Thursday, 26 September 2019

The Boreham Brothers

War does many things to many pople.  

The off-duty drinking and carousing of soldiers coming out of the line served many functions. It was a celebration of survival and a way to blot out the visions of what machine guns and high explosive can do to the human body.  A soldier could forget what he had seen, stave off the realisation that it was mere luck that chose another and not him, push away the feeling that the next visit to the Front Line could be the last.

For many soldiers, coming home did not remove the memories, the visions of their mates, the fear of the metal storm and the exultation of surviving it.  The celebration of survival and blotting out of the memories through drinking continued after the was was over.  For many men, the war never ended.

The Boreham brotherss grew up in Clark St, Dunedin - not a luxurious area of town.  Stephen was born in 1890, Harold in 1895.  Their father was the champion draughts player for Australasia.


The friends and relations of Mr Harold Boreham entertained him at a social held at his sister's residence, Richardson street, St. Kilda, last evening. During an interval in the programme Trooper Richardson took the opportunity of presenting trooper Boreham on behalf of his friends and relatives with a wristlet watch and patent shaving outfit. Trooper Richardson said it afforded him great pleasure to present Trooper Boreham with this small token of the esteem of his friends, who trusted he would return safely after the enemies of civilisation had been as soundly whipped on the battlefield as Trooper Boreham's father had whipped the Australian draughts players. Some recitations, and the usual indoor games made an enjoyable social evening.  -Evening Star, 24/2/1916.

Harold turned out not to be a "soldier's soldier."  His conduct sheet had a number of entries which would indicate that he was a little careless - losing a mess tin, not carrying enough ammunition in the field, overstaying leave, absent from billets.  But, when the time came, he was to show that he had the right stuff:

Private Harold Boreham, who has been awarded the D.C.M., is the youngest son of Mr J. A. Boreham, champion draughts player of Australasia. Private Boreham was born in Oamaru, and educated at the Kaikorai School and the Otago Boys' High School. He was under 20 when he enlisted and left with the 10th Reinforcement. He was very popular in sporting circles, representing Otago in the Southland Boxing Championships, where he won a gold medal.  -Sun, 18/2/1918.

Harold's DCM was won on January 25th, 1918, during a quiet period of the War with both sides waiting for Spring and the coming German offensive.  They sent periodic patrols out to keep the other side on their toes and also to take prisoners in order to ascertain who they were facing - and any other information they could extract.  The following is the official citation for Harold's award:

Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal
For acts of gallantry in the field.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When a number of the enemy were seen on the opposite parapet he went out with a patrol and engaged the enemy with bombs and dispersed them. He pursued them as they returned and captured a prisoner. By his initiative, pluck and gallant conduct he obtained valuable information and set a splendid example to his comrades.

On March 23rd, the German offensive opened, and the weight of it was felt by the Otago Regiment.  Harold Boreham felt the weight personally, being wounded five days later.  Multiple gunshot wounds to the left shoulder and arm are noted in his service records.  In July of 1918 he was marked as unfit for further service and sent home.

To-morrow afternoon, at 2.30, the Minister of Defence (Sir James Allen) will present medals to a number of soldiers and next of kin at the Drill Hall, Kensington. The general public are invited to be present, and returned soldiers are given permission to wear uniform. Local Territorials will also be present. Following is a list of the soldiers or next of kin to receive decorations 
——D.C.M.— Lance-corporal Harold Boreham, 44 Richardson street, St. Kilda;  -Evening Star, 2/5/1919.

"For bravery," "Gallant conduct," "Coolness and courage" were a few of the phrases describing the deeds of the men who were presented with decorations by the Minister of Defence at the Drill Hall on Saturday afternoon. And after "Killed in action" followed the reading of a brave man's action, and the next of kin stepped up to receive the medal. One D.C.M. was given to Lance-corporal Harold Boreham, of Dunedin, who was often associated in action with Richard Travis, V.C. 
There was a large muster of Territorials and Cadets, and the band of the 4th (Otago) Regiment was present. Several hundred of the public, including some returned soldiers, lined the balcony that extends round the hall. On arrival Sir James Allen inspected the parade. 
Each man, as his name was called, stepped up on the platform, and had his medal pinned on by Sir James. The decorations of those killed were handed to the next of kin. 
The Minister said he had little to say. There were a large number of decorations to be presented that afternoon, and these had been won for bravery and distinguished service in the field. Some of the men were present to receive their own decorations, but others would never come back. He admired the courage of the next of kin of those men to come there. To the Territorials and Senior Cadets he would say that they should mark an occasion like that in their memory. He hoped they would never have to go through the trials and difficulties and perils other men had to face during the last four or five years. Had they to do so, he knew they would uphold the honor of the country and uphold the traditions which New Zealanders had made during the war. 
Sir James called for three cheers for the men who had been decorated, and those who had received medals won by their kinsmen, and these were given heartily. A cup won by Private J. Tunnage, of the Coast Defence Regiment, was also presented by Sir James. 
The parade state was as follows: Headquarters Staff: Two colonels, one lieutenant-colonel, three majors, two captains; total, 8. New Zealand Permanent Staff: Two majors, one lieutenant, one warrant officer, seven sergeant-majors; total. 11. B Battery N.Z.P.A.: One lieutenant, one sergeant-major, one corporal, 11 rank and file; total, 14. No. 2 Field Engineers: One sergeant-major, one sergeant, one bugler, 14 rank and file; total, 17. Divisional Signal Company: One sergeant, two corporals, six rank and file; total, 9. P. and T. Corps: One captain, two sergeants, two corporals, 12 rank and file; total, 17. Fourth Otago Regiment: One lieutenant, two sergeants, two corporals, 17 rank and file: total, 22. Coast Defence Detachment: Two captains, four sergeants, three corporals, 29 rank and file; total, 58. Army Service Corps: One captain, one sergeant-major, one sergeant, two corporals, two buglers, 16 rank and file: total, 23. No. 2 Field Ambulance: One major, two rank and file: total, 3. Senior Cadets: One captain, six lieutenants, 25 sergeants, 25 corporals, 543 rank and file; total, 598. Returned Soldiers: One lieutenant-colonel, two majors, one captain, one sergeant-major, two sergeants. 20 rank and file; total, 27. Grand total, 765.   -Evening Star, 5/5/1919.

Harold Boreham was indeed associated with Dick Travis, VC, DCM, MM, Croix de Guerre (Belg.) - "King of No-man's-land."  The Official History of the Otago Regiment includes him in its chapter on Travis:
"When the Regiment headed north again and settled down in Flanders for the winter he was promoted Sergeant, and given command of the sniping and observing organisation of the 2nd Battalion, and in that capacity gathered round him a small band of men whose special function was night patrolling of No Man's Land and of enemy territory generally. These men were carefully chosen, and being closely associated with Sergt. Travis in many of his exploits, it is fitting that the names of the original members should be recorded. They were Ptes. T. Barber, H. Boreham, A. Campbell, J. McGregor, J. Nicholson, T. Powelly, and R. Fitzgerald. Mainly by reason of casualties the personnel of the party changed from time to time; but so long as the organisation continued Travis remained the master-hand and the directing mind. Of PAGE 319this party Nicholson, a very worthy fellow, was killed prior to the Messines Battle when on the point of leading out a raiding party; Barber was killed at Passchendaele; and Clydesdale, who joined later, was also killed. Other men were Miller, Macdonald, and G. Fitzgerald; all of the right mettle and always ready for any adventure."

After action with Dick Travis and the "Travis Gang," in the Great War trenches, an arm full of metal and survival of same, civilian life could be nothing but an anticlimax for Harold.  It did, however, occasionally have its distractions for a man of action.

Police Court
The case against Harold Boreham of wilfully breaking a pane of glass valued at £7 17s 6d, the property of the Dunedin Drapery Supply Company, was continued, defendant having previously pleaded not guilty. Sub-inspector Murray prosecuted, and Mr B. S. Irwin defended. 
Constable O’Connor said that a fire occurred in the shop at about 8.20 on March 10, and when he arrived on the scene ho saw Boreham break the window. Boreham told witness he broke the window, but could not get in on account of the smoke. 
Mr Irwin said Boreham was walking along the street with a girl cousin in the direction of the Grand Pictures, when he noticed the fire in the shop. Two men were trying to open the iron gate. Boreham opened the gate at once, and, stepping in, broke the window with the idea of getting in to put out the fire. On several previous occasions accused had put out fires, and when quite young had saved a horse from a burning stable. He also won the D.C.M. at the front. Counsel submitted that, even if accused had committed an error of judgment, he should be discharged. Harold Boreham, in evidence, said his intention in breaking the window was to get in to put out the fire. Evidence was also given by Adelaide Boreham and Jas. Alfred Boreham. His Worship said the question was whether it was a malicious act on the part of the accused or whether, on the outbreak of fire, he did something to combat the flames. The question whether it was a judicious act did not need to enter into the case. It seemed that the defendant committed an act which he thought was a proper one. The information would be dismissed. 
Harold Boreham, defendant in the previous case, was further charged with being on the premises of the Metropolitan Hotel after closing hours. Defendant pleaded not guilty. Constable O’Connell said that at about ten past 8 on March 10 he saw accused come out of the side door of the Metropolitan Hotel. Accused pulled his cap over his forehead and ran up Maclaggan street. Witness said; “It’s all right, Boreham; I’ll see you later.’’ Witness knew Boreham well, and could not possibly make a mistake. Later he saw accused at the fire at the Drapery Supply Co., at the Empire Buildings, where, upon being charged with being in the hotel, Boreham said the constable had made a mistake. The suit Borcham was wearing was of a brown color, and he had a grey cap. Mr Irwin said the defence was that a genuine mistake had been made. It was not suggested that the constable had a grudge against Boreham, or that the constable was telling anything but what he believed to be the truth. Boreham said he went from home with his father and a girl cousin. The girl and he walked as far as the European Hotel and then back towards the Grand Pictures. He was not in Maclaggan street at all that night, and had not been in the Metropolitan Hotel for four or five months. From the fire he went and got his father, and went to the police station. He was wearing the dark suit he had on at present. Adelaide Boreham said that between 7.25 and 7.50 she left home in company with Harold Boreham and his father. At the foot of Rattray street Mr Boreham left them, and they went as far as the European Hotel, where she went in for five minutes to see a relative. Then they came along Princes street to the fire. Harold was with her all the evening. James Alfred Boreham said they left home about half-past 7. He left his son and his niece at the corner of Rattray street, and saw them later at the Athenaeum. From there they went to the police station. His son was wearing the same clothes he had on to-day. His Worship said the constable was confident that Boreham was the man he saw corning out of the hotel, and circumstances were such that there should not have been much room for mistake. The question had been raised as to the color of the suit accused was wearing, and this threw some doubt on the constable's infallibility on the question of identification. On the other hand, there was the evidence of accused himself and his girl cousin. The girl had given her evidence in a very fair manner, and he was not prepared to say that both she and Boreham were lying. Accused was entitled to have the information dismissed.   -Evening Star, 8/4/1921.

Police Court
For being found on the of the Gladstone Hotel after hours, John Taylor, who did not appear, was fined 40s, with costs. Harold Boreham, charged with a similar offence, pleaded not guilty, and said he went to the hotel to see if he had left his football “togs” there. —After hearing Constable O’Connell, His Worship said there was no evidence in this case of liquor having been asked for, but in these cases a great many curious excuses were given. Defendant would be fined 20s, with costs.  -Evening Star, 1/8/1921.

Harold appeared a number of times in the 1920s for drunkenness, each appearance much the same, but this is a notable one.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21. (Before Mr H. W. Bundle, S.M.) 
Harold Boreham pleaded not guilty to a charge of drunkenness, but his explanation of his conduct on Saturday evening was not accepted by the magistrate, who inflicted a 20s fine. 
Constable Jenney’s story was to the effect that, he had come upon Boreham about 7.15 p.m. outside the Grand Hotel. He was sitting on the footpath singing. Witness told him to go away, hut he refused, and was arrested for drunkenness. 
Defendant: What was I singing?.—I couldn’t say what the song was. 
You ought to know; it’s your business to remember. What tune was it? 
His Worship: It is not always possible to recognise a song, you know. 
The constable added that he heard a noise coming from defendant, also a lot of words, but he could not remember what was sung or said. Defendant was certainly drunk. 
Senior-sergeant Quartermain, who saw defendant half an hour after he was brought in, said Boreham was silly drunk then. 
Defendant, sworn, said he had been to a picnic, at which he had played football. When the policeman came along witness was showing a friend named Paterson how he had been collared during the game. The explanation involved sitting down for a moment and getting up again. He did not sing, and all the drink he had that day was three whiskies and two long beers at the picnic. 
The Magistrate said there was no doubt defendant bad been drunk. He had been before the court several times before, “Why don’t you lake out a prohibition order, Boreham?” he asked. 
Defendant said he did not think it necessary. 
His Worship; Very well. Fined 20s, in default twenty-four hours’ imprisonment.  -Evening Star, 21/2/1927.

The case of Harold's brother, Stephen, is not one of being affected by the war.  Stephen stayed at home yet joined his brother's peacetime exploits with gusto.  Perhaps he felt that his brother deserved his company, perhaps it was just a good excuse to drink.  With only the newspapers to go on,  it is impossible to say.

Trouble in the Princess Theatre on July 12 led to the appearance of Harold Boreham and Stephen Boreham at the City Police Court to-day charged with behaving in a disorderly manner. Both pleaded not guilty, and were represented by Mr C. J. L. White. 
Sub-inspector Fahey said that the facts were that about 10 p.m. on the date in question Constable Feeley was called to the Princess Theatre, where one of the attendants asked to have the defendants removed, as they had been smoking and creating a disturbance. The defendant Stephen Boreham said: “Mind you own .... business," and they would not move themselves. However, with a little tact the constable got both men away from tho theatre. Then by the Arcade they commenced to call out: “The police are a lot of .... ....” Later both men were told to move on by a constable, whom they told to “go to ...."
Charles William Chapman said that on July 12 last he was doorkeeper at the Princess Theatre. He knew both defendants by sight. He went to the accused Harold Boreham and asked him to put his cigarette out. Accused used threatening language, and both of them threatened to throw him downstairs. Constable Feeley had considerable trouble in getting the accused out. 
Mr White: Didn’t the accused ask you to feel the cigarette to make sure that it was out? 
Witness: The cigarette was alight. 
Mr White: And yet he asked you to feel the cigarette to see that it was cold?
Roy McGregor Walker, employed in the theatre, said he remembered the two accused coining in shortly after the interval. The previous witness complained about the conduct of the two accused, and witness went to Stephen and told him to get out. The constable arrived on the scene, and one of the accused — witness thought it was Stephen — threatened to put the constable over the gallery. Eventually, however, they went out, though they argued on the way down the stairs that they had done nothing for which they should be put out. When the accused said they would throw the constable over the gallery it could be heard in the back row.
Mr White: “It’s quite a frequent occurrence to have a disturbance at the theatre — catcalls and so forth?” 
—“ It is sometimes the case on a Saturday night.”
To Mr White: Both men gave witness the impression that they were laboring under an injustice. Stephen did not have a cigarette when seen by witness.
Constable Feeley said that on July 12 last he was called to the Princess Theatre at 10 o’clock on account of complaints regarding Harold Boreham’s conduct. Harold Boreham had a cigarette in his mouth, and the constable told him he had been asked to get him to leave the theatre. Harold seemed hostile, as also did Stephen when he joined his brother. Harold threatened to throw witness over the gallery, but after great persuasion he managed to get the accused to leave the theatre. When witness was passing by the theatre Harold threw his hat in the air and said: “They’re all a lot of ....” Then later, at Jacobs’s corner, witness ordered them to clear the footpath. Stephen went into the road and wanted to fight witness, but after some time he cooled down. Both were under the influence of liquor, but not drunk enough to be arrested. 
To Mr White; A gentleman would leave the theatre if he were requested to do so.
Mr White: I doubt if I would, constable.
The Magistrate: Well, Mr White! 
To Mr White: The witness Chapman was a policeman’s son.
Mr White submitted that the case should be dismissed. The witness Chapman was a policeman’s son, and apparently he was anxious to enforce law and order, and when he had an argument with the accused he foolishly ran down and got the police. He submitted that if Walker had been there himself there would have been no prosecution. It seemed an extraordinary thing that the police had not taken proceedings earlier, and counsel submitted that under the circumstances the case should be dismissed as trivial under the J.P.s Act.
The Magistrate said that the evidence of the main witness was so extremely unsatisfactory that he found it difficult to deal with the matter. The evidence showed that both defendants had been a nuisance and should have got out when requested. However, the witness Chapman’s evidence was unsatisfactory, and though it was honestly given it had been, very muddled, and he did not wish to enter a conviction against the accused. The charges were dismissed, subject to the payment of 23s each. Addressing the accused, the Magistrate said that if they again came before the court on a similar charge they would receive little consideration.  -Evening Star, 26/7/1928.

“Surely a man under the British flag is allowed a bit of freedom in life without being bounced off the street like that,” declared Stephen William Lancelot Boreham in the Police Court this morning, when he and Harold Boreham were each charged with behaving in a disorderly manner in Princes street on the evening of August 25.
Each defendant pleaded not guilty. Constable Smyth stated that at about 8.55 on the evening of August 25 he saw the two defendants standing between the Fountain and the Bank of New Zealand corner, in Princes street. Between twenty and thirty men were standing around at the time, and the defendants were calling out to the crowd in a loud voice. They were both under the influence of liquor. Witness went up to them and asked them to stop their noise, but they refused to do so. He then asked them to move on, and this time they shouted at the top of their voices that they would not move on. The crowd was gathering all the time, and they still refused to move on; in fact, pedestrians travelling between the bank and the Wentworth were forced to walk out into tho lino of motor cars.
Each of the defendants took advantage of the opportunity to question the constable, Stephen Boreham stating that the sergeant at the watchhouse did not seem to think they were drunk and disorderly, and so let them go home. The incidents at the Fountain were again threshed out, Stephen Boreham maintaining that when the constable put him into the taxi he slammed the door on his foot.
“Surely a man under the British Flag is allowed is allowed a bit of freedom in life without being bounced off the street like that,” continued defendant.
Harold Boreham asked the constable why he had pushed another chap into him. Also, there was a little discussion as to who spoke in answer to the constable.
"It was a jumble-up. You could not tell who was talking." declared Constable Smyth. The Magistrate: “Who drew the crowd there?”
Constable Smyth; “These two men, your Worship. Stephen Boreham had a paper in his hand, and he was shouting as if he were reading from it.” Stephen Boreham maintained that it was the Salvation Army that had drawn the crowd, which had not had time to disperse. “I generally go to listen to the Army there on a Saturday night,” he continued. “We were standing there when the constable came along in an officious manner, bumped a chap into Harold, and said to me: "You had better go home, too." The constable dragged me about and tried to make out I was drunk. There was no resistance, or he wouldn’t have got one of us away, let alone two.” Senior-sergeant Quartermain: “Were you haranguing the crowd?” Stephen Boreham: “No. The constable was rather officious; that’s all,” Harold Boreham: “If our name hadn’t been Boreham we wouldn’t have been arrested.”
Stephen Boreham: “That’s a moral.”
The Magistrate said he saw no reason to question the constable’s evidence. If the defendants had been wise men they would have gone home when it was suggested that they should. Each defendant would be convicted and fined 20s and costs.  -Evening Star, 10/9/1928.

Into the 30s, the arrests continued.  The Borehams claimed a degree of persecution from the police - this author's opinion is that the police were indeed familiar with them and had a degree of sympathy for a man who was permanently affected by his war experiences.

Police Court
“If he is prohibited we are prepared to let it go at that,” said Senior-sergeant Quartermain, when Harold Boreham appeared on charges of being found drunk, and of being found unlawfully on licensed premises. “I think the time has come tor a prohibition order to be taken out,” remarked the magistrate, as he convicted and discharged the defendant on each charge,  conditional on an order being taken out.  -Evening Star, 26/4/1930.

Harold Boreham pleaded guilty to a charge of behaving in a disorderly manner. Senior-sergeant Quartermam said that Boreham was under the influence of liquor on Saturday evening. He was whistling and shouting, and as he would not desist when remonstrated with was arrested. He had been in the country for twelve months. The senior sergeant considered that he had done his best to run straight and that he had been adequately punished. Boreham was convicted and discharged.   -Evening Star, 25/5/1931.

FRIDAY, MARCH 2. (Before Mr H. W. Bundle, S.M.) 
DRUNKENNESS. A statutory first offender, James Thomas Shields, was convicted and discharged. 
MACLAGGAN STREET DISTURBANCE. To a charge of behaving in a disorderly manner in Maclaggan street last evening, Stephen William Lancelot Boreham pleaded. “guilty under provocation,” Thomas William Hall pleaded guilty, and Harold Boreham denied the charge. Evidence was given that a fight started in an hotel, and was carried on in the street. When Sergeant O’Shea and Constable Stillings came out of Broadway. Stephen Boreham and Hall were fighting each other, and Harold Boreham was fighting another man, who ran away and escaped arrest. 
Giving evidence, Harold Boreham denied that he was fighting the other man. He endeavoured to avoid trouble when he was struck over the mouth in the hotel. Hall followed him up the road, and caught him by the coat. Hall ‘‘lashed out” at him, and he “lashed back.” 
To Senior-sergeant MacLean Defendant denied that he knew the other man. He had not been drinking heavily. 
Hall, who was called by the defendant, said Harold Boreham had struck a blow at him, and ho had retaliated. Witness lost his head coming out of the hotel, as he was under the influence of liquor, and when he was pushed he struck out. 
Defendant attempted to cross-ex-amine his witness, but the Magistrate pointed out that he could not crossexamine his own witness. 
To Senior-sergeant MacLean, Hall said that there was not much disorderly behaviour on the street. 
Stephen Boreham gave evidence that as they were leaving the hotel Hall struck Harold, who retaliated, and Hall fought back. Witness became involved, although he was trying to be a peacemaker. His brother did not strike a blow inside the hotel. 
The Magistrate said it did not appear to matter who was fighting the other. 
“Is not a man allowed to stick up for himself in self-defence when he gets a crack?” asked Harold Boreham. 
Senior-sergeant MacLean said the Borehams were decent men, but fond of drink. They would be conferring a blessing on themselves and the community if they took out prohibition orders. 
The Magistrate: Will you take out a prohibition order? 
Stephen Boreham: Never at any price. 
Stephen Boreham and Hall were each fined 21s 3d, and Harold Boreham was fined 10s. A fortnight was allowed in which to pay.  -Evening Star, 2/3/1934.

Tuesday, April 17. (Before Mr J. R. Bartholomew, S.M.) 
Adrian Cyrus Somerset was fined 10s, in default 24 hours' imprisonment, on a charge of drunkenness. Harold Boreham pleaded not guilty to a similar charge. —After Constable Cochrane had given evidence with reference to the defendant's condition when he was arrested, Boreham said he had had a few drinks, but was not drunk. The constable had pushed him, and he had fallen, cutting his eye. —The magistrate said that the defendant would not have been arrested if he had not been under the influence of liquor. He warned Boreham that, as this would be the third time he had been convicted on charges of drunkenness during the past six months, another conviction would mean imprisonment. He was fined 20s, in default three days' imprisonment.  -Otago Daily Times, 18/4/1934.

Saturday, February 2. (Before Mr J. P. Bartholomew, S.M.) 
Harold Boreham pleaded guilty to a charge of drunkenness. —Senior Sergeant Packer stated that Boreham had been released from prison on Friday, and in the evening he was found drunk. This was the second offence within six months. The magistrate imposed a fine of 20s, in default three days' imprisonment. One week was allowed in which to pay the fine.   -Otago Daily Times, 4/2/1935.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18. (Before Mr J. R. Bartholomew, S.M.) 
“I warned you that if you came before the court again you would be sent to gaol,” said the magistrate, when Harold Boreham admitted a charge of drunkenness. This was his fourth conviction within six months. Boreham was sentenced to a week’s imprisonment without the option.  -Evening Star, 18/2/1935.

The "Papers Past" record of Harold and Stephen Boreham continues with drunkenness, public fighting, diesorder and so on, until it ends in 1950.  Harold died aged 73 in 1969 at Monticello veterans' home and hospital.  Stephen's death, also at 73, preceded Harold's by six years - his occupation is listed as "Watersider."

Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.  DCC photo.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Alfred H Grinling "a great lover of books"

"THE OUTLOOK." The Rev. J. Gibb submitted the report on the publication of the Outlook committee, which highly complimented the acting-editor, Mr. A. H. Grinling, on the manner in which he had done his work. It expressed its thanks to the Rev. Dr. Waddell for his valuable services by his able editorship of the Outlook during a period of over seven years. The Assembly adopted the Rev. J. Gibb's deliverance on this report, which embodied the appointment of Mr. Grinling as editor for three months, for leave to appoint a permanent editor, and that the editor's salary for the future be £100. Mr. Gibb said he thought it most likely that Mr. Grinling would be permanently appointed, but he declined to pledge himself or the committee on that point. The Assembly adjourned at 10.25 p.m. till 10 a.m. to-day.  -Evening Post, 15/11/1902.

LOST, Grey Kitten (half-Persian). Reward on returning to A. H. Grinling, Hawthorn road, Momington.   -Evening Star, 22/7/1905.

At Mornington Presbyterian Church yesterday memorial services we're held in connection with the death of the boy Thomas Whyte, who was crushed by a car last week. In the evening the Rev. W. Scorgie preached from the text: "For He most reign till He hath put all His enemies under His feet: the last enemy that shall be abolished is death." When a sad event such as that startled a community, it was a voice from God which came to them with no uncertain sound, saying: "Be ye also ready, for in such a time as ye think not the Son of Man cometh." He pointed the special lesson for the young. Mr A. H. Grinling, at the conclusion of the minister's address, spoke feelingly of the life and character of the deceased. In the afternoon special references to the sad event were also made at the meeting of the Young Men's Bible Class.  -Evening Star, 18/9/1905.


The Dunedin Competitions Society has just been celebrating its sixth annual festival. At the first festival in 1901 there were 300 entries for the competitions in vocal and instrumental music, recitations, and original compositions in prose and verse; while this year here have been 800 entries. At the first competitions the prize-money amounted to £105; now it reaches £300. Apparently, therefore, the competitions have become firmly established and the Society that manages them gives promise of becoming a strong and permanent institution. The fact that it made so good a beginning, and continues to do so well, proves that its originators must have been men of much public spirit, discernment and enthusiasm; and so, too, must be their successors. Not unnaturally, their example has been, and is being, followed in other parts of the dominion; for Invercargill already has a similar society, and associations of the kind are likely to be formed at Wanganui, Wellington and Christchurch.
The Rev. Rutherford Waddell, the judge in the original poetry competition, was correspondingly frank when he stated that the twenty-seven sets of verses submitted to him for examination "were written in all sorts of metres — possible and impossible." Not less outspoken was Mr A. H. Grinling, judge in the original story competition. This gentleman stated that "the first point to be dwelt on in connection with the fifteen manuscripts which had been sent in was that, with perhaps a single exception, the competitors showed ignorance of the A B C of storytelling. Judging by the utter absence of the first elements of literary style and the general crudeness of the majority of the compositions, it appeared, he said, that the writers had fed their thoughts and imaginations upon second and third-rate fiction."
Now, while this shows that many of the competitors were quite unfit to enter as such, and were neither modest enough nor intelligent enough to feel their unfitness, it also shows that there are men in Dunedin capable of saying and doing the right thing in such cases. Perhaps if the Dunedin Competitions Society lives long enough, and has imitators and emulators in all the other towns of the dominion, a time will come when there will be no unfit competitors. This will be proof of very high taste and intelligence throughout the population. Therefore, the possibility that this end may be gained by this means, surely more than justifies, in the meantime, the existence and the labours of these estimable societies.   -Ashburton Guardian, 13/11/1907.

The inauguration of the New Zealand branch of the London Eugenics Society — the first branch of the parent society to be formed beyond the United Kingdom — took place in the Town Hall last night, in circumstances that can only be described as encouraging. Close on fifty ladies and gentlemen were present, and the explanatory addresses were very interesting.
Mr J. H. Walker was in the chair. He briefly referred to the movement to form a branch of the London society in Dunedin, and eulogised the organising work of the secretary, Miss Macgeorge. He was pleased to see so large an attendance, and gave it as his opinion that anything which made for the betterment of citizenship would have the support of all right and high-thinking people. Two things that appealed to him were the necessity for enthusiasm, and that the objects of the society made it necessary to employ great tact and consummate delicacy. 
—Aims and Objects.— Mr A. H. Grinling, in moving — "That the New Zealand branch of the London Eugenics Society be formed in Dunedin" outlined the aims and objects of the society. He began with a definition, saying that "eugenics," from the Greek word ougenes, good in stock or well-bred, was a word coined and first used by Sir Francis Galton in his 'Inquiries into Human Faculty.' The speaker then referred to the establishment of the London Eugenics Education Society, and the speed with which it gained the public ear. It was interesting to be informed, on the authority of the secretary of the parent society, that Dunedin was the first city and New Zealand the first country to inaugurate a branch of the society in the British Dominions Beyond the Seas. The range of eugenic science was exceedingly wide, and its scope extremely varied. It comprised —(l) Biology, in so far as that branch of learning was concerned with heredity and selection; (2) anthropology, in so far as it threw light on questions of race and the priceless institution of marriage; (3) politics (in the classical and broad sense of the word), in so far as they bore on parenthood in relation to civic worth; (4)  ethics, in so far as they promoted ideals that led up to the improvement of social quality; and (5) religion, in so far as it strengthened and sanctified the sense of eugenic duty. Here, then, was the platform upon which all men might meet. Whatever antagonism might exist in other departments of life and work, a common interest in the welfare of the race here bound all men together. Scientists, educationists, publicists of every shade of thought and opinion, economists, philanthropists, religionists, and rationalists might in the eugenic field, without sacrifice of principle or loss of dignity, combine to sink their differences, and agree to meet together and discuss impartially and impersonally the science of eugenics for the common weal.  -Evening Star, 23/8/1910.

The monthly meeting of the Eugenics Society was held in the First Church Hall on Monday evening, when Mr A. H. Grinling lectured on 'Eugenics, Its Meaning and Methods.’ Professor Benham presided. 
At the outset Mr Grinling said eugenics was the science of the promotion of a good race, the desire for the latter being an inherent trait in the human race. The idea was discernible in the attempts so frequently made to discern some resemblance to the father and mother, or a more remote ancestor, of almost every child born into the world. The study of eugenics he regarded as a revival of one of the foundation truths of human society, and was the outcome of two main causes — one the modern advance in biological research, the other in the alarming increase in national degeneracy. Eugenics pointed out the remedy for a terrible trend, which, unless checked, must ultimately lead to the downfall of the British race and the annihilation of the British Empire. Modern biology comprehended all that was known of heredity, and had converted it into an exact science. Given parents of certain constitutions, it could be said with confidence that on the average a certain proportion of their offspring would have such and such characteristics. The lecturer quoted the opinions of various scientists in support of this view, and adduced figures showing that in England the average number of children per family amongst the intellectual classes was only 1.6; the children per marriage amongst mental defectives, and amongst criminals 6.6, proving that there was a tendency towards sterility amongst the intellectual classes, whilst the feeble-minded and criminal types were alarmingly prolific. That was due to the mistaken methods of modern philanthropy and the cast-iron rules of modern convention. After pointing out how the inmates of mental asylums, etc., were continually recruited from such sources, he said segregation of the feeble-minded and mentally and physically deformed was now becoming imperative. Unfortunately, however, a Bill had been introduced into the House of Commons of such a drastic nature as to excite strong opposition. The Eugenics Society deprecated any attempt to legislate in advance of public opinion, the prohibitions advocated by the New Zealand branches and adopted by the Dominion Legislature being comprehended in the term "compulsory segregation." The lecturer combated many objections that had been raised against their proposals for compulsory segregation, condemned marriages amongst the unfit merely for the sake of wealth or position, and declared that the strongest argument that could be urged in favor of the pursuit of the eugenic ideal was that it was unconsciously, but none the less surely, so influenced the mysterious process of "falling in love" that the best and happiest marriages would be none the less happiest for the race. 
At the conclusion of his address Mr Grinling was accorded a hearty vote of thanks.  -Evening Star, 31/7/1912.

THE MONTHLY MEETING will be held in the First Church Hall on MONDAY, August 26, at 8 o'clock. Mrs A. H. Grinling: 'Eugenic Ideals for Womanhood.' Members and Friends invited. Refreshments provided.   -Evening Star, 24/8/1912.

Mr and Mrs A. H. Grinling (Dunedin) have arrived in London after a pleasant passage by Australia and Capetown. They expect to be in England for the whole of the summer.   -Otago Witness, 19/8/1914.

A DAY BY DAY DIARY. (Specially Written for the Otago Witness.)  (abridged)
By A. H. Grinling. LONDON, August 11. Barely a week has passed since the declaration of war, but during these six days there has been but one topic on every up and but one thought in every heart —the part that Great Britain is destined to play in the great world conflict. It has occurred to me, caught up in the overmastering current, that a day by day diary of the events coming under my immediate notice, all having a direct bearing upon what is going on in England just now, may not be devoid of interest, even when read in New Zealand some six or seven weeks hence. The difficulty of accurately forecasting what is likely to engage attention when the mail is delivered in Dunedin — always considerable — is enormously increased under existing conditions. Not only do events move with lightning speed and situations change with exceeding rapidity, but mail communications are in a chaotic condition. The post office authorities can give no definite information, and they will guarantee nothing. "Post your letters as early as possible, and we will do the best we can," is in effect their only reply to anxious inquirers. Should inquirers persist and demand more specific particulars they receive a distinct rebuff in the shape of "don't bother us: we have no time to answer you questions." 
The declaration of war came as a tremendous relief after several days of terrible tension. There had been persistent rumours of dissensions in the Cabinet, and fears were openly expressed lest the traditional policy of the Liberal Government to “wait and see” might not be carried to absolute danger point. Indeed there were not wanting those who thought that the waiting had been carried too far and that Great Britain might with profit to herself and her Allies have declared herself earlier. The tension started on the previous Saturday with the news that Germany had declared war upon Russia. I first heard it between the acts of "Much Ado About Nothing," at the opening of the Shakespearean Festival at Stratford-on-Avon, and it cast a gloom over the whole house and was sensibly reflected upon the stage. Sunday was a day of suspense, all the more trying because of the impossibility of ascertaining what actually was going on. After the delivery of the Sunday morning papers there was no more news — only a multitude of disconcerting and conflicting rumours emanating from undiscovered sources and passed from mouth to mouth. All the while in London the newspapers were vying the one with the other in the publication of special edition after special edition, but Stratford, being quite off the main routes of communication, was practically isolated. 
I was up betimes on Monday morning, and sallied out in search of news. In the distance I spied a man reading a paper, and, making straight for him, I inquired where the papers were to be obtained. "I found a bundle in a shop doorway," he replied, "and I helped myself." It was not long before I followed his example, leaving the requisite coin of the realm on the top of the bundle. Long ere the shopman came down to open his shop all the papers had disappeared, so great was the eagerness of the residents to get early news of what was happening. The whole day long the railway station and the booksellers’ shop were the centres of interest, and anything and everything in the shape of a newspaper was in extraordinary demand. It was the August Bank Holiday, and there was a large influx of visitors from Birmingham and the surrounding district, who, in the ordinary course of events, would have gone the round of the objects of interest or have spent the day boating upon the beautiful river. But these things were forgotten in the one engrossing subject of the war, and the holiday-makers formed themselves into little groups on the streets and sidewalks gravely discussing the possibilities of the serious situation that had so suddenly arisen. The striking feature of the crowd, drawn from all parts and representing all classes of society — the wealthy American tourist hobnobbing with the English provincial artisan, — was the absolute unanimity that everywhere prevailed. The general sentiment was that since the war had to be, it was a good thing it had come at once, instead of an uncertainty dragging on for months, if not for years. 
On Tuesday morning the fight for the newspapers was keener than ever, the accommodation in the local bookshop being quite insufficient to cope with the dimensions of the crowd that gathered some time before the train from London was due. The demand for special editions continued unabated all the day. The various proclamations posted at the Town Hall and at the Post Office in reference to the mobilisation of the army and navy were eagerly perused by a curious crowd. While I was engaged in reading the notice summoning the reservists to rejoin their regiments, a stoutly-built young fellow came up and stood beside me “I must be off.” he exclaimed with something that sounded suspiciously like a lump in his throat. ‘‘Are you a reservist?” I sympathetically inquired, at which he nodded assent. There was a world of tragedy behind that simple nod, yet this was but one incident, multiplied by the hundred and the thousand all over the kingdom. Truly war is a terrible thing; little wonder that the one man anathematised from one end of England to the other is the Kaiser. 
The lot of the German in London to-day is by no means enviable. It is one of the surprises of the New Zealander in London to discover how exceedingly cosmopolitan the city has become in the course of years, and, of course, this is heightened by the numbers of visitors residing in the English capital, a residence more or less enforced at present owing to the impossibility of getting away anywhere. It is a curious outcome of the war that every German resident or visitor, no matter what his wealth or social position, is under suspicion as a spy, and is required to register himself forthwith at the nearest police station, under penalty of being taken into custody or segregated in something akin to a concentration camp. Indeed, all over England these camps, composed largely of German reservists unable to reach their native land, have been formed. The extent to which suspicion and prejudice against anything and everybody German has taken hold of the people is somewhat amusingly illustrated by a writer in the Daily Telegraph. 
He was a regular clubman, and was in the habit of lunching daily at his West End club. In an absent-minded moment he asked the waiter to bring him a bottle of German seltzer water. The waiter eyed him with a reproachful air, compatible with due respect, and quietly answered they had no German mineral waters in the place. The order was quickly varied, but the incident suggested inquiries. 
Something has already been written on the subject of declining trade in the German cafes of London, and especially of the slump in German beverages. Should the decline continue at the present rate, there will hardly be a German restaurant open in the course of the next few days. Few now remain open, and those that are not yet closed are doing but scanty trade. German customers they have none, and English customers next to none. American tourists patronise them occasionally, but not to an extent sufficient to warrant a continuance of business. All sorts of devices are being resorted to by the proprietors to combat the prejudice, some of them not void of humour; but they are meeting with scant success, and the struggle will doubtless be given up in a few days. 
There is an unfamiliarity about the places which still remain open which is perfectly incongruous. What would the usual frequenter of these eating-houses say were he to glance down the menu? “Gemischte Wurst” has sadly given place to its English equivalent “mixed sausage,” and “Gemischter Aufschnitt” to prosaic “cold meat.” Alas for the glorious-sounding “Thuringer Zungenblutwurst”; it has disclosed itself in all its nakedness, and now figures humbly as “tongue sausage,” nor can the proud “Schwartenmagen” hide its lowly origin, since it proclaims to all the world that it is merely “brawn.” The few Germans who still remain hardly recognise their familiar dishes under their new nomenclature, but they recognise it as one of the horrors of war. 
So much for those who were in the habit of faring off cold and simple dishes. To one epicure the change is equally startling. Gone from the bill of fare is his “Wiener Schnitzel” and his “Wiener Rostbraten,” his “Wiener Wurstel” and his “Frankfurter und Sauerkraut.” In its place there proudly stand “fresh boiled beef and carrots” and “roast goose and red cabbage,” “stewed kidneys and mashed potatoes,” and “jugged hare,” or “calf’s brains.” To acknowledge defeat to England alone is too much for the proprietor; rather will he surrender to combined forces, and so, in desperation, he has brought himself to include “jambon aux epinards” and “selle de mouton Richelieu” in his menu, even though it be a sop to the hated French.
It is the same with the simpler courses — the hors d’oeuvres and the sweets. Vanished is the “Harinirter Herring” and the “Brabant sardellen.” Anchovies and sardines have taken their place, whilst in the realm of sweets tapioca pudding and stewed fruit have quite usurped the place of the hitherto supreme Pfannkuchen and Kaisersclimarren. The waiters read over the unfamiliar dishes with patient resignation. Their position is a peculiar one, and they address their customers with an unwonted deference. The whole atmosphere is unreal, and the occasional English customer, who has entered unthinkingly, is glad to escape from the oppressive gloom. But there are very few who are entrapped into them. Neither change of name, to which many proprietors have resorted — you have Smith for Schmidt and Cross for Kraus — nor the numerous devices which others have adopted are succeeding in breaking down a prejudice begotten of an intense patriotism, which loses no opportunity of finding expression.   -Otago Witness, 14/10/1914.

News in Brief
In the opinion of Mr A. H. Grinling, of Dunedin, editor of the New Zealand "Outlook," who arrived in Wellington from Europe, via Sydney, on Tuesday, it is not likely that even the present crisis would lead the English people to go in for compulsory military service, for there was a very strong feeling against anything of the kind throughout nearly all classes in England. It was very evident that Lord Kitchener did not mean to let any half-trained troops go abroad to face the German Army, and for that reason he was holding back thousands of men who were being trained for all they were worth. This meant that until these troops had finished their training instructors were not available to train fresh batches of men. Even the Canadians, who were very far from being recruits, were not being sent across the channel, but were undergoing more training in England, and it was exceedingly unlikely that the Australians or New Zealauders would be sent to the front without further training in England.  -Sun, 16/11/1914.



The death occurred on Sunday, at Dunedin, of' Mrs Grinling, wife of Mr A. H. Grinling, of the Editorial staff of the "Otago Daily Times," and a regular contributor for some years to the Literary Page of The Press. Mrs Grinling had not enjoyed good health for some years, but continued to the last to be actively interested in literary and social questions. In addition to her husband, she leaves a son, Mr Kenneth Grinling, B.A., who is still a student at Otago University.  -Press, 14/2/1928.

Personal Items
Mr A. H. Grinling, of Dunedin, who has been ill for some time, is much recovered, and hopes to resume his weekly articles on books in the Press of Saturday next.  -Press, 12/6/1928.


Owing to continued ill-health, and acting on medical advice, Mr A. H. Grinling has found it necessary to relinquish his position as editor of The Outlook, a position which he has occupied for between 26 and 27 years.  -Temuka Leader, 16/10/1928.

We regret to record the death of Mr A. H. Grinling, who passed away at his residence in Pacific street yesterday afternoon. He had been failing for months past, but it was only within the last few weeks that increasing infirmity compelled him to relinquish his customary journalistic duties. He occupied a high place in his profession, and his death means a pronounced loss to journalism in New Zealand.
Alfred Henry Bishop Grinling was born in London in 1859, and was educated at the Alexandra Park College there. He served in the accountants’ department of the Great Northern Railway for a time, and then embarked on a commercial career in the City of London. He came to Dunedin about 1882, and a little later he spent a term in the country. When he next came to the city he was a member of the Salvation Army. He filled the position of editor of Salvation Army publications in Christchurch, Sydney, and Melbourne, and was subsequently engaged as a country journalist in Victoria. He returned to Dunedin about the middle of 1901, and was then appointed to the literary staff of the Otago Daily Times. 
In February, 1902, Mr Grinling was appointed acting editor of the Outlook, the official organ of the Presbyterian Church, following on the resignation of Mr W. Hutchison, who had been carrying out this work in the absence of the Rev. Dr Waddell, who had been compelled to take a long holiday, involving a sea voyage. Mr Grinling, fortified by his previous experience of religious journalism, originally offered to undertake the editorial work until the return of Dr Waddell, but when the latter came back from his furlough his health was still unsatisfactory, and reluctantly he was compelled to relinquish all idea of resuming the editorial charge of the paper. In due course Mr Grinling was permanently appointed editor, and he retained the position until the end of December, 1928, when failing health compelled him to retire. 
The following motion of appreciation of Mr Grinling’s services was carried at the last meeting of the Presbyterian General Assembly:— “lt is with sincere regret that the assembly has received from Mr A. H. Grinling his intimation that, owing to impaired health, it is necessary that he resign the editorship of the Outlook. For almost 27 years he has carried out the duties of this office with all the wearying and ofttime worrying details which attach to it, and the assembly desires to place on record its appreciation of his attention to his work, his unvarying courtesy, his manifest desire to be scrupulously fair to all shades of opinion in the church, and his desire that the columns of the Outlook should be a means of consolidating opinion. On various occasions in matters affecting the moral welfare of the Dominion, the paper has under his guidance rendered conspicuous service. Especially is this the case in connection with the no-license question, as those outside of church circles have been ever ready to acknowledge in glowing terms. And in these questions there has been a firm and courageous determination to avoid the bitterness which frequently attaches to such matters while stating the facts in clear and forceful language. The assembly would assure Mr Grinling of its grateful recognition of his labours on behalf of the church’s paper, its sympathy with him in all his anxieties, its hope that his present period of illhealth will pass, and he be restored to such a measure of strength as will enable him to carry on in the years to come the literary work he loves so well, and its earnest prayer that to him and his will be given the benediction of the felt of Him Who daily carries our burden and in all our sorrows has a part.”
Mr Grinling was keenly interested in the work of the Presbyterian Church. When he took up his residence in Mornington he joined the local church, and served as an elder for some 20 or 25 years. He was also leader of the Bible class connected with the church for a good many years.
The late Mr Grinling’s connection with the Otago Daily Times and Witness extended over a period of 28 years. Upon joining the staff he brought to bear upon his work that industry for which he was always conspicuous, and speedily gave proof of his varied journalistic qualifications. For some time he conducted the commercial column of the daily paper with marked success, and at an early stage became the regular contributor of the editorial notes in the Otago Witness, a task which he relinquished only upon the complete breakdown of his health this year. But his particular bent of mind was literary, and as opportunity offered he found increasing scope for its exercise. His main journalistic activities were connected with the Otago Daily Times, to which he was a contributor of editorial and other matter. His outstanding work for this journal was represented, however, in the Literary Page, which he virtually founded many years ago, when Dominion newspapers had by no means reached their present expansive dimensions, and to the conduct of which he brought marked ability and unflagging enthusiasm. Appearing under the pen-name “Constant Reader,” his contributions had become a long-established feature of the Saturday’s issue of this journal. Mr Grinling was pre-eminently a book-lover, and with the passage of the years his interest in the doing of the literary world became to him an absorbing interest which never waned. His outlook upon books was entirely broad-minded, receptive, and free from prejudice. In his constant work of reviewing no mere carping criticism ever found place. An omnivorous reader, he took the good where he found it, and ignored the unworthy. Naturally, he had his favourites among authors, as his friends readily discovered. Of G. K. Chesterton and H. G. Wells, for example, among many others, he was always the loyal admirer. To his task of reviewing he brought the useful faculty of being able to grasp with remarkable rapidity the sum and substance of a volume. With the contents of the best literary journals he kept himself always in touch, and an exceptionally good memory for what he read enabled him at a moment's notice to lay his hand upon this volume, on that review, in which apposite reference to a particular theme or subject was to be found. One of the last books reviewed by him in our columns was Remarque’s “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Some years ago he found opportunity to revisit the Old Country, and there came into useful personal touch with publishers and contemporary figures in the journalistic and literary world. In the course of his residence in Dunedin he built up a splendid library of many thousand volumes, which, on the side of modern literature, has possibly no equal among private collections in the Dominion. Not only was the late Mr Grinling himself a great lover of books, but it was one of the pleasures of his life to instill and foster in others a like feeling towards them. The resources of his library were most generously placed at the disposal of his more intimate friends, the circle of whom included many who had the privilege of participating from time to time at readings of poetry and the drama at his residence. He was always a staunch advocate of the art of reading aloud. He found time to give papers on literary subjects on various occasions before both private and public gatherings, and his easy and lucid handling of his subject matter made these discourses a pleasure to listen to. His interest in modern poetry and the modern drama was particularly keen. His sense of humour, be it added, served to quicken his enjoyment as a reader. It was characteristic of his attitude towards literature that he should be always ready to lend encouragement to New Zealand writers, not.a few of whom have had much reason to acknowledge their indebtedness to “Constant Reader” for a kindly helping hand. Mr Grinling’s health began to fail noticeably after his wife’s death nearly eighteen months ago, but it was only a few weeks ago that he wrote his final article and laid down for the last time the indefatigable pen which he had wielded to such yeoman purpose for so many years. 
In 1890 Mr Grinling married Emily, daughter of Mr Robert Wood. His wife died in February, 1928, and he is survived by one son.   -Otago Daily Times, 27/6/1929.

An event of the greatest interest to the large literary community of Dunedin is the disposal by auction this week of the well-known library of the late Mr A. H. Grinling, whose articles on literary subjects in the Christchurch Press and as “Constant Reader” in the local morning paper for many years delighted a wide circle of readers. The library, which was acquired from many sources during Mr Grinling’s long career of literary and journalistic work, was probably the largest private collection of books in the dominion, and besides being a delight to the many friends who had free use of it, was also at the service of almost anyone of literary inclinations who sought its services. Built up largely to assist a journalist in his multifarious labours, the library is of a cosmopolitan nature, yet it is more widely renowned for the extent and quality of its purely literary works which cover the whole range of English literature and include translations from the French, Russian, and German, as well as many volumes of literary history and criticism. The breaking up of so valuable a collection represents a heavy loss to the whole community of letters in this city, yet the opportunity now furnished of acquiring some volumes which, besides their literary worth, will have for many an added value as “association” copies, should make a strong appeal to all book lovers.  -Evening Star, 6/10/1930.

On the 8th and 9th of this month will be sold by auction in Dunedin — will have been sold when this is read —the very fine library of the late A. H. Grinling, “Constant Reader” of the “Otago Daily Times.” The number of items totals 1330, and as most contain anything from three volumes to twelve or more, the recent owner has probably collected very considerably more than 6000 or 7000 books. There is something of nearly every kind, from school books and odd periodicals; in more or less broken sets to fine collections of standard authors.
One thinks of Mr. Grinling as assuredly of the true race of booklovers; as one for whom books had an overmastering fascination; and as buying when he desired to read; and retaining the purchase even though he might already possess duplicates. It is only your bibliophile who understands that phase of the collecting attraction, and he comprehends it only too well. Was it not John Hill Burton, in the “Book Hunter,” who stated that when once a collector of books allowed himself to begin buying duplicate copies, he was a lost man? Lost, that is, so far as any hope of redemption from the disease of bibliomania is concerned. Thus, here, we find second copies of the same work, collected editions of an author as well as numerous single copies of his different works; there are three complete and different editions of Dickens, two of Sheridan, two of Stevenson, and various issues of some of the poets; as here the particular editor or publisher is rarely mentioned, one is left to surmise that the attraction lay in the prefaces, editorial notes or illustrations.
Foreign authors, mostly in translation, are exceptionally well represented, and among others by numerous volumes of each of the following: Hugo, Barbusse, Gautier, Balzac, de Maupassant, Maeterlinck, Flaubert, Daudet, Bourget, Anatole France, de Musset, Sand, Tolstoy, Gorky, Tchekov, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Bjornson, Ibsen, Strindberg, to name but a few of the more prominent. These modern foreign classics would alone be a splendid credit to any library, totalling as they do over 600 selected volumes.
Then there is a long array of the best of recent and contemporary English novelists, not in single copies of any author, but often in sets of six or more. 
America’s best writers are well represented, in volumes by Holmes, Howells, Lowell, Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne, Bret Harte, Irving, Pound, Bierce, Owen Wister, Longfellow, Whittier, Poe, 0. Henry, Henry James, Mark Twain, Whitman. Here also are nearly 250 volumes forming no mean corner for any private library.
The English poets too have their place, and not a small one; frequently they are with well-spaced type and heavy paper, as one realises by the number of volumes, though again one cannot specify details for lack of editor or publisher. New Zealand is less represented than one might have expected, none the less it accounts for some 150 volumes, though most of those are fairly easy to procure, if one desires. As it happens these usually have the full title supplied, which is far from being the case with many other items, and the title is here most often sufficient for identification. The trouble with most catalogues of books for sale by auction in New Zealand is that they cannot be advertised to the best advantage on account of the expense of cataloguing and printing. This disadvantage is largely minimised for those on the spot, in that it is usual to allocate a day or days upon which the various lots can be examined at leisure by likely purchasers; but for those at a distance who must give an agent a price limit without inspection the use of such catalogue descriptions as: 8 volumes of “Books for Schoolmasters,” “On the Study of Words, etc.,” “8 vols. ‘How to Read English Literature,” “Labour and Socialism, 10 vols,” “Labour and Socialism, 7 vols,” “Drink, Drugs and Gambling, 9 vols,” “England, 6 vols., for Patriots,” are not very helpful. I like the aid afforded by the snappy description of the eight volumes on “England,” as being (suited, one imagines) “for Patriots.” Do not purchase these if you are in any sense a “Little Englander!” Almost as humorous (the humour quite unconscious) is the item of nine works on “Drink, Drugs and Gambling.” The specialist would want to know what books he was buying, whereas the casual reader would be of queer mentality if he wished to attack nine volumes, however varied, upon such a sombre trilogy. One realised the cataloguer’s difficulties, but the inevitable result of loose descriptions must be loss to the estate.  

A few years ago one of the finest libraries of general literature — especially rich in works of literary fame and of scholastic investigation belonging to the late years of the last century — ever dispersed in New Zealand, perhaps, must have fetched hundreds of pounds less than its due. This too was sold at Dunedin. At its conclusion, two old gentlemen came out together, and one was overheard, to remark to the other; “I thought X. . . would have had some things worth buying, but it is nothing but a lot of rubbish.” Yet this collection included the major portion of the whole series of the “Early English Text Society’s” publications, and many scarce books issued in limited editions, now long out of print and difficult to procure. One purchaser secured for 7s 6d a set of four volumes, which he had vainly tried to procure for some years in London. Only 500 copies had been printed, and the last price at which they had been quoted, years previously, had been three guineas. 
In this list of Mr. Grinling’s the really rare items are comparatively few, unless rare editions are disguised by lack of detail; there are of course a number which, without being scarce, would almost certainly take searching for, or even made application for by advertising in suitable periodicals. One does however notice the weird “Melmoth the Wanderer,” that Gothic romance of Maturin’s which provoked so much comment a century ago, and for long after; there are no details, save that it is in three volumes, which probably indicates the edition of Macmillan, published in 1892. There is a set of the facsimile '“Kilmarnock” Edition of Burns; and the 14 volumes of F. W. Bain’s Indian Series in the illustrated edition.
The principal interest in running through such lists as these, records of a life’s, gathering, consists in the revelation given of the owner’s tastes, broad or narrow, popular or individual; and, in somewhat less degree, in refreshing the memory with memories of old friends, of books one hoped, perhaps still hopes, to read, if time and opportunity permit, and of altered tastes, as revealed by titles of which one thought so highly years ago, but which now stir no impulse or desire, but for us are, despite their worth to others, as futile as the dust of bygone years.  -Northern Advocate, 11/10/1930.

Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin. DCC photo.

The Grinling family, after a quick spot of research, can be seen to have included two children who died at a very young age in Victoria, Australia.

Their son Kenneth was a alpine guide at My Cook at the time of his father's death.  He was one of the party which carried the materials for the building of the memorial hut at De la beche corner, near the Tasman Glacier, and built it - taking five weeks to do so.  He left New Zealand in 1931.


Mr Kenneth Grinling, of Dunedin, arrived in London about 10 months ago, and immediately set out to find a niche in the stage world. He was soon successful in a small way (writes our correspondent), obtaining a position as assistant stage manager at the Kew Theatre, Kew. In due course, he was given small parts, and what he played he played well. He remained with the Kew Theatre Company until February, when his months of more or less honorary work were rewarded by an appointment to the Grand Hotel touring company, which finished its season in Edinburgh at the end of March. Mr Grinling, who is finding the life very interesting, hopes to obtain an appointment for the summer repertory season with the Rasque Theatre Players in Edinburgh.  -Otago Daily Times, 4/5/1932.

He married in Britain in 1935 and, for reasons I have not been able to find, found himself in France during World War 2.  In a NZ Alpine Journal issue of 1946 he describes being summoned to the German Army HQ in Grenoble in October, 1943, to be interned as an enemy civilian.  With as much food as he could carry, and a very inadequate map, he left on the day of his would-be incarceration to walk the 160km to the Swiss border.  He was aided by the French people whose villages and summer mountain huts he visited on the way.  Most had some contact with the local Resistance and were happy to share food and lodgings with the solitary New Zealander passing through and give directions for the next valley - once they were sure of his allegiances.  His only bad moment occurred when he arrived in Switzerland and was interrogated by a military policeman.  He was threatened with expulsion back into occupied France, in spite of his British passport.  Eight days of glorious solo mountaineering were followed by five months of what was effectively imprisonment 

Mount Kenneth, in the Mt Cook area, was named in his honour.

Southern Cemetery, Dunedin.  DCC photo.