Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Alice Mary Fyfe, 1859-28/10/1894. (and wee Freddie)



(from our own correspondent.) 



DUNEDIN, November 1. The Wairarapa was wrecked on the North end of the Great Barrier Island, on Sunday night, in a thick fog, while coming from Sydney. Captain McIntosh and 134 passengers and crew were drowned. The survivors reached Auckland this morning. 

[The above was issued yesterday as an extra.] 

Latest. The Wairarapa struck on the north end of Great Barrier and became a total wreck. There was a thick fog and a heavy sea running at the time. One hundred and eleven passengers and 13 of the crew, including Captain McIntosh and chief steward were drowned. Until the vessel struck there was no sign of land. Captain McIntosh believed he was on course. Where the ship struck is known as Miners Head, the northernmost part of Great Barrier. Though there were some terribly heart rendering scenes there was nothing approaching panic. Immediately the vessel struck Captain McIntosh gave orders to launch the boats but owing to list of the ship and heavy seas this became a work of the greatest difficulty. The starboard boats were capsized and a number of the occupants were drowned. Life buoys were thrown into the the sea, and were the means of saving a considerable number enabling them to support themselves until rescued by boats. The majority drowned appear to have made for the steamer’s bridge when the ship struck, and remained there until it was swept away. Captain McIntosh was observed at his post until the last moment, and as the bridge was carried away he was seen it is said to plunge into the sea, but never rose again. A number of passengers sought safety in the fore and main riggings. 

So far as is known the Wairarapa had 85 saloon and 70 steerage passengers on board. Among the passengers lost is W. Scoullar, his wife and two daughters, of Jetty-street. Dunedin. Mrs Fyfe, wife of Mr Fyfe, of the firm of Fyfe and Cuming, her child, and Mr George Chick, of Chicks Hotel, Port Chalmers, and brother-in-law to Mr Warry, were also drowned. 

The crew drowned were: Captain John McIntosh; chief steward, H. H. Judd; stewards, F. McLean, J. McDonald, and Croucher; stewardess, Mrs C McDonald; assistant stewardess, Miss McQuaid; fore cabin stewardess, Miss L. Greenrood; baker, H. Monaghan; chief cook, H. Year; assistant fore-cabin steward, A. Holmes; firemen and trimmers, Jas. Coope, E. Jones, John McGee, A. Morrill, and Burke; seamen, W. Simpson, John McLeod, C. Pratt, Jas. McDonald (apprentice). ln r ormation has been received that the third officer (H. H. Johnston) and the fourth officer (W. A, Tullock) have been saved, also the assistant purser (R. L. Jones). 

The Wairarapa was valued at L30,000, and was wholly uninsured. 

The second officer, Mr Clarke, says “It was ten minutes past midnight when the vessel struck. We felt a severe shock which roused everyone on board, and it soon became known that the vessel had run on to rocks. The night was so dark that no land was visible, until the steamer struck; there was a big sea running. The passengers behaved with great coolness. Captain McIntosh was on the bridge when the vessel struck, and at once gave orders to get the boats out. The boats on the port side were quickly got out, and some of the lady passengers were got into them with great difficulty, as the ship had filled with water. A sea was breaking over her and washing people away. We tried to launch the starboard boats, but owing to the heavy list of the vessel and the heavy seas, they were smashed, and the few people who were in them were precipitated into the water. A great many more would have been saved but for the fact that the ship suddenly canted over to port, and the water coming over her at the same time swept the decks, carrying numbers into the sea. She was at such an angle that it was impossible to get up to the high side without crawling on one’s hands and knees. When all the boats were got out, those who were still on the steamer tried to go on to the rigging, but many of them remained on the upper deck to windward of the bridge house, " The sea was continually breaking over the vessel, sweeping the decks. At about 2 o’clock in the morning the funnel was carried away, and somewhere about three or four o’clock the bridge and all those there, including the captain, and those clinging to it, were washed overboard. When daylight came we found that the vessel had struck against a cliff some 600 ft or 700 ft high with no means of easy landing. We saw several dead bodies floating around us, and a few persons still supporting themselves on bits of wreckage, while few others had succeeded in obtaining a landing on the end of rocks. After I had seen all the boats launched I took to rigging. When daylight broke I unrolled the jib halliards and signal hallyards and tried to heave the latter on shore. There were then about 60 people on board in the fore and main rigging and several were clinging to one of the starboard davits. We failed to heave it on shore. Kindall, the second steward volunteered to take the line ashore and succeeded. The jib halliards rope was then hauled on shore and by this means those on board were safely landed by being pulled through the water, with the exception of two who lost their hold and were carried away by the current. They were passengers but I do not know their names. We remained on the rocks until three o’clock on Monday afternoon when several Maoris boats came out and took all except ten to Copperilne Bay, some to Maori Bay, the rest remaining on the wreck until next morning, when they were taken of by Maoris. Some of our people went overland to Port Fitzroy and reported the wreck, the s.s. Argyle coming round and taking us off after having been ou the rocks for about 30 hours. Shortly before the vessel struck the cabin passengers were singing “Shall we gather at the River,” and "Pull for the shore Sailors.”  -Dunstan Times, 2/11/1894.

The wreck of the SS Wairarapa.  Hocken Library photo.


The relatives of a number of those drowned at the wreck have arrived in Auckland with the object of recovering the bodies if possible and taking them to their homes for interment. The work of recovery and identification is being vigorously prosecuted at the Barrier by Sergeant Gamble and a posse of constables, but owing to the infrequent communication with the island the information available respecting the bodies so far recovered is somewhat limited.

Two gentlemen, relatives of some of those drowned, called upon us this morning, and gave us the following particulars to aid those who are engaged in identifying the recovered bodies on the Barrier. Mr J. Fyfe, the husband of Mrs Fyfe, who was drowned together with her child, states: "Upon the vessel striking the reef Mrs Fyfe went on deck with the baby wrapt in a shawl. She was in company with Miss McKellar, one of the survivors. The two hung on to the rail for about four hours, till daylight, when the wave which carried away the bridge also washed them overboard. Miss McKellar was subsequently rescued. While in the water she saw Mrs Fyfe and the baby close to each other and saw them being drowned. Miss McKellar states that she afterwards saw the body of Mrs Fyfe washed on shore. My wife wore a wedding ring and a gold ring set with emeralds and diamonds. The only clothing that she had on was a nightdress. She was of a fair complexion with reddish brown hair and prominent eyes and nose. She was of medium height."

Mr F. Willis, chemist, of Christchurch, was not drowned in the Wairarapa, as supposed. On the very day the vessel left he decided to stay another week, and so came over by the Manapouri.

Mr M. J. Fyfe, of Dunedin, has arrived in Auckland to identify the bodies of his wife and child. When last seen, Mrs Fyfe had her baby in her arms, wrapped in a white woollen shawl, her only clothing being a nightdress. They hung on by the rails, the sea washing continually over them for four hours, when at length a big wave washed them all overboard.   -Auckland Star, 9/11/1894.


Fyfe. — Drowned in the Wairarapa, October 28, Alice Mary Fyfe; aged 33 (wife of Maxwell J. Fyfe, Dunedin). Also Freddie; aged one year and eleven months.   -Evening Star, 21/11/1894.

Alice and "wee Freddy" are commemorated in Dunedin's Northern Cemetery but do not appear in the online records of Dunedin cemeteries.  Sadly, it must be assumed that their bodies were not found.

Northern Cemetery, Dunedin.

Sunday, 6 March 2022

74 Sapper Frederick Albert Maitland, 1887-19/5/1919.


At first glance, Fred Maitland's gravestone is an anomaly.  With the same shape as the standard "RSA" stone, it has the Australian Army badge engraved on it.  A little research brings up the saddening record that Fred died in Seacliff Mental Hospital.

Although New Zealand born, he embarked from Melbourne as a Sapper in an Auistralian Engineers Company in August 1914 - his civilian trade was a pipe fitter. He served at Gallipoli.


Sapper Fred Maitland, wounded, and now in Malta Hospital, was born at Pelichet Bay, Dunedin, and is an Albany Street schoolboy. Being engaged in the dredging industry at Miller's Flat Otago, he went under engagement to the Malay Peninsula for three years. Returning home, he went across to Australia, and was engaged at electrical works in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. At the outbreak of war he at once enlisted in the first Australian contingent. Sapper Maitland is the youngest son of Mr. William Maitland, Forth Street, Dunedin.  -Auckland Star, 18/8/1915.



MAITLAND. — On May 19th, 1919, at Dunedin, Sapper Fred Maitland, of Australian Engineers, dearly beloved husband of Edith Maitland, and youngest son of William and Clara Maitland. Deeply mourned.  -Evening Star, 20/5/1919.

The remains of Sapper Fred Maitland, late of the Australian Engineers, were buried with military honors at the Northern Cemetery this afternoon. There was the usual firing party, and ‘The Last Post’ was sounded by a bugler at the graveside. The funeral left the home of the deceased in Forth street, and every flag in the neighborhood was flown at half-mast.   -Evening Star, 22/5/1919.

I have been able to find nothing in contemporary newspapers referring to the cause of death of Fred Maitland.  His Australian Army record is not to be found online, unlike those of New Zealand soldiers.  It is probable that he is the Private Maitland (Sapper is a corresponding Engineer rank) referred to in the story below.


The Prime Minister having stated that before he could consider the association’s request for a public court of inquiry into the admission and treatment of soldier mental patients at Seacliff definite cases would have to be cited, the sub-committee recommended that the ‘‘following names of ex-mental patients and others” be submitted to Mr Massey — Privates Donald Macintosh (Hanmer), A. R. D. Box (Port Chalmers), W. B. Miller (Portobello), Nurse Miller, Mrs J. K. Macfie, and Colonel T. W. McDonald. The report mentioned that Private Macintosh had allegations to make as to the treatment of Privates Creely and Maitland, and that Colonel McDonald would give evidence in support of other cases. Mr Jones moved, and Mr McNish seconded, the adoption of the report, with a view to sending it on to the Prime Minister. After further discussion the motion was carried.  -Evening Star, 20/10/1920.

The concerns that the RSA had about soldiers being put in mental hospitals were mainly that they were not being committed after due process and that some who had been wounded in the head were being placed in conditions which were not helpful to their condition.  The Defence Minister's response was that the lack of formal committal was to avoid the stigma associated with time spent in a mental hospital.  I can see both side, assuming that the issue stated was all that the RSA had problems with under the heading of "treatment."

Northern Cemetery, Dunedin.

Friday, 4 March 2022

the formidable Annie Brady, 1839-4/10/1914.

A charge was brought against Annie Brady by her husband of using threatening language, to the effect that she would kill him. Accused was bound over to keep the peace for 12 months in the sum of £20.  -Otago Daily Times, 24/6/1882.



Drunkenness. — John Hannah was convicted of this offence and discharged. Mary McIntosh was also discharged, it being understood that she is going into the Female Refuge. Breach of the Peace. — Annie Brady was charged with behaving in a disorderly manner in Princes street. — The case was adjourned for a fortnight on the understanding that if accused behaves herself the charge will be withdrawn.  -Otago Daily Times, 22/3/1888.

Mr H. Y. Widdowson, R.M., presided at the Police Court this morning, when Annie Brady, who has a number of previous convictions, was convicted of drunkenness. She was further charged with assaulting Jessie Mason in Mason's lane (off Elm row). The evidence showed that Miss Mason was wheeling an infant in a go-cart when the accused accosted her, and eventually struck her with a walking stick. In view of the fact that it was shown that the accused had been incited by being teased by boys in the vicinity, and that she offered to take out a prohibition order against herself, His Worship convicted her and ordered her to come up for sentence when called upon. This was the only case on the charge-sheet.   -Otago Daily Times, 20/3/1893.


Saturday, March 18.

Before Messrs N. Y. A. Wales and J. Briudeley, J.P's.)

Stealing Pot Plants. — Annie Brady was charged with stealing a flower pot and plant valued at 1s 6d, and with damaging, with intent to steal, geraniums valued at 5s, the said flowers being the property of Archdeacon Edwards. — Accused pleaded guilty to the first charge. — Archdeacon Edwards gave evidence that on Friday morning the accused came to his place under the influence of liquor. When ordered off the premises she used bad language. She pulled a number of plants to pieces, and carried away one pot plant. — Constable Bonner deposed that he saw the accused carrying away a plant from the house of Archdeacon Edwards. Sergeant O'Neill stated that the accused had been drinking heavily of late. There were nine previous convictions recorded against her. — The Bench decided to deal with the matter as one charge. Accused was fined 10s, in default 48 hours' imprisonment.  -Evening Star, 9/5/1912.

There was only one case to occupy the attention of Mr H. Y. Widdowson, S.M., in the City Police Court yesterday morning. Annie Brady, an old offender, being called upon to answer a charge of drunkenness and also of assaulting Jessie Mason, by striking her with a stick. Accused pleaded guilty to the charge of drunkenness, but denied the assault. She was defended by Mr J. B. Callan, jun. Evidence was given by Miss Mason and her sister, Mrs Parker, which showed that the former was wheeling a child in a go-cart. She attempted to pass the accused in Mason's lane, off Elm Row, but stumbled and put out her hand to save herself, whereupon accused, who was evidently being annoyed by a number of school children, struck her across the hip with a walking-stick. Sub-inspector Cruickshank stated that accused had been an inmate of the Magdala Home, and was discharged about two years ago, since which time she had given no trouble The magistrate look this into consideration and also the fact that accused was subject to annoyance, at the moment of the assault, and on her consenting to the issue of a prohibiton order against herself she was convicted on both charges and ordered to come up for sentence when called upon.  -Otago Daily Times, 10/5/1912.



In the City Police Court, before Mr H. Y. Widdowson, yesterday morning, Annie Brady, 75 years of age, but hale, hearty, and vigorous, appeared to answer a charge that, on February 5, she did commit mischief by wilfully damaging a window to the extent of 10s, the property of Elizabeth Murphy. 

Defendant stoutly denied the charge, and ordered the police officers to go up and see if the window was broken. Her readiness to provide the court with ocular proof of her innocence, however, was explained later, when it was shown in evidence that the damaged window had since been replaced. 

Constable Sawyer stated that the previous morning he went up to Elm row in consequence of a complaint he had received, and saw the accused with a stone in her hand. The accused dropped it, and ran into a house. A window in Mr Braid's (a neighbour's) house was pointed out to him, and it was broken. He did not think defendant was drunk, but she was in a very excited condition, and, as he did not consider it safe to leave her there, he had got a warrant for her arrest. Alice Brady, daughter of the accused, said her mother was subjcct to periods of great excitement, and was not responsible for her actions. Witness had replaced the window which accused had broken.

The Accused: Where is that £18 of mine that you took from me and would not even let me buy a pair of slippers out of? And for some minutes she continued to harangue her daughter and make allegations of cruelty against her family generally. At length a court orderly restored silence, but, as the magistrate remarked, it was not much use, as the next witness had to submit to similar treatment. 

Henry Baird said that ever since New Year the accused had been "off and on." She had thrown stones on his house and also directly at him.

The Accused: Oh, I did, did I? Well,where are the marks? Continuing, she stated that people had thrown stones on her house when she first went into it, and "was not worth a threepenny loaf." 

Mr Callan, who represented the accused's family; stated that at some periods of her life this woman had been a most exemplary mother, but drink had been a disturbing factor. Her children treated her very well under rather trying circumstances. He suggested that, subject to her own consent, she should be placed in some home. Sub-inspector Fouhy suggested that the accused should be medically examined as to her mental condition.

The Magistrate, however, inclined to Mr Callan's view, and, turning to the accused, asked her to listen to him for a minute.

Defendant: Very well. Mr Widdowson, you are the only friend I have. 

The Magistrate: You will be convicted and ordered to come up for sentence at any time within six months on condition that you stay in the Mount Magdala Home during that time.

The Accused (leaving the box): Good morning, Mr Widdowson, I hope you will keep well till I come back. She passed out of the court still talking.  -Otago Daily Times, 7/2/1913.

The Courts Today

Obscene Language. — Annie Brady was charged with using obscene language in a right-of-way off Elm row. The case was ajourned for a week.   -Evening Star, 6/10/1913.


Nuisance to Neighbors.

Mrs. Brady Baits the Bobbies. 

(From "Truth's" Dunedin Rep.)

A woman who is not essentially verbose is a rare commodity indeed, and little Annie Brady, who indignantly appeared before Mr, .J. R. Bartholomew, S.M., on Monday, upheld the talkative reputation of shemales in general, with a string of saintly wrath that would become a heroine in a penny shocker.  Annie put in her appearance at the Magistrate's Court, charged with using obscene language in a right-of-way off Elm-row. The case had been adjdurned at the request of the considerate Inspector to afford little Annie an opportunity of wasting her petty substance in the illuminating "costs" line. Annie, adroitly enough, was not having any, and turned up on Monday to champion her own down-trodden cause. 

Clerk: You're charged with using obscene language — do you plead guilty or not guilty?

Annie (with evident emotion): Hum! Such a question to a respectable woman! Not guilty, of course! When did I use obscene language? You must remember I've all my wits about me. (Laughter.) A lonely woman who...

A bellow of "Silence" here escaped the orderly, much to the satisfaction of the clerk — and Mrs. Brady dropped her muff, but not her language. 

Clerk: Listen, please. You're charged with an offence for which you may be tried at the Supreme Court or in this Court summarily if you so desire. Which do you desire. 

Annie: The Supreme Court. Mr. Widdowson knows me well, and whatever he thinks will do. 

Evidently the Bench and the "foorce" did not consider Mrs Brady's partiality for the Supreme Court a very sane desire, and many serious optics were rivetted on the little woman. 

Inspector Fouhy (after a long sigh at the perversity of females): I believe, your Worship, she is not mentally efficient, and I would ask you—

Annie: I'm a loonatik, you mean? Thank God, I've got my own mind, but if the "bobbies" — the police, I should say — had their way, I wouldn't have a stick. Fancy me being upset like a criminal in the dead of night. Obscene language, indeed! A flimsy excuse they've got. Annie Brady is well known and respected...

Another bellow of "Silence" from the alert orderly brought the garrulous old dame to a full stop. But she wagged her head most defiantly, and her generous lips twisted spasmodically in and out. 

Inspector: She's a nuisance to herself, to her family, and to her neighbours. She has a long record besides, and I would ask your Worship to have her mental condition certified before proceeding any further. 

Annie: Mentally unfit, is it? Don't trouble yourselves; Mr. Widdowson knows me, and I mean to defend myself. My record is a bad one — but that's a long time ago — you're good for raking up things (and she glanced over at the Inspector). Amid half a gale of Jabbering and much gesticulation, the indignant Mrs. Brady was hurried from Court to have the suggestion of the Inspector acted upon.  -NZ Truth, 11/10/1913.


Mr C. C. Graham held an inquest today at the Salvation Army Home, Caversham, on the body of Anna Brady, aged 75, who died last night. Sergeant O'Connell represented the police. Dr Linden said that the cause of death was bronchitis followed by heart failure, and the Coroner found a verdict of "Death from natural causes."  -Evening Star, 5/10/1914.

Southern Cemetery, Dunedin.  DCC photo.

Frederick John Thomas Collingwood, 1903-3/6/1916.



DUNEDIN. June 3. A boy, named Frederick John Thomas Collingwood, aged 14 1/2 years, fell in front of a tramcar on Saturday morning, being seriously injured. He was taken to the hospital, where an operation was performed, but he died at 6.30 a.m. to-day.  -Press, 4/6/1917.


COLLINGWOOD. — On June 3, at Dunedin Hospital (the result of an accident), Frederick John Thomas, the beloved only son of Frederick and Catherine Collingwo'od, 30 Baker street, Caversham; aged 14 years 6 months. Deeply mourned.   -Evening Star, 4/6/1917.


An inquest was opened by Mr Bartholomew, S.M., this morning on the,body of a boy — Frederick John Thomas Collingwood, aged 14 years, who was thrown from his cycle near the Southern Hotel on Saturday morning, and who died from the injuries yesterday morning. 

Senior-sereeant Hutton represented the police, and Mr W. O. MacGresor, K.C., appeared for the City Corporation. 

Catherine Charlotte Collingwood, the mother, who lives in Baker street, Caversham, said deceased was employed in the Phoenix Biscuit Factory. He left for his work on Saturday morning at 7.45 a.m., riding a bicycle. She next saw him in the Hospital at 11 a.m., when he was unconscious. 

Dr Bowie, assistant medical superintendent at the Hospital, said ihe deceased was admitted before 9 o'clock on Saturday morning with a history of having fallen from a cycle, and been picked up unconscious. Examination disclosed a large blood tumor over the vertex of the skull. He was quite conscious, but suffering from compression. There was, up to that time, no evidence of hemorrhage in the brain. He became unconscious after 10 o'clock, and at 1.30 p.m. he took a fit of five minutes' duration. It was determined to operate. The operation took place at 2.30; a small disc of bone was removed, and a clot of blood was found. The patient never regained consciousness, and died yesterday morning. They found a linear fracture passing down through the frontal bone to the frontal parietal suture on the right side. There was evidence of pressure on the base of the brain, but no evidence of a basal fracture. The cause of death was fracture of the skull, and hemorrhage causing pressure, with probably laceration of the brain. There were no bruises anywhere else to indicate that he had been struck by anything. The injuries were consistent with a fall from a cycle, but it must have been a considerable impact — he must have been going at a fair speed. 

Joseph Thomas Preen, stock buyer at Wyndham, said he was staying at the Southern Hotel, and saw the accident. He saw the boy approaching from the south, and he fell off near tram pole 182, coming off on the Southern Hotel side. Witness thought the front wheel jammed in the train track. A tram was coming from town. It stopped about 15 yards past where the boy fell, but ho did not see it strike the deceased. It did not, in his opinion, strike him. The conductor jumped off, and his first question to bystanders was: "Did the car strike the boy?" to which they answered "No." Witness took the boy to the Hospital. Witness also examined the cycle, and the front cover bore a distinct mark on one side, as if it had caught in the tram line. He could not estimate, the speed of the boy; it did not appear to be very fast. He fell right on his head on the metal. 

To Mr MacGregor: It appeared that deceased was crossing from his proper to his wrong side. The cones on the front wheel and the handlebars of the cycle, appeared to be loose when witness examined the machine. This was liable to cause a fall, particularly if it struck anything. The inquest was adjourned till Friday afternoon.  -Evening Star, 4/6/1917.

F U N E R A L  N O T I C E 

The Friends of FREDERICK and CATHERINE COLLINGWOOD (and Family) are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of their SON, FREDERICK JOHN THOMAS COLLINGWOOD, which will leave their Residence, 30 Baker street Caversham on TUESDAY, the 5th inst., at 2 p.m., for the Anderson Bay Cemetery.

HOPE & KINASTON, Undertakers, 36 St Andrew street.  -Otago Daily Times, 4/6/1917.

Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.

8/608 Private William Norman Manson, 29/12/1884-3/9/1915.

William Manson joined the Otago Infantry Regiment and served with them on Gallipoli, where he was wounded in the arm. Recovering from that, he soon after was treated for acute appendicitis.

William died at sea, near the island of Malta, of epilepsy.  His remains lie in the Mediterranean Sea.



MANSON. — On the 3rd September, at sea, Private William Norman Manson, only and dearly loved eon of Henrietta Manson, St. Leonards, and the late William Manson, electrician the Great Northern Telegraph Company, Aberdeen, Scotland. Greater love hath no man.   -Evening Star, 20/9/1915.

Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.

Thursday, 3 March 2022

23603 Private Patrick O'Driscoll, 31/7/1877-26/8/1918.

Military Funeral. 

The Friends of Mrs ALICE B. O'DRISCOLL (and Family) are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of her late HUSBAND, Private PATRICK O'DRISCOLL, which will leave the Dunedin Hospital on THURSDAY, the 29th inst., at 2.15 o clock, for the Northern Cemetery.

 A. S. ARCHER & CO., Military Funeral Directors.   -Otago Daily Times, 27/8/1918.

Private Patrick O'Driscoll, who went away with the 13th Reinforcements, returned as an invalid some months ago, and died at the Dunedin Hospital on Monday. He was blown up on the battlefield in France, and came back suffering from shell shock. As a young man he was a wellknown Rugby player, and had a place in the Kaikorai team. He was a plumber by trade, and for a while was in partnership with Mr F. Blundell, afterwards being in business on his own account. He had the reputation of being a first-class tradesman, and he was a remarkably strong man. He died at the age of 42, and is survived by his wife and three sons. Being widely known and respected, there was a large attendance of personal friends and members of the M.U.I.O.O.F. at the military burial in the Northern Cemetery yesterday. Major Greenhough represented the Defence Office. Returned soldiers acted as pallbearers, and the firing party of the R.N.Z.A. was under the command of Sergeant Dawson. The Rev. O. H. Jupp conducted the burial service.  -Evening Star, 30/8/1918.

Patrick O'Driscoll, before joining the Army, had experienced one or two fainting fits.  He had also experienced between one half and one full bottle of whisky daily.  His diagnosis on being discharged as unfit for military service mentions this, and a pre-existing heart condition which was causing occasional loss of consciousness and chest pains.

Northern Cemetery, Dunedin.

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Herbert George Oborn 1872-16/4/1897.

Terrible Floods at Napier.




 Napier, April 18. The most disastrous floods ever experienced in Hawke's Bay, both as regards loss of life and of property, occurred on Friday. 

On Thursday and Friday morning eleven inches of rain fell. The low lying lands subject to floods were quickly under water, and at the request of the settlers boats were sent out. 

The rain cleared off in the afternoon, and everybody thought the worst was over, but just after dark the great embankment at Redcliffe burst, and the Tutaekuri poured its waters over Taradale to Napier. 

Almost simultaneously the Ngarurore, backed up by a heavy sea, broke through the railway embankment at Waitani, and poured into at lagoon, joining the waters of the Tutaekuri. The result was that in a few minutes the flood rose from five to six feet, covering ground never flooded before. 

There was quite a panic in the lower parts of Napier, where nearly all the houses were quickly flooded to a depth of six feet. 

The roads became impassable, the crown being covered by three to four feet of water, running like a mill race. 

All the available boats which had not gone to Clive were requisitioned to save people, and though there were many narrow escapes there was no loss of life. 

There was a similar experience at Clive and Taradale, where the boats saved all the settlers. 

As far as is known no country settlers perished, but two of the rescuing boats, with crews, are missing, and there is now no hope of them. 

They must have been capsized in the whirling currents or swept to sea. 

The names are: — Sergt. O'Donovan and Constable Stephenson of the police force, A. McCartney (leasee of the Albion Hotel), Rose (commercial traveller), Fred Cassin, John Prebble, O'Brien, O'Reilly, Ansell, and Chambers. Nearly all have large families. As yet communication cannot be had beyond the Clive-Taradale Road and the railway bridges, the telegraph and telephone wires all being down, but so far as could be seen from the Napier hills the whole of the Ahuriri Plains were under water. All the stock must have perished over a large area, and many settlers are completely ruined. One house and its contents were swept to sea. The inmates just escaped with their lives.  -Thames Advertiser, 19/4/1897.


Sergeant O'Donovan, who was drowned in the flood, was a native of Ireland, and was at one time stationed in Wellington, where he was recognised by his superior as one of the most efficient members of the force. He was well-educated, intelligent, and painstaking, and, while discharging his duties in an impartial manner, he made hosts of friends. After leaving Wellington, he was stationed at Havelock, Marlborough, where he acted as Clerk of the Court, and subsequently he was placed in charge of the Waipawa Police Station. About 18 months ago he was transferred to Napier. He was insured in the Government Life Insurance Department for £200. 

Constable Alfred Stephenson was born at Whangaroa, north of Auckland, 33 years ago, and passed his boyhood on the Thames goldfields. He was a member of tha Armed Constabulary for some years, and afterwards entered the Permanent Artillery in Wellington. About eight years ago was transferred to the Police Force at his own request, and after doing duty in Wellington for a few mouths he was removed to Napier, where he has been stationed ever since. He leaves a wife and four children. The deceased, who was a brother to Chas. Stephenson, the well-known sculler (now in England), was a young man of very genial diaposition, and was held in high esteem by his superior officers. He was insured for £100.

Herbert George Oborn was a native of Timaru, where his parents reside. He was 23 years of age. He was a member of the Napier Rifles, and took an active interest in promoting the welfare of his corps. He was also an active member of the Union Rowing Club. During the short time he lived in Napier Mr Oborn by his obliging and cheerful disposition formed a large circle of friends.  -Daily Telegraph, 22/4/1897.


Napier, April 20.

A man named James Double is missing from Omahu. It is reported that three men have been drowned at Ohiti.

There is no trace of the missing men. Search parties are out on Mohaka Beach.

Reports from the country only confirm the worst estimates of the damage done. Sheep and cattle are being carted by the thousands to the Tomoana Freezing Works, where, after the skins and fat have been removed, the carcases are consumed in the furnaces.

The set of the wind and tide has carried much debris over to the Wairoa beach. Among other things picked up are portions of a boat and two oars, which, from a description furnished by the police, Mr Hutchinson, the owner, identifies as belonging to the boat in which Sergeant Donovan, Constable Stephenson, Prebble, O'Born, and Chambers left.  -Otago Witness, 22/4/1897.


Oborn — By drowning in floods at Hawke's Bay, on April 16th, Good Friday, Herbert George, second and beloved son of G. A. and F. Oborn, Elizabeth street, Timaru; aged 25 years. Deeply regretted.  -Timaru Herald, 24/4/1897.

The Napier Rifle Volunteers and Garrison Band paraded last night, when there was a fair attendance, considering the circumstances. Colonel Newall inspected the corps, and the respective officers and non-coms. were called out in turn to drill the company. The inspecting officer, in addressing the men, explained the reasons why the usual Easter encampment was abandoned this year. He expressed his regret at the company's loss of two prominent non-oommissioned officers — Sergeant Compton and Corporal Oborn. Captain Chicken and the other officers very feelingly dwelt on the admirable qualities of tbe late Corporal Oborn, one of the ill-fated recue parties at the flood calamity, and of the late Captain McCartney, who had rendered yeoman's service in the Volunteer cause for many years in this district. Votes of condolence were passed to the widow and relatives of the deceased comrades. Marksmen's badges were handed to those qualified for the year. The District Medal will be shot for by the marksmen tomorrow morning and afternoon, if the damage to the butts, caused by the late flood, can be repaired in time.  -Daily Telegraph, 27/4/1897.

At a committee meeting of the Union Rowing Club held at the Criterion Hotel last night it was decided to send a letter of condolence to the parents (at Timaru) of the late Mr Oborn, who was an esteemed member of the club.  -Hawke's Bay Herald, 28/4/1897.


In loving memory of Arthur McCartney, John Rose, Frederick Cassin, John Prebble, Herbert George Oborn, Alfred Stevenson, Florence O'Donovan, Harry Brierly, George Chambers, and Frederiok Ansell, who died April 16th, 1897 while endeavoring to render assistance to others. 

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend." — Inserted by A.B E.  -Daily Telegraph, 16/4/1898.

Timaru Cemetery.

Samuel Williams, 1819-29/6/1883.

R M Court (excerpt)

Samuel Williams received a transfer of his license from the site of the "Timaru Hotel," (burnt down about 12 months ago), to his new hotel, situated on the Great South Road in Rhodes' Township.  -Lyttelton Times, 15/4/1863.

R M Court  (excerpt)

Samuel Williams, Timaru Hotel, was cautioned and warned that next year his license would be refused if complaints of his insobriety and gambling were again brought against him.  -Lyttelton Times, 16/5/1863.

NOTICE. — I, SAMUEL WILLIAMS, of the Timaru Hotel, Timaru, will not be responsible for any DEBTS contracted by my wife MARY ANN WILLIAMS.   -Lyttelton Times, 23/7/1864.


This afternoon the remains of Samuel Williams, the oldest inhabitant of Timaru, were consigned to the grave. He was an American by birth, and came to the colony a great many years ago, and was for some time in the employ of Messrs Rhodes in North Canterbury. Coming down to this district he established a whaling station in the vicinity of Dashing Rocks, afterwards shifting his quarters to Patiti Point. Returning to his former employers he described the district as so excellent a field for settlement, that the Messrs Rhodes immediately came down and secured depasturing licenses for large tracts of country. Other stockowners followed, and the country was very soon numerously occupied. The Messrs Rhodes did not fail to assist their old servant who assisted so largely in founding their fortunes. They gave him more than one good start in the world, building for him the Timaru Hotel, and afterwards the Club, and placing him on the high road to prosperity. He married a second time, and his domestic relations not turning out happy, he became somewhat reckless in his mode of life, and of late years lived on the verge of destitution. He died on Friday last of general break-up of the constitution. Mr Renshaw, a well-known resident, immediately collected among such of the old identities as were inclined to assist a sum of money sufficient to defray the expense of burial, and everything was done that the long services of the settler seemed to demand. Deceased resided of late in a hut in William street.  -South Canterbury Times, 2/7/1883.

Timaru Cemetery.