 1, J. Brosnahan 2, D. Gaffaney 3. Distance, 16ft. 2 ½ in.

220yds. Senior Championship (record, 22 3/5 sec., T. H. Lee, 1924) – D. Gaffaney 1, G. Gaffaney 2, F. Foster 3. Time, 25 1/5 sec.

100yds. Senior Championship (record, 10 sec., T. H. Lee, 1924) – G. Gaffaney 1, D. Gaffaney 2, F. Foster 3. Time, 12 2/5 sec.3

In the 1928 rugby season, all three boys made it into the First XV – with George as captain.4

1928 First XV, St Bede's College, Christchurch, NZ

1928 First XV, St Bede’s College, Christchurch, NZ

Standing: D. Gaffaney, G. Joseph, K. McMenamin, O. Scully, M. O’Reilly, E. Duncan
Sitting: J. Blackmore, J. Ryan, J. Brosnahan, G. Gaffaney (Capt.), M. Gonley, F. Foster, W. Thiele
In front: G. Duggan, O. O’Sullivan
Absent: W. Quirk (Vice-Capt.), J. Egden, W. Grennell, V. Coughlan, V. Cahill, P. Loughnan.

  1. Wikipedia, “St Bede’s College, Christchurch”, article; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Bede%27s_College,_Christchurch : accessed 07 July 2011.
  2. The Bedean, St Bede’s College (Christchurch: 1928), p 56.
  3. The Bedean, (1928), p 57
  4. The Bedean, (1928)
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Competing Cousins ~ Wordless Wednesday

This entry is part 3 of 18 in the series The Brosnahans of Temuka
James Brosnahan of Morvern and (Michael) Dominic Gaffaney of Waimate - St Bede's College Athletic Sports 1928, Christchurch, NZ

James Brosnahan of Morven and (Michael) Dominic Gaffaney of Waimate - St Bede's College Athletic Sports 1928, Christchurch, NZ

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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John and Hanorah Brosnahan ~ Tombstone Tuesday

This entry is part 2 of 18 in the series The Brosnahans of Temuka

If you have relatives that lived in the Timaru, South Canterbury area, it is well worth taking a look at the Timaru District Council Cemetery Database, which includes the following cemeteries: Arundel, Geraldine, Pleasant Point, Temuka, Paeroa West, and Timaru. They have most, if not all, their burial records online, and many have accompanying gravestone images. Another bonus are their cemetery maps – many of the plots have surnames included, making it so much easier to find the one you’re looking for!

On searching for my John Brosnahan, I found a likely looking plot in Temuka Cemetery1. From his marriage certificate, I knew he was born around 1841, so a death in 1926 at the age of 85 years seemed a pretty good match. And then, there was the fact that a Hanorah Brosnahan was also buried in the same plot, with a corresponding matching age. Bingo!

Gravestone, John & Hanorah Brosnahan, Temuka Cemetery, South Canterbury, NZ

Gravestone, John & Hanorah Brosnahan, Temuka Cemetery, South Canterbury, NZ ~ January 2012

In Loving Memory
of

John Joseph
Brosnahan
Who Died March 2nd 1900
aged 15 Years

R.I.P

Also John
Beloved Husband of
Hanorah Brosnahan
Who Died Aug 24th 1926,
Aged 85 Years
Also His Beloved Wife
Hanorah
Who Died Nov 22nd 1928
Aged 86 Years

Also Leo Brosnahan Beloved Son of
Patrick & Nora Brosnahan
Died June 16th 1917
Aged 17 Years

Annie Kleim
R.I.P

The gravestone gave me lots of leads to follow up. The first thing I did was to try and find John’s death entry on the NZ Birth, Deaths & Marriages site so I could order a printout of his death registration.  (New Zealand death certificates post 1875 are a mine of information, usually including parents’ names, birthplace, spouse, date of marriage, ages of living children, etc.) Except I couldn’t find him in the index, even with trying several spelling variants. And then, after asking for help on the TradeMe genealogy forum, someone suggested looking at a probate file they’d found referenced on the Archives NZ site, Archway.

There was a probate file listed for John Brosnahan, Farmer, Temuka, dated 1926, held at the Archives NZ Christchurch office. As there had been access problems following the earthquakes there, I wasn’t too hopeful of getting a copy of the file, but I contacted the archive staff with my fingers crossed.

Tombstone Tuesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

  1. Timaru District Council, “TDC Cemetery Database”, database, Timaru District Council (http://www.timaru.govt.nz/cemetery-database2.html : accessed 2011), database entries for John Brosnahan, Farmer, Temuka (ref 18404, row 233, plot 213, buried 26 Aug 1926) and Hanorah Brosnahan, Temuka (ref 13209, row 233, plot 213, buried 24 Nov 1928).
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The Brosnahans (no, not those ones, these ones)

This entry is part 1 of 18 in the series The Brosnahans of Temuka

My great great grandmother Margaret Brosnahan (1844 – 1927) arrived in New Zealand at Timaru on December 16, 1862 aboard the Echunga, which had left London on September 10.  Travelling with her was her brother, John.1

John Brosnahan

Caption in family album: John Brosnahan, brother of Mrs Margaret Gaffaney, Belper Farm, Temuka

There are a heap of Brosnahans in early South Canterbury, many (most?) descending from a Hugh Brosnahan and Deborah Butler, from County Kerry, Ireland. Their family settled in the area known as Kerrytown.2   (A descendent, Seán Brosnahan, has published a history of the family, The Kerrytown Brosnahans, which I’d love to find a copy of.)  As far as I know, we’re not related to that lot, but it’s a bit hard to sort the wheat from the chaff with so many Brosnahans knocking around the area. (Er, no offence intended to you other Brosnahans!)

Anyway, I wanted to know what happened to my great great great uncle John.  Part of my reason for following up John’s family was that my grandfather had a cousin, Jim Brosnahan, who was at high school at the same time.  Later, as Fr Jim S.M., he married my grandfather and grandmother – it was the first wedding ceremony he conducted.  But, I couldn’t figure out how he fitted into the family – was he related by blood or marriage?

From information my father had, it appeared John had married a Hanorah O’Driscoll.  I found a likely entry in the online NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages  and so ordered a printout of the marriage registration.

John Brosnahan, 23, Labourer, and Hannah Driscole [sic], 21, Servant, were married in the Catholic church in Christchurch on March 31st, 1865.3  No parents’ information was given – customary for marriages registered in New Zealand before 1880 (very frustrating!).  The witnesses were Matthew Driscole, Labourer, Christchurch, and Mary Brosnahan, Servant, Christchurch.

Searching the BDM indexes for possible children of John and Hanorah proved fruitless – none seem to be listed, even after checking variant spellings.  How could I find them?

  1. South Canterbury GenWeb, “The Echunga Arrives”, transcription (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nzlscant/echunga.htm), from Lyttelton Times, December 24, 1862.
  2. Michael Brosnahan,”Family Tree”, (http://www.thebrosies.org/our-family-tree.php : accessed 2011).
  3. New Zealand, marriage certificate for John Brosnahan and Hannah Driscole [O’Driscoll],31 Mar 1865, Catholic Church, Christchurch, 1865/7579, NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages.
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Who the heck are these folks?

Group of random folks in old car

Group of random folks in old car

I’d love to know who these people are.  I think that the boy sitting on the running board is my grandfather, Michael Dominic Gaffaney (known as Dom, born 19101).   And if so, his mother Margaret (O’Rourke)  is probably the one sitting at the back of the back seat of the car.  So, is this taken down south, in South Canterbury, where my grandfather grew up near his father’s family, or is it taken up north, in Napier, where my grandfather’s mother is from?  Are the people with him (if it is indeed my grandfather), Gaffaneys or O’Rourkes?

Here’s another photo:

Another group of random folk

Another group of random folk

Now, it looks to me like the older woman is the same as the older woman in the previous photo.  And the girl is the same as well.  And, there is my (possible) grandfather again, too.

Taking a closer look at the younger boy in the photos, and comparing them to a known photo of my grandfather:

Michael Dominic Gaffaney

Michael Dominic Gaffaney

Boy, sitting on running board

Boy, sitting on running board

Young boy

Young boy

 

 


Are these all the same boy?
Yesterday I posted a photo of three children sitting outside Belper House c.1915. Taking a closer look…

Three children at "Belper", Arowhenua, South Canterbury, NZ

Three children at “Belper”, Arowhenua, South Canterbury, NZ

 

I think these three children are the same children photographed with the older woman above. And so it definitely places them in South Canterbury. From the Temuka gathering, the names given to this group photo were: Tom Gaffaney, Peggy Barron and Albert Halley [sic].

I wonder if Tom was confused with Dom?

The only Tom Gaffaney that fits is Thomas John Francis Gaffaney, who was born in 1906 to Michael Francis Gaffaney and Julia Coughlan.2)

Peggy Barron is likely to be Margaret Christina Ogsten Barron, born in 1907 to Andrew Barron and Mary Teresa Frances Gaffaney.3)

Albert Halley [sic] is likely to be Daniel Albert Hally, born in 1902 to William Hally and Margaret Gaffaney.4)

They would all be first cousins. But, the “Tom” in the photos looks much younger than “Peggy”, who was born a year later. Other possiblities could be Thomas’s siblings Arthur (born 19085) or George (born 19106).

However, I’m still thinking (hoping?) that the boy is in fact my grandfather, Dom. What do you think?

  1. NZ Dept of Internal Affairs, “Birth Search,” database, Births, Deaths & Marriages Historical Records (https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/search/ : accessed 2011), entry for Michael Dominic Gaffaney, 1910/25894.
  2. NZ Dept of Internal Affairs, “Birth Search,” database, Births, Deaths & Marriages Historical Records (https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/search/ : accessed Jan 2012), entry for Thomas John Francis Gaffaney, 1906/2249.
  3. NZ Dept of Internal Affairs, “Death Search,” database, Births, Deaths & Marriages Historical Records (https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/search/ : accessed 2011), entry for Margaret Christina Ogston Barron, 2006/16023.
  4. NZ Dept of Internal Affairs, “Birth Search,” database, Births, Deaths & Marriages Historical Records (https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/search/ : accessed Jan 2012), entry for Daniel Albert Hally, 1902/6784.
  5. NZ Dept of Internal Affairs, “Birth Search,” database, Births, Deaths & Marriages Historical Records (https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/search/ : accessed Jan 2012), entry for Arthur Marcus Gaffaney, 1908/25001.
  6. NZ Dept of Internal Affairs, “Birth Search,” database, Births, Deaths & Marriages Historical Records (https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/search/ : accessed Jan 2012), entry for George Joseph Gaffaney, 1910/15483.
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Where’s the map? ~ Tombstone Tuesday

In my last post, I shared my daughter’s discovery of the gravestone of my 4 x great grandparents, George and Elizabeth Kemp, while on holiday in West Yorkshire over the summer.  We found it in the churchyard of St John the Evangelist in Oulton.

On returning home, I decided to see if I could find the burial records online – Ancestry now have a huge swathe of West Yorkshire records on their site1.

I found a record for George Kemp in 1882, and noticed some interesting annotations in his entry:

Burial record of George Kemp, 1882 - detail

Burial record of George Kemp, 1882 - detail

I checked pages 130 and 161 of the register and found the following entries:

Burial record of Elizabeth Kemp, 1890 - detail

Burial record of Elizabeth Kemp, 1890 - detail

Burial record of Thomas Kemp, 1895 - detail

Burial record of Thomas Kemp, 1895 - detail

I guessed that the “No.74” on each record was related to their shared grave site.  Searching back through the register to the first page, I found the following annotations:

Burial Register, St John the Evangelist, Oulton - detail

Burial Register, St John the Evangelist, Oulton - detail

This is what I can make out from the text:

The numbers in red are the numbers of the graves as shown on the Plan of the Graves in the Churchyard

“No. ”  […] inserted by H[?]

[….] have added all the graves I know, up to [1839? 1939?] without the “No. “

So, there was a Plan! I wonder where it is now?

  • Ancestry.com. West Yorkshire, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1813-1985 [database on-line], accessed 02 Sep 2011. Original data: Yorkshire Parish Records. Leeds, England: West Yorkshire Archive Service.
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A hunting we will go ~ Tombstone Tuesday

Whilst on our trip around West Yorkshire over the summer, my kids and I checked out St John the Evangelist church in Oulton, near Rothwell.  It’s a lovely looking church from the outside, and the graveyard is mostly well kept and fun to play hide and seek in.

St John the Evangelist's church, Oulton, West Yorkshire, August 2011

St John the Evangelist church, Oulton, West Yorkshire, August 2011

St John the Evangelist's church, Oulton, West Yorkshire, August 2011

St John the Evangelist church, Oulton, West Yorkshire, August 2011

I gave my seven and four year olds a slip of paper each with three surnames to search for.   This is what my four year old daughter found:

Gravestone of George & Elizabeth Kemp, also Thomas Kemp,  St John the Evangelist churchyard, Oulton, West Yorkshire

Gravestone of George & Elizabeth Kemp, also Thomas Kemp, St John the Evangelist churchyard, Oulton, West Yorkshire

George and Elizabeth Kemp are my great great great great grandparents.  Buried with them is their son, Thomas.

George Kemp was born around 1811 in Whitley, West Yorkshire.  Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Castleford, West Yorkshire, around 1816.1

They were married at St John’s church in the parish of Wakefield on December 3rd, 1843.  George and Elizabeth were of “full age”.Their fathers were Thomas Kemp, Labourer,  and James Dickinson, Farmer.2

From census returns, they appear to have had four children3:

  • Thomas b. 1847
  • Anna/Hannah b. 1849
  • Sophia b. 1852
  • Sarah Ann b. 1855

In the 1871 census, they had seven year old “adopted child” Georgiana Haigh living with them.4

I am descended from their daughter Sarah Ann.

Gravestone of George & Elizabeth Kemp, also Thomas Kemp,  St John the Evangelist churchyard, Oulton, West Yorkshire

Gravestone of George & Elizabeth Kemp, also Thomas Kemp, St John the Evangelist churchyard, Oulton, West Yorkshire

In
Affectionate Remembrance
of

GEORGE KEMP
who departed this life
January 1st 1882
aged 69 years

I look for the resurrection of
the dead and the life of the
world to come

also ELIZABETH, wife of the above
who died March 26th 1890
aged 75 years

also THOMAS, son of the above
who died October 25th 1895
aged 49 years

Be ye also ready

According to St John’s website, the churchyard is one of the biggest in Leeds, if not the county. George and Elizabeth’s gravestone seems to be in a quite prominent spot, facing the church’s front door.

George and Elizabeth Kemp's gravestone, St John the Evangelist church, Oulton, West Yorkshire

George and Elizabeth Kemp's gravestone, St John the Evangelist church, Oulton, West Yorkshire

My son also found some Cockerham graves and there were several other surnames from our family, but it will take a little digging (sorry, couldn’t resist!) to find out if they are part of our tree.

Tombstone Tuesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

  1. “1851 England Census, George Kemp (age 40) household, Altofts, Yorkshire,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 05 Jun 2011), citing PRO HO107/2326, folio 395, p 10, GSU roll: 87562-87564, Wakefield registration district, Bretton sub-registration district, ED 11, household 36, 30 Mar 1851.
  2. West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England; Yorkshire Parish Records; Old Reference Number: D145/4; New Reference Number: WDP145/1/1/4, marriage of George Kemp and Elizabeth Dickinson, digital image; Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 02 Sep 2011).
  3. “1861 England Census, George Kemp (age 50) household, Whitwood, Yorkshire,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk/, accessed 05 Jun 2011), citing PRO RG9/3439, folio 99, p 24, GSU roll: 543132, Pontefract registration district, Pontefract sub-registration district, ED 19, household 99, 07 Apr 1861.
  4. “1871 England Census, George Kemp (age 61) household, Oulton with Woodlesford, Yorkshire,” Findmypast, (http://www.findmypast.co.uk/, accessed 10 Jun 2011), citing PRO RG10/4516, folio 68, p 5, Hunslet registration district, Whitkirk sub-registration district, ED 5, household 23, 02 Apr 1871.
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My Nanna and me ~ Wordless Wednesday

Jean (McGonnell) Wright and me, Auckland, NZ

Jean (McGonnell) Wright and me, Auckland, NZ

Today is my birthday – the first one without my Nanna.

Wordless Wednesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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Deserted, pardoned, enlisted ~ Military Monday

Following up from yesterday’s post,  where I was wondering how and when Alex Wright (my great grandfather) came out to New Zealand, I do know that he arrived before the outbreak of World War I, because he enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) on 23 August 1914 at Awapuni.1

War had been declared just 19 days earlier, and the army had set up a training camp on the grounds of the Awapuni Racecourse, Palmerston North.

AWAPUNI CAMP

PALMERSTON N. Aug 25

The military camp at Awapunu is the largest in New Zealand, and it is understood it will be continued for some time.  General Godley expressed himself yesterday as highly delighted with the arrangements and suitability of the site for military training.

The Manawatu Racing Club has been warmly thanked for placing their grounds at the disposal of the military authorities.  Fresh troops are expected to arrive shortly for training purposes.

The parade state to-day showed the following men in camp at Awapuni: Infantry, 31 officers and 1165 men; mounted rifles, 21 and 640; artillery, 4 and 203, ammunition column, 5 and 230; field troop engineers, 3 and 80; divisional signal company, 4 and 116; mounted signal troop, 1 and 26; field ambulance, 2 and 43, army service corps, 1 and 86; reservists, 71; total 75 and 2662.2

At the time of enlistment, Alex was single,  working as a labourer with the Public Works Department in Gisborne, and living at 53 Bright Street.  In his attestation, he declared that he was a deserter from the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers.  He gave his mother, Mary Jane Carroll, of 180 Evelyn Street, Deptford, England, as his next-of-kin.

His medical examination describes him being 5 foot 9 inches tall, weighing 11 – 4lb and having a dark complexion, brown eyes, and dark brown hair.  His religious profession was Roman Catholic.  Distinctive marks:  Tattoo, Clasped hands Left, Clasped hands Right, H. Cavender on Right arm.  He was assessed fit and he joined the Wellington Infantry Battalion as a Private with the regimental number of 10/800.

A couple of unidentified newspaper clippings that the family had kept were an interesting find:

"Pardon For Deserters", from unidentified publication, Aug 1914

"Pardon For Deserters", from unidentified publication, Aug 1914

PARDON FOR DESERTERS

WELLINGTON, this day.

The Defence Department has requested the Press Association to distribute the following cable: “London, Aug. 7.   Give the widest publicity to the following army orders:  War Office, August 7th, 1914.  Pardon for deserters.  The King has been graciously pleased to sanction pardon being granted to soldiers who were in a state of desertion.3

Clipping from unidentified publication, 1914

Clipping from unidentified publication, 1914

As showing the fighting spirit of the true Britisher, it may be mentioned that two reservists, who were deserters from their regiments, have offered their services to proceed to the front.3

Military Monday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

  1. Archives NZ, “WRIGHT, Alexander – WW1 10/800 – Army”; digital image, Archway (http://www.archway.archives.govt.nz/ViewFullItem.do?code=22022458 : accessed 26 Nov 2010)
  2. “AWAPUNI CAMP”, Hawera & Normanby Star, 25 August 1914, page 7; digital image, National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/ : accessed 01 Aug 2011).
  3. “PARDON FOR DESERTERS” and Untitled clipping, clippings from unidentified publications, dated August 1914; photocopy, original held by [NAME AND ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], grandson of Alexander Wright.
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