Tuesday, 30 April 2019

William Fogarty, 1842-10/2/1872.


THE Friends of the late Mr William Fogarty are respectfully invited to attend his Funeral, which will leave the Hospital, Dunedin, this day, Monday, at 3 o'clock precisely. 

WALTER G. GEDDES, Undertaker, Octagon.  -Otago Daily Times, 12/2/1872.

Southern Cemetery, Dunedin.

News of the Week

A fatal accident occurred at Mr Wales's quarry, close to Port Chalmers, on Saturday forenoon, to one of the men in the employment of the contractors for the Port Railway. On the previous evening a ledge of stone appearing to be loose above head, endeavours were made by the workmen to detach it by crowbars, &c, but they could not move it. On Saturday, William Fogarty, a steady and active man, along with another man named Samuel Keeble, were engaged underneath drilling, when the ledge above (weighing three tons) gave way, falling on Fogarty, and fracturing the upper part of his skull. A piece of the skull, about 2 inches square, was broken off all round from the rest, and forced in upon the brain. The left arm was completely severed just below the shoulder joint. A messenger was immediately sent for medical aid, and Dr Drysdale, who was quickly on the spot, did everything that skill could do for the poor man, who was brought to the Port, and conveyed thence to Dunedin by the Golden Age. Captain Ferguson, of that steamer, started at once on Fogerty being placed on board, and the steamer, on arriving at Dunedin, for convenience berthed alongside the Stuart street jetty. Thence the injured man was taken to the hospital, accompanied by Dr Drysdale, a foreman of the works, and others. Fogarty was in a dying state, but though very weak, was conscious. Notwithstanding his fearful injuries, he lived till half-past 10 o'clock on Saturday night, when he expired. Keeble had a very narrow escape, and only got a few scratches. The number of accidents that have lately occurred at or near the Port suggest that a local hospital, say even of two beds, should be established there by the Government. As it is, many a poor fellow is obliged to undergo the ordeal of a passage to Dunedin while suffering from acute pain. The expense of such a hospital would be but small, and the local medical men are at all times ready and willing to give their assistance to those requiring it. An inquest was held at the Hospital on Monday into the death of the late Wm. Fogarty, The jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally killed," with a rider that "blame is attributable to both the overseer and men employed in the quarry, for not examining the work more carefully." The deceased was 30 years of age, a single man, and a native of Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland.  -Otago Witness, 17/2/1872.

1697 Sergeant Edward Coffey 1878-4/5/1904

Personal Items

In a letter to his sister, Mr Edward Coffey, who went to South Africa in the same boat as the fourth Contingent, says that the Imperial authorities have awarded him a certificate of merit for bravery, at the front, and have also given him a trip to England. The incident for which he has received recognition was one in which he, single-handed, kept at bay some 20 Boers, fighting until his ammunition was gone. Mr Coffey is the eldest son of Sergeant Coffey, formerly of the Bluff and Port Chalmers.   -Otago Witness, 1/10/1902.



Volunteer and Militia Office, Dunedin, May 5, 1904. 


The FUNERAL of the late Sergeant EDWARD COFFEY, late of the South African Light Horse and Johannesburg Mounted Police, will leave No. 45 Maclaggan street, at 2.30 p.m., SATURDAY; the 7th inst., for the Southern Cemetery. 

B Battery N.Z.F.A.V. to furnish Gun Carriage and Drivers. 
Dunedin Rifles to furnish Firing Party. 
Garrison Band to attend.
Volunteers and Returned Troopers are invited to attend. 

Dress: Review Order.

By order. E. B. MICKLE, Lieut.
Dist. Staff Officer.  -Otago Daily Times, 6/5/1904.

The remains of the late Sergeant Edward Coffey, formerly of the South African Light Horse and the Johannesburg Mounted Police, were interred in the Southern Roman Catholic Cemetery on Saturday afternoon with military honours. The funeral left the residence of deceased's uncle, Mr P. O'Brien, of the Anchor Private Hotel, Maclaggan street, at 2.50, led by the firing party, which was furnished by the Dunedin Rifle Corps. Following was the Dunedin Garrison Band, playing the "Dead March" in "Saul," and then came the gun carriage bearing the coffin, covered by the Union Jack, on which were placed numerous wreaths sent by friends and relatives of the deceased. The gun carriage and drivers were furnished by the B Battery, N.Z.F.A.V., and representatives of the Dunedin Highland Rifles, various naval corps, and City Guards, and several returned troopers wero also in attendance. The remainder of the cortege was composed of private mourning carriages containing the relatives, and numerous friends of deceased followed on foot.  -Otago Daily Times, 9/5/1904.

Sergeant Edward Coffey, who was one of the many New Zealanders who served with distinction in the South African regiments during the course of the Boer war, died at his residence, Dunedin, on Wednesday morning, the cause being injuries and privations sustained while on service. The deceased served under Lord Dundonald in the South African Light Horse, and acted on several occasions as one of General Buller's personal escort, subsequently exchanging into the Johannesburg Mounted Police, in which corps he became a sergeant. The deceased was a son of the late Sergeant Coffey, an ex-pupil of the Christian Brothers School, and a native of Port Chalmers.   -Otago Witness, 11/5/1904.

Southern Cemetery, Dunedin.

James Paterson 1775-12/6/1861.

We last week omitted to notice the passing away of a patriarch from among us by the death of Mr. James Paterson, the father and father-in-law of the partners of the firm of James Paterson and Co., merchants here. Mr. Paterson was one of the oldest inhabitants of Edinburgh. He carried on the business of a watchmaker in the Lawn Market for more than half a century; and was highly respected for his skill and integrity as a tradesman, and for his liberal and independent principles as a citizen. During the agitation of those public questions which for a series of years preceded and had for their object Parliamentary and Burgh Reform, Mr. Paterson was a member of the Town Council of Edinburgh, as deacon of the corporation of hammermen, in which capacity he took an active part in the struggle for freedom from the close burgh system that then prevailed; and so well acquitted himself that his brethren of the corporation, in testimony of their approbation of his upright and honourable conduct, presented him with a piece of plate. Mr. Paterson was also respected as a humble and devout Christian. He was a member of Lady Glenorchy's church for nearly sixty years, during the latter twenty of which he held the office of an elder, and on his departure for this colony was presented with a handsome memorial of the congregation's esteem. Being a man of warm affection, he yearned to rejoin the members of his family who had emigrated to this colony, which he did about three years ago, after he had reached the patriarchal age of eighty years. On the 5th inst., having been previously in the enjoyment of good health, he had a shock of apoplexy, and on the 12th died in peace. The large company that followed his remains to the grave manifested the high esteem in which he was held among ourselves. And what is rather remarkable in this distant land, he was accompanied to his last resting-place and laid in the grave by two sons, one son-in-law, one nephew, and six grandchildren.  -Otago Witness, 29/6/1861.

Southern cemetery, Dunedin.

John Edward Eldridge Blomfield 1910-19/1/1930

A terrible tragedy, resulting in the loss of five lives, occurred on the Tasman Glacier in the Southern Alps yesterday. According to information received by telephone from Timaru to-day by Mr. R. B. McCracken, local agent of the Mount Cook Motor Company, Ltd., a party consisting of four ladies— MISS KEANE (Christchurch) MISS MONTEATH (Christchurch) MISS HERBERT BROWN (Rangiora) MISS SMITH (Auckland), and GUIDE BLOMFIELD (Dunedin) left the Malte Brun Hut yesterday morning, in fine weather, on their way back to the Hermitage, and was making for the De la Beche Bivouac when they were struck by a sudden blizzard, with thunder and lightning, hail and snow. Some hours later their five bodies were discovered in the vicinity of the bivouac by Guide Hilgendorf, going out from the Ball Hut. 
From the Malte Brun Hut to the bivouac is a distance of some two miles, but the party would have to strike right out into the Tasman Glacier to reach the De la Beche Bivouac. They would have crevasses on either side of them, and would no doubt have difficulty in reaching the bivouac corner, for the southerly blizzard would strike directly up the glacier. Mr. McCracken said that his company's officials in Timaru were quite emphatic that the weather was good when the party left the Malte Brun Hut and to the best of their knowledge the fatality must have occurred between 10 and 11 o'clock on Sunday morning. 
"The whole of the staff were sent out from the Hermitage, with a number of workmen working on the road down there; and the bodies are being brought into the Hermitage this afternoon," said Mr. McCracken. "The weather is still bad down there. The storm struck Timaru fairly early on Sunday morning, and is described as one of the worst they have known down there. It must have struck the party very suddenly indeed. The corner before the De la Beche Bivouac, where the bodies were found, is described by Mr. Harper, of the Alpine Club, as a very, very bad corner. The bivouac is a very good one, affording ample shelter, had they only been able to reach it. But they were evidently overwhelmed by the blizzard." 
According to a Press Association message from Timaru, the party left the Malte Brun Hut in good weather, but had only progressed three or four miles when it was caught in the raging blizzard. It was impossible to continue the journey as visibility was limited to a few feet. There was no place where the party could find shelter, and apparently they huddled, together on the ice, where they were subsequently found by Acting-Guide C. Hilgendorf, who had remained behind at Malte Brun Hut to clear up and put things in order for the next party. He went out to catch up on the party, but was driven back to the shelter of the hut by the blizzard, which suddenly swept the Tasman Glacier region. The storm was accompanied by vivid and spectacular lightning. There were also peals of heavy thunder. When the storm had abated somewhat, Guide Hilgendorf set out with all haste in search of the stricken party. His mission was destined to be a fateful one, for the four ladies and the guide had succumbed to the fury of the elements. 
In spite of the terrible conditions that prevailed, Guide Hilgendorf did not spare himself in a dash to the Ball Hut, and on his arrival there he was "all in," but he was able to give news of the tragedy that had taken place on the white expanse of the Tasman Glacier. 
Word was immediately conveyed to the Hermitage, and a rescue party was dispatched to the Ball Hut, but it was not possible to recover the bodies last evening on account of the terrible weather conditions in the Alps. This morning there was practically no improvement in the weather. 
The unfortunate happening has caused widespread regret, and it was the one topic of conversation in Timaru. 
Acting-Guide Blomfield is well known in Dunedin, where he was a student at Otago University.  Alpine climbing was his one recreation, and he was a regular climber at the Hermitage. During the summer vacation he was usually employed as an acting guide. He was twenty years of age. 
Miss Doris Herbert Brown who was lost on Mount Cook is the elder daughter of Mrs. Herbert Brown, of Mount Thomas, Rangiora. Miss Mary Monteath, aged 20, is the daughter of Mr. J. K. Monteath, 23 Poynder Avenue, Fendalton. 
Miss Smith, was aged 26, she was the only daughter of Mr. H. S. Smith, Woodhall road, Epsom. She left Auckland for a holiday at Mt. Cook on Thursday last.  -Evening Post, 20/1/1930.

Blomfield was twenty years of age. He was the son of the late Dr E. E. Blomfield. His mother, who is now Mrs Dr. McKellar, is a daughter of Sir John Sinclair. Blomfield was born in Dunedin, and was educated at John McGlashan College, after which he attended the Medical School at Otago University. He had passed his secondyear examination. Blomfield was for several a keen alpinist, and he had spent all his vacations at Mount Cook, where he acted amateur guide.  -Evening Star, 20/1/1930.

TERRIBLE CONDITIONS (By Telegraph.) (Special to "The Evening Post.") 
CHRISTCHURCH, This Day. Further details of the Mount Cook tragedy indicate that the body of Guide Blomfield was found by Guide Hilgendorf about 150 yards ahead of the others. It appeared that he had struggled on in a last desperate hope of reaching the Ball Hut and assistance. The storm was still raging with terrific force, and Guide Hilgendorf did not spare himself in a desperate effort to reach the Ball Hut. He literally had to fight his way foot by foot against the terrific wind, and for a considerable distance was compelled to crawl on his hands and knees, the force of the gale being so great. 
Practically exhausted by his hazardous journey, on his arrival at the Ball Hut he was just able to gasp: "The girls are dead — out on the glacier — blizzard terrible." 
He was immediately conveyed to The Hermitage by car, and from there a rescue party was dispatched to the Ball Hut. The terrible weather conditions nullified the efforts of the party to recover the bodies during the day, and the search is being resumed to-day. 
THE VICTIMS. Miss Mary Monteath was the younger daughter of Mr. J. K. Monteath, a master at Christ's College, who resides at 23, Poynder avenue, Fendalton. From 1919 to 1924 she attended Rangi Ruru Private School, where her quiet nature and fine personality made her many friends. At school she showed considerable musical ability. After leaving Rangi Ruru he continued her musical studies, becoming an accomplished pianist. She was a member of the Aeolian Club. Miss Doris Brown had had considerable experience of alpine climbing. About six years ago she made a very difficult climb on Mount Cook. She had also done a lot of climbing on the Franz Josef Glacier. She was a niece of Mr. Guy Mannering, one of the best known of New Zealand alpinists. Her uncle played a big part in the development of the Mount Cook area and his preliminary work enabled the peak to be climbed. 
Miss Helena Keane was employed as a clerk with W. Williamson and Co., builders and contractors, Montreal street, a position which she had occupied for the past eight years. She was a particularly efficient worker and had an excellent career at school. Miss Keane was spending the last day of a fortnight's vacation at Mount Cook. She was a daughter of Mrs. I. Keane. 
Acting-Guide E. Blomfield was 20 years old. He was a son of the late Dr. E. E. Blomfield and his mother, now the wife of Dr. McKellar, is a daughter of Sir John Sinclair. Mr. Blomfield was born at Dunedin and was educated at the John McGlashan College, subsequently attending the School of Medicine at Otago University. He had just passed his second year examination. He was a keen alpinist and spent all his vacations at Mount Cook acting as an amateur guide. He was very popular with the alpine climbers. He had climbed all the minor peaks, and this year he had taken up a lot of equipment with the idea of climbing Mount Cook next month. Among the peaks he had climbed this season were the Footstool and Mount Hamilton. 
Guide Hilgendorf, who found the bodies, is a son of Dr. F. W. Hilgendorf, of Lincoln Agricultural College.  -Evening Post, 21/1/1930.

(By Telegraph.) (Special to "The Evening Post.") AUCKLAND, This Day. Commenting on the Mount Cook tragedy, Professor Algie, who has done much climbing in the Mount Cook area, said that he had received information this morning which showed that the weather was quite good when the party set out from the hut. The storm developed with fearful suddenness and struck them with full force about two hours after they had left. It was too late then to turn back. 
"No one would assume," continued Professor Algie, "that a storm of such magnitude would develop in the middle of summer at so low an altitude. No amount of skill or experience could guard against anything so purely fortuitous. I am well acquainted with the work that had been done by the late Guide Blomfield, and I am confident that he would ably and efficiently discharge his duties as guide. The fact that the bodies were found on the right and recognised route on the glacier reflects very great credit on Guide Blomfield, especially as in such a storm, the visibility would be practically nil. 
"The trip to Malte Brun hut is not a mountaineering expedition. It is a relatively safe excursion for anyone who can walk ten or twelve miles. The hut is visited by parties at all seasons of the year, even in the depth of winter. Guide Blomfield would have far more knowledge and experience than such a trip would call for, and he would be well qualified to lead an expedition of far greater difficulty. 
"The sympathy of the whole community will go out to those relatives and friends who are suffering as the result of the saddest alpine tragedy that has occurred in New Zealand." A letter from Mr. Neil Macfarlane, a son of Mr. J. B. Macfarlane, has been received by Professor Algie. He had been doing a lot of climbing in the Mount Cook area in recent weeks. In his letter he stated that he had been travelling with Guide Blomfield, and he wrote of the guide in the highest possible terms.  -Evening Post, 21/1/1930.

Heroic Effort of Student Guide. 
Christchurch, Jan. 21 When Student-Guide E. (“Teddy”) Blomfield was found on the Tasman Glacier, where he and four girls perished on Sunday afternoon, he was practically naked, all his clothes having boon given to some of his companions. Apparently be was on his way back to the hut to obtain blankets for the rest when he was overcome, for his body was found only 150 yards from the others. 
A glowing tribute to the work of Student Guide Hilgendorf is paid by Mr Roy Twyneham, a Christchurch solicitor, who returned from Mount Cook last evening. Mr Twyneham has had extensive climbing experience and was at the Hermitage when the news of the tragedy was brought in. 
“When I saw Hilgendorf at the Hermitage on his return be was all in,” said Mr Twyneham. “After the awful day he had put in he was in the last stages of exhaustion. 
“It was a wonderful performance. He had to crawl for 5 miles on his hands and knees. It was only his superb fitness and strength that enabled him to get through at all. I climbed with him a few days before, and I know what he was like.” 
That there was nothing that could have been done to prevent the tragedy is the opinion of Mr Twyneham. He says that everything possible was done, by everybody concerned, and that the tragedy was due to the severity of the weather. Hilgendorf, who had stayed behind at Malte Brun hut to clean up, left for Ball Hut as soon as his work was finished. His first intimation of the tragedy was when he stumbled over a ruc-sac, which was carried by Blomfield. Then he found the bodies of the four women, and he pushed on to Ball Hut with the news. The journey was most gruelling, and included five miles of crawling over ice. On his arrival he was just, able to gasp. "The girls are dead. Out on the glacier, blizzard terrible.” 
Hilgendorf Went Back. From Ball Hut to the Hermitage the news was taken by Dr J. C. Bradshaw, and immediately a party of guides, student guides and packers was sent out, under Chief Guide Vic. Williams, to recover the bodies. In spite of the terrible journey he had just made, Hilgendorf accompanied this party from Ball Hut to the place where the bodies lay. At that time he knew no more than that Blomfield was missing, as he had not seen him, but when his body was discovered it was only 150 yards away from where the women lay. 
"Blomfield was a most skillful guide,” said Mr Twyneham, "and no one at the Hermitage, guides included, knew the glacier better than he did. The weather was moderately good when they set out, but a blizzard comes on with wonderful suddenness. They must have been dead within an hour and a-half of leaving the hut, as they were only four miles away when found.  -Bay of Plenty Times, 22/1/1930.

Malte Brun Hut, February 1931.  Tasman Glacier to the right.  Hocken Library photo.

"After I left the Malte Brun hut the blizzard increased in intensity, vivid flashes of lightning cleaving the heavens. Conditions were so unpleasant that the metal head of my iceaxe sparked and sang whenever the lightning struck it. I was compelled to tie the axe to the end of two Crampton straps. I then dragged it behind me."
The foregoing was a portion of a statement by Guide Hilgendorf, who discovered the bodies of the ill fated party after the blizzard on the Tasman Glacier on Sunday, made at the inquest concerning the deaths of the four young women and the guide,which was held at the Hermitage this afternoon. Those who lost their lives were Doris Herbert Brown, of Rangiora; Dorothy M. Smith, of Auckland; Helena Keane, of Christchurch; Mary, Monteath, of Christchurch; and Edward J. Blomfield of the Hermitage staff. 
Mr. E. Mac Donald, J.P., of Fairlie, acted as coroner, with a jury of four. Constable A. Mackintosh, of Fairlie, conducted the proceedings for the police, Mr. L. E. Finch, of Timaru, appeared in the interests of the Mount Cook Tourist Company, and Mr. W. D. Campbell, also of Timaru, represented the relatives of Guide Blomfield. 
Guide Very Experienced. The first witness was Alexander Sinclair, solicitor, of Dunedin, who identified the body of Guide Blomfield, who was a son of the late Dr. E. E. Blomfield. Geoffrey Gould Wollery, assistant-manager of the Hermitage, identified the bodies of the four young women, who, he said, had been guests at the Hermitage. He said that on January 18 the four left the Malte Brun hut in charge of Guide Blomfield. They were all in good health and fit to make the trip. Charles Digby Elms, licensee of the Hermitage, and manager for the Mount Cook Tourist Company, said Blomfield had been employed by the company as a guide for the past two seasons. He was a professional guide and a very experienced man. Guests had spoken very highly of him during the several periods he had been at the Hermitage. Prior to the last two seasons he visited the Hermitage, and had done a great deal of climbing.
All Well And Happy. Charles Hilgendorf, employed, as a guide at the Hermitage for the past two seasons, said that on January 16 he left the Hermitage with a party for the Malte Brun Hut. He was at that hut when Guide Blomfield arrived with a party of four ladies, on January 18. On the following day Guide Blomfeld and his party left the Malte Brun Hut, at 10.30 a.m., to return to the Hermitage. Witness told Blomfield that he would follow after he had tidied the hut. It was raining slightly when Blomfield's party left. At that time witness did not think it would be a rough day. When the girls left they all appeared to be well and happy. They were clothed much as were all women who visited the hut. Witness tidied the hut and followed them about an hour and a-half afterwards. It was raining very heavily, with lightning and thunder, and as he continued his journey the weather became worse, and a gale sprang up. 
Discovery of the Bodies. When witness reached the glacier the condition of the ice was very bad, and he had had to put on crampons. Even with crampons the going was very difficult. The blizzard was the worst that he had known. Just as he reached De la Beche Corner he saw a woman lying on the ice, and he discovered that she was dead. She was lying face downwards in a hollow in the ice, having apparently been sheltering from the wind. He saw no disfigurement of any sort. 
About 30yds. further on he found another woman. Her face was cut on the cheek, but he did not take particular notice of it. About l0yds. further on there were two more women, one of them with her face under water. The other was lying on top or beside her. They were both dead. He pulled them out of the water, on to the hard ice and went on to the Ball Hut.
Very soon after he left the bodies the weather improved and he made good time. The bodies were about six miles from the Ball Hut. Witness reached the Ball Hut about 3.30 p.m., a little more than three hours and a-half after he had left Malte Brun. He found the bodies about 2.30 p.m.. He reported the tragedy to the guide in charge at the Ball Hut. At the time he discovered the bodies of the women he did not see that of Guide Blomfield, probably because he was crawling on the ice when the blizzard was raging.
Crawling on the Ice. Witness said he crawled on his hands and knees to the corner. The wind was so severe that he was unable to stand up. "I could do nothing else but crawl," he added. He said the storm from the north-west came down the Rudolph Glacier, striking the Tasman Glacier at De la Beche Corner. The bodies were at the worst part of the glacier for weather, being exposed to the wind coming down the Rudolph Glacier. 
To Mr. Campbell witness said: I have been following up mountaineering since I was very young. I have known Guide Blomfield for two years, I found him a man of sound judgement and always careful for the safety of his parties. There was no reason why Blomfield should not have left the Malte Brun Hut on Sunday morning. I have left the Malte Brun Hut under conditions similar to those existing when Guide Blomfield left.  -NZ Herald, 23/1/1930.

A photo of guide Teddy Blomfield can be found here.

That the death of Acting-Guide T. E. E. Blomfield and the four women whom he led on to the Tasman Glacier on 19th January, 1930, was caused primarily by a discharge of lightning and not by exposure, is the theory substantiated by Mr Guy E. Mannering, the wellknown New Zealand alpinist, in an article in “The New Zealand Alpine Journal" for 1930, published at Wellington last week. After thoroughly investigating the circumstances of the disaster and searching the complete files of "The Alpine Journal” (London), Mr Mannering, an uncle of one of the women killed, has decided definitely that the verdict given at the inquest of "death by exposure” was wrong. He has contributed a similar article to the London journal of May, 1930, by which he is editorially supported. Further, a medical practitioner of Christchurch who volunteered his opinion to the Christchurch "Press” immediately after the tragedy, has reaffirmed it strongly in favour of Mr Mannering's theory.
VICTIMS WERE SEPARATED Mr Mannering begins his article, ‘‘The Disaster on the Tasman Glacier,” with a reference to the single previous fatal accident in the Tasman district, that in which Mr S. L. King, with Guides Thomson and Richmond, were overwhelmed by an avalanche on the Linda Glacier (February, 1914). "This was a mountaineering accident pure and simple. The present disaster is in a totally different class, and happened to a party of walkers out on the open glacier, where practically no climbing dangers are present." He gives then an account of the trip made by Misses D. H. Brown, H. Keane, M. Monteath, D. M. Smith, and Acting-Guide Blomfield, which ended in the death of all five. Guide Hilgendorf "came upon Blomfield’s ruck sack and, about 80 yards further on, the body of one of the girls lying in a hollow as if sheltering from the wind. Forty yards further on he came to three more bodies, close together, but two of them lying in water and slushy snow. He stated that all were dead and already stiff." The first relief party from the Ball Hut "went on about 150 yards beyond the first three bodies and found the body of Acting-Guide Blomfield upon which they attempted resuscitation, but without result.” Mr Mannering was one of the party of 15 which, on 21st January, reached the bodies and after grave difficulties carried them on stretchers back to the Hermitage. "The subsequent medical examination of the bodies revealed no injuries except a few small abrasions, and the knees of the guide alone showed traces of crawling. The medical opinion given was that they died from cold and exposure, and that there was no evidence of anything else whatever. The doctor was unable to give an opinion as to the length of time in which it is usual for a person to perish by exposure.” An inquest was held on the afternoon of Wednesday, 22nd January, the verdict being "death by exposure in an alpine blizzard.”
ONLY TWO HOURS' EXPOSURE Since the inquest, Mr Mannering has ascertained that the watch of his niece, Miss Brown, was stopped by water at 12.49 p.m. Two other watches resisted the wet and showed 6 o’clock and 7.15 o’clock respectively, apparently having run down. It is clear, he states, from the silent evidence of Miss Brown’s watch that the disaster occurred at about 12.49 p.m. It was evident from Hilgendorf’s statement that the storm was not bad a short distance below the hut until some time after 12 o’clock (noon), and that consequently the party had fair conditions for the first hour or so of their walk. This would mean that they were not a long time in the heart of the storm — say, under two hours. Hilgendorf stated that he found the bodies “already stiff” at 2.30 p.m.; but Mr Mannering thinks he must have found them earlier, since he was at the Ball Hut by 3.30 p.m., and could not possibly have made this distance in an hour under the difficult weather conditions. Hilgendorf had no watch. It had been subsequently revealed that there were three spare, unused cardigan jackets in the women’s rucksacks. Apparently no attempt had been made to put on these warm garments.
"My own considered opinion, after alpine experiences extending over 40 years, during which I have been caught in many alpine storms is that the disaster was caused by lightning" writes Mr Mannering. "I have searched the 41 volumes of ‘The Alpine Journal,’ which reports alpine fatalities regularly, and much alpine literature besides, and cannot find a parallel case where a whole party has perished so suddenly from mere exposure. The annual death roll of the European Alps is well over 100 deaths per annum. A great many cases are reported, but I can find none where the period of exposure is known in which death has occurred under a period of about 12 hours, and then it is usually only one or two members of the party who have succumbed. There are numerous instances of resistance for periods of 24 and 48 hours and even longer, without death resulting."
CASES OF EXPOSURE WITHSTOOD Mr Mannering quotes from memory four cases of exposure in the Tasman district. Green, Boss, and Kaufmann stood out all night at 10.000ft on Mount Cook in a had north-west storm, climbing down next morning. Mr Lowe broke his ankle on the Rudolf Glacier, crawled down to de la Roche bivouac, and existed for 10 days in the open with very little food. He is alive today. Mr James Smith, the roadman at Glentanner, sat out on the ice at de la Beche Corner with two ill-clad women all night in a north-west storm, and they reached the Malte Brun Hut next morning. Guide V. Williams, with Mr K. Neave and Mr Mannering himself, walked down from Malte Brun to Ball Hut last November in a terrible blizzard when most of the time visibility did not extend beyond 20 yards. They were covered with icicles, but were not distressed by the exposure. 
"Lightning is very varied in its effects upon animal bodies, and frequently takes life without leaving any sign of burning," he continues. "In the present case it has been established that the party was in the centre of a great thunderstorm — severe lightning was observed in their vicinity by parties at the King Memorial hut (7000 ft up the Mount Cook routes), from the Ball hut, and by Guide Hilgendorf as be was contiung down from Malte Brun, his axe was hissing and spluttering to such an extent that he towed it behind him with straps rather than carry it in his hands. The wet condition of their clothing would render them liable to conduction of electric fluids, more especially as they were walking in water off and on, being in a slushy area of ice."
"EQUIVALENT TO ELECTROCUTION" It seemed contradictory, but damp clothing had been known to save people from shock since "a high frequency current utilises only the surface of a conductor." The following note has been supplied Mr Mannering by a leading Professor of Physics in the University of Bristol:— "If the flash actually struck one of them, that one would have been burned or singed, but if it was very close to them without actually striking anyone, it is quite feasible that the induced effect, in the human body, of the flash would be equivalent to electrocution, giving sudden death. If they were all reasonably close together, as in walking, the same flash might quite well have the same effect on all of them." Another high authority (Professor Buchanan, of Liverpool) said: “The presence of a storm at the time when death is stated to have occurred . . .  will in most cases point to the true cause of death." Professor Buchanan said further that "post-mortem rigidity comes on early, which was actually the case. Another condition laid down by him was present in the case of one of the bodies.
MEDICAL PRACTITIONER’S OPINION Additional evidence in Mr Mannering’s support is given by a medical practitioner in Christchurch as follows: "If they died of exposure, as the Coroner said, it is certain that the bodies of the four women would have been found huddled together for warmth and shelter. What actually happened is quite obvious from the known facts. They were struggling in the wind, but evidently did not feel the cold excessive since they did not put on all their available clothing. At the time they were in a position on. the ice where they could have put on the extra cardigans quite safely had they wanted to do so. They were perspiring slightly and wet; a solution of salt would be in their clothes, and salt is a good conductor of electricity. They were not struck by the full force of the flash, but they were in the corona of the flash. The current would pass through their clothing to the ice, not charring the bodies but killing, them almost instantly. The salt might be a protection from a devastating shock, but not from such a current as this. 
“The treatment for shock is the immediate application of warmth. In the bitterly cold wind, standing on slushy ice, and wet through, they were in the worst possible condition to receive the shock. Those who did not die in a few seconds, notably Miss Brown and Blomfield, were able to shift their positions. Blomfield, I think, died of exposure following the shock, for he was able to get a good way further on. The medical practitioner who gave evidence at the inquest may not have been aware that death by lightning was possible without marks on the body."
PROOF OF LIGHTNING SHOCK The doctor emphasised that it was ridiculous that five healthy young people could all die by exposure within two hours. The fact that all died almost simultaneously, with the exception of Blomfield, was to him absolute proof that they were struck by lightning. In circumstances where immediate help and treatment could have been given, Blomfield and Miss Brown could possibly have been saved, but under the conditions in which they were found, even these two would have died. The excitement at the time of the tragedy was by no means conducive to a calm and scientific consideration of the circumstances of their death.
He quoted finally from Professor E. J. M. Buchanan’s "Forensic Medicine and Toxicology": "Death is not always immediate. Sometimes the clothes have been torn off the body with scarcely any personal injury. Metallic articles, especially steel, worn or carried about the person, become magnetic and may be fused (Hilgendorf’s ice-axe hissed and spluttered). The lesions which may be met with after lightning stroke are varied. . . Not infrequently those killed by lightning are found in the same position that they occupied during life."  -Nelson Evening Mail, 8/7/1930.
Southern cemetery, Dunedin.

News of the Day
Memorial Hut on Tasman Glacier. The New Zealand Alpines Club has raised funds to build a hut in the Tasman National Park, Mount Cook, as a memorial to Guide Blomfield and the four women who perished on the Tasman Glacier last year (states the "Christchurch Star"). Contracts have now been let for erecting the hut (£150) and for packing the materials from the end of the road at the Ball Hut to the site seven miles up the Glacier (£135). The hut is being erected in a national park by permission of the Government and is not for private profit. The work is being done by six men who would otherwise be unemployed. An application for assistance under the Unemployment Board's scheme was received by the Finance Committee of the Citizens' Unemployment Committee, and was referred to the Timaru Committee.  -Evening Post, 4/3/1931.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Sergeant-Major James Grennan 1830?-12/1/1866

More mature New Zealand readers will remember that rural fixture of New Zealand life, the dog-dosing strip.  Its purpose, for those who don't know what it was, was to prevent the spread of the hydatids parasite by farm dogs, which could ingest it by eating raw or semi-cooked sheep offal. and pass it on to sheep for the next part of its cycle.  It could also be ingested by humans, sometimes with fatal results.  It was a hydatids cyst that did to James Grennan of the Otago Armed constabulary (late of the Connaught Rangers) what Russian bullets had tried and failed to achieve.

A bull broke away from a mob that was being driven into town a few days ago, and roamed at large in the neighborhood of York place, much to the alarm of the residents there. On Saturday the animal attacked a boy and hurt him rather severely; and this being reported to the Commissioner of Police, he yesterday morning sent Sergeant Grennan and a trooper to catch the beast and take him to the Pound, or else to shoot him. It was found impossible to do the former, and the bull was consequently shot by the sergeant.  -Otago Daily Times, 7/9/1863.

A good many persons had their lives endangered on Saturday afternoon, by the freaks of a wild cow which came from the hills at the head of Maclaggan-street, and rushed furiously along Rattray-street and Princes-street southwards. Pedestrians had to fly right and left to avoid the butting of the infuriated animal, but they did not always succeed. Just after entering Princes-street, the cow contrived to catch a man on her horns, but he slipped over without being tossed, and escaped with the tumble. Near the entrance to the Government Offices, she ran another man against the palings, and dashed furiously at him. Fortunately the brute's horns were long and had an unusual spread, and they passed on either side of the man's body, smashing the palings but not injuring him. Not choosing to renew the attack with the prospect of similar mischief to herself, she resumed her rush along Princes-street; but did not succeed in so nearly endangering the life of any other person as she did that of the man just named. Of course, a crowd of persons followed the beast, and some of them having prudently given information to the police, Sergeant Grennan and some others, followed also. Grennan took with him a loaded rifle. The cow had turned into a yard behind the Carrier's Arms, and there Grennan shot her as soon as he came into view.  -Otago Daily Times, 5/10/1863.

In the Provincial Council yesterday, The Speaker took the chair at two o'clock in the afternoon.
The House was crowded with men of the working classes.
Several notices of motion were given.
The Secretary of Public Works laid on the table the Caversham and Green Island District Roads Lands Bill.
Mr J. G. S. Grant attempted to address the Speaker, who ordered him repeatedly to sit down. Mr Grant did not obey the command, and was, by order of the Speaker, taken into custody by Sergeant Grennan.
The greater portion of the strangers then withdrew, stamping, groaning, and hissing, as they descended the stairs.
The Secretary of Public Works in reply to Mr Lloyd, said the Government had placed a sum on the Estimates for the purpose of repairing the Swamp road.
The Speaker announced that he had appointed Sergeant James Grennan Sergeant-at Arms to the House, and had given him a warrant authorising him to detain J. G. S. Grant in custody until further instructions.
In reply to Mr Lloyd, the Secretary for Public Works said he was inclined to think it would be advisable to erect a toll-gate at the entrance of the town from Anderson's Bay district.
In answer to Mr Lloyd, the Provincial Secretary said that as the General Government paid the salaries of Resident Magistrates and the general expenses, they claimed all fees and fines taken and recovered before the various benches of Magistrates in Otago.
Mr Adam consented to lay on the table the return moved for by Mr Mollison, of the various toll bars in the Province. They would be let by tender when the Turnpike Act was passed.
The Caversham and Green Island District Roads Lands Bill was read a first time, and ordered to be printed. The second reading was made an order of the day for the next sitting.
Mr Adam's motion for setting aside a portion of the Town Belt for the use of the Acclimatisation Society was agreed to.
Mr Vogel's motion for requesting L500 to be placed on the Estimates to meet the expenses of selling the waste and town lands by auction, was negatived.
The motion by Mr John Cargill, requesting the Superintendent to forward a copy of the report on the Volunteer Force to the General Government, and ask their co-operation, was agreed to.
Mr Vogel moved that the Superintendent be requested to disallow the Licensed Hawkers Bill.
The Speaker intimated that it had already been assented to.
Mr Adam admitted the oppressive nature of the 20th clause, and said the Government had not decided on the matter.
James Gordon Stuart Grant was placed at the bar of the House in custody.
After some discussion it was agreed to accept his apology for the contempt offered to the House, and the prisoner having apologised to the satisfaction of the House was released.  -Otago Daily Times, 9/7/1864.

A disgraceful scene lately occurred in the Assembly of the Provincial Council of Otago at Dunedin. Mr. J. G. S. Grant (the self-styled advocate of the working man's cause, the only scholar in the Southern Hemisphere, and the only man in the nine Provinces fit to stand in the Governor's shoes!) mustered a strong body of the "unwashed," and entered St. George's Hall for the purpose of presenting a petition on their behalf. The Daily News (Dunedin) has the following paragraph on the subject: — "In the Provincial Council yesterday, the notorious J. G. S. Grant came to grief, and in one short hour learnt by experience the emptiness of the frothy popularity he had laid himself out to obtain. It appears by his own statement, that he volunteered to head its demonstration and beard the Council in its den, provided always that his adherents would not allow him to be seized and swallowed whilst in the performance of his self-imposed dangerous errand. Like the non-combatant Quaker, who threw an enemy into the sea that was attempting to board his ship, with the remark, 'friend; Thou art not wanted here,' so did the hero of the hour breathe peace, but endeavored to incite disturbance. The crowd were to be peaceable, but were not to allow him to be 'seized.' A tacit understanding on this head having been come to, Grant marched boldly to the attack, and commenced by addressing his followers, and ignoring the Speaker. When called to order, he said he had a memorial to present, and on refusing to hold his peace, the Speaker handed him over to the tender mercies of Sergeant Grennan, who forthwith locked him up. An appeal was made by the captive to the braves who had promised not to permit 'seizure,' but it was unheeded, and he was ignominiously marched off, the colossal sergeant evidently having a most pacificatory effect on the popular mind. The upshot was, that Grant was incarcerated, and no one attempted a disturbance on his behalf. He was subsequently brought up, and gladly saved his bacon by adopting a most abject apology, written for his special behoof, by members of the Council. As might be expected, he complained bitterly of the ingratitude of his friends, and intimated his intention of deserting them, as they had deserted him in his need, and, in future, attending to his 'duties.' What those 'duties' are, he best knows; but the working men will be largely the gainers by his secession from their cause, and it is to be hoped he will not recant."   -Southland Times, 14/7/1864.

A strange scene had occurred on June 8th in the Otago Provincial Council. A Mr. J. G. S. Grant had persuaded a large number of working men to accompany him to the Council Hall where he promised to appear in the character of their advocate and warm supporter. The Hall, we are told, was crowded with men of the working classes. During the giving of the notices of motion, Mr. Grant, who had occupied a side seat in the body of, the Hall, removed to a central spot behind the Speaker's gallery, when the following scene occurred: 
Mr. Grant (who turned and addressed those who filled the body of the Hall): I am now going to present your most peaceful and respectful memorial -
The Speaker: Order! order! 
Mr. Grant: Your Honor 
The Speaker: Sit down, Sir. 
Mr. Grant: Your Honor, I'm going 
The Speaker: Sergeant-at-Arms, take that man into custody. 
Mr. Grant (addressing the strangers): I am in the pursuit of my duty, and I call upon you to protect me. 
The Speaker: Sergeant-at-Arms, remove him from the Hall, and detain him in custody below until further orders. 
Mr. Grant was led out by Sergeant Grennan. There were hisses from some of the strangers, and nearly the whole of them at once rose, and left the Hall, stamping and groaning as they descended the stairs. 
The Speaker: Are there any police officers present? If so, let them mark any one who is making a noise, and I will summon him to the bar of this House for contempt. The fine is £20. I call upon all loyal and well-behaved citizens now present to mark all those who are making a disturbance, and to report the same to me. 
The conduct of the Speaker was worthy of all praise. Strong in the consciousness of constituted authority, he vindicated at once the dignity of the Council, and showed his appreciation of the orderly tendency of the multitude. The conclusion of the matter was that Mr. Grant made the following apology:
"I, James Gordon Stuart Grant, hereby express my deep regret that I should have been guilty, in the opinion of your House, of contempt; and hereby offer my sincere apology for this offence, and promise not to offend again." 
To which the Speaker replied: — "Then I have nothing more left, but the agreeable duty of releasing you from arrest. I would just say that I most sincerely hope that for the future you will set an example of loyal obedience to all the inhabitants of this town. Sergeant-at-Arms, release the prisoner." 
The following address to the Speaker was carried with loud applause: "That this Council desires to express its approval of the conduct of Mr. Speaker in regard to the removal of a stranger from the Gallery in attempting to obstruct the business of the Council, and resolves to uphold the authority of Mr. Speaker in securing the deliberative character and dignity of this House."  -New Zealander, 24/7/1864.

The career and "duties" of Mr Grant will be related in his own story - he is certainly a character deserving of a full description.

Thursday, 23rd November; (Before A. C. Strode, Esq., R.M.) 
Disorderly Conduct. — Margaret Smith and Linda Macfarlane were charged with disturbing the public peace by fighting in Stafford street. They pleaded guilty, and were each fined L3 and costs. 
Robert Turner was charged with having used threatening and abusive language in Great King street, on the night of the 17th instant. On that day Constable Mally had occasion to serve a summons on the defendant for crossing the footpath with his horse. In the evening the defendant came to the station and asked if the constable was off duty now, and invited him to come out and fight, and see who was the better man. He held up a whip in a threatening attitude, and said, "I will be your destruction, or you will be mine." Sergeant-Major Grennan corroborated the constable's evidence. The Magistrate characterised this as a most unprovoked attack upon a constable, and fined the defendant L5 and costs, or two months' imprisonment with hard labor.   -Otago Daily Times, 25/11/1865.

Southern cemetery, Dunedin.

The funeral of the late Sergeant-major Grennan, of the Police Force, will take place this afternoon; the procession leaving the station, Greet King street, at three o'clock. The members of the Volunteer Fire Brigade will attend — this mark of respect having been on several previous occasions paid by each of the two bodies, which have necessarily to work together, when the Brigade's active services are called for. The different bodies of Volunteers will no doubt be strongly represented; musters being called officially by advertisement. The open hearse will be preceded by a band, under the leadership of M. Fleury (playing the "Dead March") it being requested that those amateurs who are willing to assist, should meet that gentleman this morning. There will be a firing-party; and the ensign, which will be the pall, will be borne by four officers who were comrades of the deceased, in the British army in the Crimea, as well as in the Otago Police Force. We mentioned on Saturday that some doubt existed as to the immediate cause of Grennan's death. On Saturday, a post-mortem examination of the body was made by Drs Hardy and Alexander; and it was found that death had resulted from an effusion of serum into the ventricles of the brain, which was caused by the pressure of a hydated tumour in the substance of the brain.  -Otago Daily Times, 22/1/1866.

On Friday morning last there died in Dunedin a military hero of more than passing note in our far-off island of the Sea. James Grennan, Sergeant-Major in the Otago Police Force, had been a Serjeant in the 88th, the world renowned Connaught Rangers, and was present with his Regiment throughout the greater part of the Crimean war. At the memorable siege of the Great Redan, Grennan received a severe bullet shot in one of his lungs, the bullet passing out at his back. From the effect of this he never ultimately recovered, although it was not the cause of his death, that having proceeded from fluke in the brain, as ascertained by post mortem examination. Sergeant Grennan, in the course of the campaign, more than once displayed the greatest heroism. He was once sent to place a sentinel at his post of duty. The sentinel was shot dead, and the gallant sergeant, making his way back, was surrounded by five Russians. Three of them he slew, and the remaining two he forcibly dragged within the French lines, where he was received with great cheering on the part of our noble allies. This deed alone reminds one of the fine old Scottish ballad of 'Barthram's Dirge.' At another time, he ran back from his company, and bore off on his shoulders the body of his severely wounded captain, and this amidst a shower of balls and bullets from the ferocious Muscovite enemy. James Grennan was an unassuming, modest man; and not very many in Dunedin knew, until he died, that we had such a soldier in our midst. His medals and clasps were of course numerous, and many will remember him as Sergeant-at-Arms in the Provincial Council Hall: — the tall commanding figure, with the left breast decorated with no less than three grateful country's acknowledgements of his warrior deeds. He was Chevalier of the Legion of Honor of France, wore the Order of Turkey, and what, to him, was prouder than all, the glorious Medals and Clasps of his native land. He has died at the early age of 38 years, and this afternoon he has been worthily buried with every honor and respect due to such a hero. The members of the Police Force, who also furnished the firing party of twelve; the Volunteer Fire Brigade; the Rifle Artillery and Volunteers; and also the Naval Brigade and Light Horse, mustered in large numbers. The band played the 'Dead March in Saul;' the streets were lined by thousands; flags in the line of route were half-mast high; four officers of the Otago Police, who had gone through the Crimean war, bore the body, which was covered with the British ensign, to the grave. Three volleys were fired, and James Grennan, the quiet, unobtrusive man and heroic soldier, now sleeps near to a brother hero, SergeantMajor Garvey, who perished in a snow-storm in this province about two years ago. Grennan and Garvey were two of the brave band of twenty who alone, out of the whole British army, received the Legion of Honor during the Crimean war. I may mention that the funeral cortege extended from Dowling Street to the Post office.  -Bruce Herald, 25/1/1866.

Social and Domestic
A monument, subscribed for by the members of the Police force, and some others, will shortly be erected over the grave of Sergeant-Major James Grennan, whose body, it will be remembered, was interred in the Roman Catholic portion of the Cemetery, beside that of his predecessor in the force, Sergeant-Major Garvey. The latter lost his life while engaged on duty up-country during a severe snowstorm; he was, like Grennan, a Crimean soldier; and the two were included in the twenty men of the British army who received the Cross of the Legion of Honor. His comrades caused a handsome monument to be erected over Garvey's grave; but we believe that the stone of which it is composed has already suffered greatly from exposure, and it is intended that the new monument shall be to the memory of Garvey as well as of Grennan. This monument will consist of a polished Aberdeen granite column, resting on a a square bluestone base, and surmounted by an urn. Its whole height will be 13ft.; and its cost will be over Ll30. The monument is being executed by Messrs Marsh, Grout, and Simmonds, of Melbourne and judging from a sketch, it will be an effective work.  -Otago Daily Times, 20/7/1866.

Mr Godfrey is now proceeding with the monument to the memory of Sergeant-Majors Garvey and Grennan, which the Otago Police Force intend to have erected in the Dunedin Cemetery, and which we have before described. The draperied urn, which is to surmount the monument, is 2ft 3in high, finely shaped, and simply decorated with the leaves of ivy and of laurel. The falls of the drapery are freely and effectively arranged, and its execution is another example of the ease and boldness with which the Oamaru stone can be cut. With the exception of the base, which will be of Port Chalmers bluestone, the monument will be wholly of  Oamaru stone (as it has come to be called), of the best quality, which happens to be procurable much nearer to Moeraki than to Oamaru.  -Otago Daily Times, 7/6/1867.