Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Janet Armit Millar, 1836-19/3/1900


An inquest was held before Mr C. C. Graham, S.M., and a. jury of six at Roslyn yesterday afternoon, touching the death of Janet Millar, wife of George Millar, who died at half-past 8 yesterday morning under circumstances which pointed to the conclusion that deceased had taken her life by eating match heads. 

George Millar, husband of deceased, gave evidence that deceased underwent an operation for hernia four weeks ago, and had been confined to bed ever since. Since the operation she exhibited symptoms of her mind being affected. The expense of the operation seemed to prey on her.mind very much, although witness assured her there was no reason for anxiety on that point.

Elizabeth Marshall, niece of Mr V Millar stated that she had been attending deceased for three weeks. She had never been herself since the operation. Her mind at times seemed affected. She talked at various times of the expense of the same, and she said she wished she had not gone in for it. She was always harping on the operation and the expense of it. On Friday she was in very low spirits, as she was also on the previous day. She would not take her food, and commenced retching at night. She was ill all night and she complained that she had the same pain two or three times while the other nurse was there, and on witness asking her why she did not mention it, she said she did not want to make a fuss of it. Witness found a box of matches in her bed, and the matches had their heads off. She gradually sank, and died that morning at half-past 8, Dr Burns being with her at the time. 

Dr Batchelor gave evidence that he was called early in February to see the patient by Dr Burns She was suffering from an internal complaint that was endangering her. life and a constant source of discomfort. An operation was decided upon, and performed on February 20. She was making a satisfactory recovery, but the nature of the operation necessitated her lying in bed some six weeks. Witness judged her from the first to be rather a peculiar woman, and the enforced rest seemed to prey on her mind. She seemed to him very unusually and very unnecessarily depressed. He called in now and again, more to encourage her than anything else as the case was almost entirely in the nurse's hands. On March 16 he called, as there was a change of nurses, one of the nurses having to go away. The patient seemed very depressed and weaker than usual, but beyond that there was nothing unusual. On Saturday her husband rang up and told him that she was vomiting, asking him for something for it. Witness said he could not account for it, and he would call and see her in the afternoon. About 10 minutes after he rang witness up again, saying that she had taken something, and would he call and see her. He went up again, and found her almost pulseless and in a state of collapse. He was told she had eaten the heads of a number of matches He believed 150 had been counted. Witness washed out the stomach, but the poison had evidently been taken some time. Witness ordered the usual remedies for phosphorus poisoning, and as the patient was really Dr Burns's he communicated with him. Witness looked upon the case as inevitably fatal. The cause of death was phosphorus poisoning. In washing out the stomach there was the usual odour of phosphorus. It was a severe operation, and as she was a peculiar woman previously it was possible her mind became unhinged from the shock of the operation.

A verdict was returned "That deceased died from the effects of poisoning by phosphorus caused by her eating the heads of wax matches when in a state of temporary insanity, the effects of a serious, operation performed on her four weeks previously."   -Otago Daily Times, 20/3/1900.


The Friends of Mr GEORGE MILLAR are respectfully invited, to attend the Funeral of his late WIFE, which will leave his Residence, High street, Roslyn, for the Southern Cemetery, THIS DAY (WEDNESDAY), the, 21st inst., at 2.30 p.m., passing the Octagon about 3 p.m.

HUGH GOURLEY, Undertaker, Clarke and Maclaggan streets.  -Otago Daily Times, 21/3/1900.

Southern Cemetery, Dunedin.  DCC photo.

Kathleen Meade, 1893-9/1/1908.




Every circumstance in the story told to a jury this morning by the father and mother of Kathleen Maureen Meade justified them in determining, as they did, that the pretty little girl lying in the next room with a bullet through her breast found death yesterday through a piteous mishap with her father’s revolver. 

The coroner (Mr Graham, S.M.) held the inquiry at the parents’ home in Hardy street, St. Kilda. Mr John Elbra was chosen foreman of the jury. 

The mother (Amelia Meade), who was in a state of semi-collapse, gave the following account of the accident: — My daughter was fifteen years of age. She enjoyed good health, and was always in the best of spirits. Yesterday she was in unusually good spirits, singing when she rose at 6 a.m. I had asked her to change her clothes, and she went into her father's room to do so. I went into the kitchen, telling her to hurry, as I wanted her. I heard a sound like the striking of a match, and thought she was playing with her father’s revolver, which was lying in the room. I went to the door and called to her to hurry. I got no reply, and went into the room, smelling powder slightly. I saw her slip off the bed to the floor, and I said: “Kathleen, whatever has happened to you?” I got no answer, so I lifted her arm up, and it fell. I tried to lift her on to the bed, but could not. I sent one of the boys for assistance, and told my neighbor to get a doctor and the police. Dr Lindon came. I could not detect any breath then, but when I said “Kathleen” her eyes rolled round. She was a perfectly happy girl, and we had had no quarrel. I should never dream that she did such a thing wilfully. I never noticed the revolver when I went into the room — not till afterwards.

Constable McCartney stated: I was called to Sergeant-major Meade’s house yesterday. I found deceased lying on the floor alongside the bed in a room. She was dead, but the body was warm. With the assistance of William Hurrell I lifted the body on to the bed, and found a revolver (produced) on the floor. There was a wound on the breast and powder on the face. There was one empty cartridge in the revolver, and all the other chambers were empty. 

Dr Lindon said: I was called in about 7.10 a.m. yesterday. I found deceased lying on her bed, partially dressed. I examined the body. Death had occurred not more than an hour before. There was the mark of a burn on the underclothing, and below this was a hole from which a slight flow of blood oozed. Her face was marked by burnt powder. Later in the day I made a post mortem examination, and I found that the bullet had entered the breastbone, missing the heart, cutting the pulmonary arteries, and lodging in the back. (The bullet was produced.) Death was due to bleeding from the pulmonary arteries. The course of the bullet was upwards and to the right.

Coroner: If it had been held in the right hand the passage of the bullet ought to have been to the left, should it not? 

Witness: If it had been fired with the right hand and intentionally, one would expect the bullet to have gone towards the left. My idea is that the pistol was held backwards, the thumb on the trigger, as inexperienced people sometimes do to look down the barrel. From the general circumstances one would deem it to be an accident.

The Coroner: I will ask you a delicate question. You know what scandal is apt to be spread abroad in such cases. You examined the body — how did you find the oigans? 

Witness: I found the organs in proper condition. There were no signs of pregnancy.

The Coroner (to the father): You will understand my reason for asking this question.

Sergeant-major Meade: Yes, and I am thankful to you for doing so.

The Coroner: I did it for the purpose of putting an end to any disagreeable talk that might arise.

Sergeant Conn: In your opinion, doctor, from the trend of the bullet, the discharge was accidental, rather than wilful? 

Witness: I should think so. Moreover, a person committing suicide would naturally press the revolver against the breast. In this case it was held a little distance away, or the powder could not have got on the face as it did.

Henry James Meade, sergeant-major in the Permanent Artillery, said: I am the father of deceased. I was not at home at the time of the accident, having left home the evening before. I can confirm everything that has been said about my girl’s good spirits. I kept a revolver in my room, but it was not loaded. Deceased was quite used to the handling of guns, but not to their loading. 

The Coroner: Were there any cartridges in the house?

Witness: That is what I wish to explain. I was made a present of the revolver from a returned contingenter, and I bought thirty rounds of ammunition, which I used at the Heads, only bringing an odd one or two back with me. Mv wife and daughter came across a cartridge in a drawer, and put it in a basket. I think that, having the cartridge in the room, my daughter fitted it into a chamber of the revolver, which is a large, awkward thing to handle. In attempting to extract the cartridge I imagine that her finger slipped off the mechanism on to the hammer, which fell and exploded the cartridge.

The Coroner, in summing up, said: You have heard all the evidence which it is proposed to call. I think that, after the evidence of the doctor in respect of the direction of the wound, and also that of the father of the unfortunate girl as to what is likely to have taken place, we may conclude that it was purely an accident. There was no motive for suicide. She was in good health and spirits, and on the best of terms with her family. The doctor, too, has refuted any possibility of scandal. I think you will be perfectly justified in returning a verdict of accidental death.

Without retiring, the jury found that the cause of death was hemorrhage, occasioned by a revolver bullet wound accidentally inflicted by herself.   -Evening Star, 10/1/1908.


Little Kathleen Maureen Meade accidentally killed herself at St. Kilda, Dunedin, one day last week, and the sad fatality, the cutting off of a bright life, the bereavement of her doting parents were as nothing to that miserable pence-pinching print, the "Post," which could not content itself with calling the occurrence an accident or a fatality, but brazenly and brutally printed it a suicide. The pinch-penny press is notorious for this nasty sort of thing. It ponders to the morbid mind which loves to dwell on suicide or murder, and it is to appease this class that the daily agony will freely outrage the feelings of bereaved relatives and attribute motives for suicide where none actually exists. The "Post" lives on horrors, and it was, therefore, only natural that when news came through of Katie's sad ending that it immediately pandered to those deceased palates that scorn an accident but revel in a suicide, particularly the suicide of a young maiden. There was absolutely no ground for the "Post" to spread the scandal of Kathleen Meade's death as suicide. The evidence at the inquest negatived the suggestion. The Coroner who presided at the inquest must have had in his mind the scandalous reports of the daily papers when he summed the case up to the jury, who found a verdict of accidental death. The Coroner said that from the evidence of the doctor and the girl's father it might reasonably be concluded that the affair was purely an accident. He considered they should have no hesitation in coming to that conclusion. There was nothing to suggest suicide. The girl was on good terms with her mother and father and all the family. The doctor had refuted any idea of scandal. He considered the jury would be perfectly justified in returning a verdict of accidental death, and there was not a word of this, of course, in the horrifying "Post." It would have been decent on the pious print's part to have declared that it was in error when it made a sensation of an accident and called it suicide. There was no regard for the harrowed feelings of sorrowful parents. Not a word of regret is said. Nothing to remove the reproach of scandal. Truly, the "Post" is a miserable rag.  -NZ Truth, 18/1/1908.

Southern Cemetery, Dunedin.  DCC photo.

Monday, 30 May 2022

Sarah (1848-8/10/1871) and Sarah Alice (3/10/1871-12/10/1871) Jessep.

Victorian deaths involving childbirth were not much reported in those days - childbirth involved sex, which was simply not talked about - at least, not put in the newspapers.  Occasionally, however, the dates on a gravestone tell an unmistakable story.

The proceedings of the Supreme Court, Dunedin, were somewhat diversified on the 20th ult., by the hearing of a case in which Charles Jessep sought to dissolve his marriage with his wife Amalie Jessep, a native of Hanover, on the ground of adultery. This is the first divorce case heard in Otago. The petitioner has, until lately, been engaged in different parts of Otago in mining pursuits, and the co-respondent, Charles Nicholson, is a store-keeper and hotel-keeper at Moa Flat, Otago. It appears that the respondent was at one time engaged as domestic servant by Mr Maw, boarding house keeper; in Melbourne, and that she was married to the petitioner at the Lutheran Church, East Melbourne, in 1862. After remaining a short time at the Temperance Hotel, Lonsdale street, Jessep and his wife proceeded to Donnelly's Creek, Gipp's Land, Victoria, and finally came to reside at Miller's Flat. Shortly after this the respondent contracted an acquaintance with the co-respondent, and, according to the evidence, is, and has, been for some time past, living with him. His Honour admitted that the adultery had been proved, but decided that a single Judge of the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to determine the case, adding that it must be heard and determined by the full Court.   -Otago Daily Times, 1/10/1869.


On the 19th October, at the residence of Mr Macfie, Russell street, by the Rev. D. M. Stuart, Charles Jessep, fruit and produce merchant, Dunedin, to Sarah West, only daughter of Daniel West, late of Essex, England.  -Otago Daily Times, 20/10/1870.


On the 3rd October, 1871, at her residence, George street, Dunedin, Mrs Charles Jessep, of a daughter.   -Otago Daily Times, 9/10/1871.


THE FRIENDS of Mr CHARLES JESSEP are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of his late Wife, which will leave his residence, George street, Tomorrow (Tuesday), at three o'clock. 

WALTER G. GEDDES, Undertaker, Octagon.   -Otago Daily Times, 9/10/1871.

Southern Cemetery, Dunedin.

65232 Private William Raynbird, 6/11/1874-20/6/1941.


On Thursday evening at North-east Harbor a send-off to Private Raynbird was held in the school. There was a large attendance, as Private Raynbird is so well known and liked. He has been a great helper in all social and patriotic affairs. After a varied musical programme the chairman (Mr F. G. Hellyer) presented the soldier with a clock, suitably inscribed. Private Raynbird replied to the good wishes expressed, and in response to a request favored the audience with a couple of recitations. After supper, the young folks adjourned to the school hall for a dance, and the elders enjoyed a few games at cards.  -Evening Star, 17/11/1917.


RAYNBIRD — MACDONALD — On April 7, at the residence of the brides mother, Dunedin, by the Rev. G. McDonald, William Raynbird, of North-East Harbour, to Elizabeth Macdonald, elder daughter of the late James Macdonald, Oamaru.   -Otago Witness, 8/6/1920.

William Raynbird had to give up his farm due to illness in 1927.  His Army record shows no injury sustained while in service but his obituary tells a different story.  He must have been in a bad way if he could not roll cigarettes.



Fred Green pleaded guilty to having, at Broad Bay, stolen an axe valued at 5s, the property of William Raynbird. Senior Sergeant Packer said that the complainant, who lived at Broad Bay, was a returned soldier and a cripple. He asked the accused to come to his home to make him some cigarettes, as his wife was absent, and gave him afternoon tea. As the accused was leaving, he picked up an axe, which was lying near the door, and took it home. He kept it for some days, and, when interviewed by the police, said he had not had time to return it, but had intended to do so. He had previously been convicted on a charge of wilful damage. — The magistrate said that in view of the complainant’s circumstances and condition this was a particularly mean action, and, fining the accused £2, ordered him to pay witness's expenses (5s 6d), in default seven days’ imprisonment.  -Otago Daily Times,  28/10/1935.


RAYNBIRD. — On June 20, 1941, at Dunedin, 65232 Private William Raynbird (1st N.Z.E.F.), beloved husband of Elizabeth Raynbird, 4 Wairoa street; late of Raynbird’s Bay, North-east Harbour; “At rest.” — The Funeral will leave 4 Wairoa street To-morrow (Saturday), the 21st inst., at 3 p.m., arriving at the Macandrew Bay Cemetery at 3.30 p.m. — Hope and Kinaston, funeral directors.   -Evening Star, 20/6/1941.



The death occurred on Friday of Mr William Raynbird, of Wairoa street, Kaikorai, and late of Raynbirds Bay, Otago Peninsula. He had been in bad health for several years as the result of service in the Great War. He was the son of the late Mr and Mrs Robert Raynbird, very early settlers of the Peninsula, who carried on farming operations at Raynbird’s Bay for a number of years. Following the death of his father, Mr William Raynbird took charge of the farm until failing health necessitated his retirement from active work. He is survived by his widow, one son and one daughter. The funeral took place at the Macandrew Bay Cemetery on Saturday.   -Otago Daily Times, 23/6/1941.

Macandrew Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.  DCC photo.

Colin Macandrew, 1890-17/6/1905.



General regret is felt for Mr and Mrs Colin Macandrew on the death of their youngest son, Colin, which occurred on Saturday after an illness extending over a fortnight or so. The boy, who was in his fifteenth year, suffered an injury to his nose, and, although the wound bled freely, serious consequences were not feared. In a day or two, however, the symptoms changed, and the boy growing worse, extra medical assistance was called in. The young fellow rallied to some extent, but towards the end of last week his condition became very low, and, notwithstanding the best medical attention and the most careful nursing, he died on Saturday. Blood poisoning is said to have been the cause of death. The boy was a general favourite not only in the neighbourhood but at the High School, where he had been attending for the last 18 months.   -Otago Daily Times, 19/6/1905.


Result of a Trifling Accident

As the result of an apparently trifling accident sustained over a fortnight ago, Colin, the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Colin Macandrew, of Dunedin, died recently. The boy, who was fourteen, was poking a prop through his father's fence with the idea of driving back some fowls which had strayed. A by-road runs past the place, and someone running down it in his anxiety to catch a passing tram, pushed the prop out of his way, without realising that anyone was at the other end of it. The wood struck the boy on the nose, causing it to bleed freely. Serious consequences were far from being anticipated until a day or two later, when alarming symptoms set in, culminating in a sort of facial paralysis, which necessitated the patient being fed artificially. From this he partially recoveied, but subquently had a relapse, and in spite of the efforts of the medical gentleman in attendance, died on Saturday. It is understood that the cause of death was blood-poisoning. The poor lad was a pupil at the High School and a general favorite.  -Wairarapa Daily Times, 26/6/1905.

Macandrew Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.

Sunday, 29 May 2022

3/2417 Private William James Sturmey, 4/11/1895-21/11/1916.

William Sturmey was the son of William Henry and Rosina Sturmey of New Plymouth.  That is all that I know about him except what follows:


Private James Sturmey, whose next of kin resides in Taranaki, has died in the Dunedin Hospital after undergoing an operation, and was buried with military honors at Anderson Bay this afternoon. Major Fleming and Lieutenant Myers attended as representing the Defence Force. Private Sturmey belonged to the 11th Reinforcements, and after being discharged as invalided from the Expeditionary Force he took up home service.   -Evening Star, 25/11/1916.


Private James Sturmey, buried at Dunedin on Saturday, was taken ill before getting away with the 11th. His next of kin is a grandmother at Taranaki. Chaplainmajor Fairmaid conducted the service.   -Evening Star, 27/11/1916. 

Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

11/1345 L/Corporal James Miller, MM, 27/7/1899-19/4/1924.

James Miller was working as a farm labourer when he joined the army in 1915.  He was a good soldier, eventually being promoted to the rank of Corporal and eventually being wounded four times.  He was shot in the thigh on the Somme in 1916 and gassed at Passchendaele in 1917.

By September 1918 the Otago Regiment, assisted by other units of the Allied Armies, had nearly reached the German defensive system of the Hindenberg Line. On September 6 they were ordered to clear yet another line of German trenches on their way to the Line which barred their way into Germany.

On that day, as far as I can tell, James Miller was seriously wounded, suffering several bullet wounds, including one to his face.  He was evacuated to a Casualty Clearing Station and then to a hospital in Bolougne, France. It was the fourth time he had been wounded.  On August 15 he had been awarded the Military Medal for "Acts of gallantry in the field."

James was sent home and discharged as physically unfit for future service, due to the poisoning he had suffered from German gas.  In 1920, living with his family at Portobello, he made an appplication for hospital treatment, having seen blood in his urine.  He was diagnosed with tuberculosis affecting the kindey and bladder.



MILLER.. — On April 19, 1924, at Dunedin, 11/1345 Lance-corporal James Miller (6th Reinforcements), beloved youngest son of Samuel and Margaret Gray Miller, of Portobello, aged 35 years. The Funeral will leave the Dunedin Hospital To-morrow (Tuesday), at, 10 a.m., for the Anderson's Bay Cemetery. — McLean and Son, undertakers.  -Evening Star, 21/4/1924.


The executive of the Dunedin Returned Soldiers’ Association on Tuesday night passed a motion of sympathy with the relatives of Mr James Miller, a member who died recently. The late Miller was one of those men who, badly wounded in the war, patiently bore his sufferings for years after the war had ended. As a member of the 4th Company of the 2nd (Otago) Battalion in France, he was a splendid soldier, doing a great deal of patrol work in front of the lines at Armentieres and other places. For some years after his return he was an inmate of the Montecillo Convalescent Home.  -Evening Star, 8/5/1924.

Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.

Friday, 27 May 2022

Lieutenant Sydney Andrew Mitchell, 1900-11/7/1930.



“There is no doubt that the deceased shot himself,” said the Coroner (Mr H. W. Bundle, S.M.) at the inquest at the courthouse this afternoon on the death of Sydney Andrew Mitchell, a single man, aged thirty-one who was found dead in his bedroom in a boarding house in Russell street on July 10, with a bullet wound in the right temple, while a rifle was found across the body. 

The deceased served during the war as a lieutenant in the Imperial Army and also spent some time in India. He had been about eighteen months in New Zealand and was a salesman by occupation. Sergeant Hall watched the inquiry for the police. 

Thomas Gordon Cole, a fellow boarder of the deceased, said that he was in the habit of awakening deceased every morning. When he went in on the morning in question he saw deceased lying across the bed, and, thinking something was wrong, he informed another hoarder, who went in and said that the deceased was dead. Witness slept in the next room, and during the night heard no sound. 

Sergeant McCarthy said that he was called to a house in Russell street shortly after 8 o’clock on the morning of July 11, and found the body of the deceased lying across the bed. He had been dead apparently for some hours. The body was fully dressed, and in addition had two dressing gowns on. There was a bullet wound on the right temple, and the left side of the face had been blown away. A .303 service rifle was lying across the body, and was examined by the witness, who found one spent cartridge case in the barrel. Three letters were found on the bed alongside the body, one being addressed to the coroner, one to a fellow boarder, and one to a Miss Mitchell of London.

Sergeant Hall said that he had examined the guns register and found that, a permit had been issued to Mitchell for the purchase of a rifle from the Defence Department. The rifle was registered on April 5. 

The Coroner briefly reviewed the evidence, and said that it was strange no noise of a shot had been heard, but nowadays when modern motor traffic was passing up and down a street the noise of a shot might be passed over as the back-firing of a motor ear. A letter had been left addressed to the coroner, and also one lor a sister of the deceased, with the request that it not be opened. The Coroner said he saw no reason for opening this letter, which would be forwarded to the deceased’s sister. 

A verdict was returned that deceased committed suicide by shooting himself on July 10 while in a state of mental depression.  -Evening Star, 21/7/1930.

Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.

9/911 Trooper Murdoch Campbell, 12/12/1894-21/8/1915.

Murdoch Campbell was working on the Moa Creek irrigation project in Central Otago when he volunteered for the Army.  He was twenty years old.

He died on Gallipoli from a bullet wound to his shoulder.  Possibly the bullet damaged a lung, possibly he bled to death in a confused situation with no help readily available.


The flag was flown half-mast at the Whare Flat School yesterday as a mark of respect to Trooper Murdoch Campbell, who died of wounds at the Dardanelles.Murdoch Campbell, who was educated at Whare Flat School, though hardly 18 years of age, joined the reinforcements of the Otago Mounted Rifles.  -Evening Star, 4/9/1915.

Andersons Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.  DCC photo.

Thursday, 26 May 2022

8/3817 Lieutenant Reuben McCarthy Newman 18/4/1894-23/11/1918.

Reuben McCarthy Newman's army record is an unusual one.  He was educated at the Albany St primary school (closed 1933) and Otago Boys' High School then worked as a clerk in the Department of Labour in Wellington.  As a member of the local Territorial unit he was selected to join the Advance Party of the Samoan Force in 1914 with the 5th Wellington Regiment.

He was transferred to the Otago Infantry Regiment in March 1916 and promoted Sergeant at the beginning of April, leaving with the Otagos for France a week later.  On May 26th he was "severely reprimanded" for neglect of duty during the period of the Regiment's first period of duty at the front line in France, near Armentieres.  He was transferred out about a year later.

In May 1917 he was promoted to Warrant Officer 2nd Class and not long after ordered to England for possible selection for training as an officer fo the Indian Army.  He was selected for the Indian Army at the end of Sdptember and discharged from the NZEF two weeks later.

In October Reuben was discharged from the NZEF and joined the Indian Army Officers Reserve.



NEWMAN. — On the 23rd November, at the Officers’ Hospital, Abbottabad, India, from enteric, Lieut. Reuben McCarthy Newman, the youngest son of Mrs and the late W. A. Newman; in his 24th year. “ Duty nobly done.”  -Evening Star, 11/12/1918.

Northern Cemetery, Dunedin.

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Dr Robert Borrows, MD, 1833-28/11/1881.


Dr Borrows met with a very serious and dangerous accident on the 14th ult., and it is somewhat remarkable that it did not terminate fatally. It seems that the doctor was being driven from Roslyn at about five o'clock, and that when at the top of Rattray street the horse became restive and kicked violently, breaking the front part of the buggy. The driver either jumped out or was thrown out, and the horse bolted with the buggy, in which Dr Borrows remained seated. After galloping a short distance down York place the horse brought the buggy into collision with a butcher's waggon and Dr Borrows was thrown out, and struck the front wheels of the waggon with great violence. Mr R. Donaldson, who witnessed the collision, ran and drew the doctor from his perilous position, for at the time he was liable to be kicked by the horses. Dr Borrows was then taken into Mr Scoullar's house in an unconscious state. He was first attended by Dr Stenhouse, and then by Drs Alexander and Coughtrey. After some time he regained consciousness, and was removed on a stretcher to his own residence, where Drs Hocken, Mausell, Alexander, and Coughtrey took charge of the case, which unfortunately is one of a very serious character. Dr Borrows received some wounds on the head, and an extensive compound fracture of his right hip-bone. Numerous fragments of bone were extracted, and the injury was such as could only have been caused by extreme violence. Doubtless the patient will receive the most skillful treatment, and many in the comnmuity will be glad to learn that on inquiry he is making favourable progress. 

It is with great regret we have to announce the death of Dr Borrows, which took place on the 22nd ult. It wil be remembered that last week he received serious injuries through the bolting of his horse, with buggy attached, from Upper Rattray street, the vehicle in which the doctor was sitting coming into collision with a butcher's waggon, which was drawn up in York place. The doctor was thrown out with great force, and landed on the iron step of the waggon, which penetrated his side, causing a very ugly wound and completely pulverising part of thigh-bone. From the first his medical attendants, Drs Hocken ami Maunsell, regarded his case as a serious one, and on Tuesday morning the late Dr Borrows had no hopes of his own recovery. The immediate cause of death was peritonitis. Dr Robert Borrows was born in Glasgow, and spent the early years of his life in that city. At the age of 19 he left Scotland for England, and after having acted as assistant to a medical gentleman there he entered the navy. He was was for seven years on the Bermudas station, and had charge of the hospital there. He returned to Scotland on leave of absence, and took his M.D. degree at St. Andrew's. After that he was for some time in one of her Majesty's ships on the Cape station. Dr Borrows subsequently retired from the navy on half-pay, and decided to sail for New Zealand, arriving here about 14 years ago. The first two yeurs in this district were devoted to the practice of his profession in. Tokomairiro and vicinity. He then removed to Dunedin, and soon gained warm friends and admirers in the city. Dr Borrows was well known and highly esteemed by all who were brought into contact with him, and his kindliness of disposition and his generosity will be cherished in grateful remembrance by many in our midst. By those who knew him more intimately, however, his loss will be felt very keenly. He leaves a widow and young child to mourn their loss, and we feel sure they have the heartfelt sympathy of the community in their sad bereavement.

At the monthly meeting of the Medical Association held at the hospital on the 23rd, it was resolved that the transaction of its business should be adjourned as a mark of respect to the late Dr Borrows. The proposal and seconder of the resolution spoke in high terms of the deceased as one who had been an active member and warm supporter of the Association since its institution, and whose loss would be greatly felt. It was further unanimously resolved that a letter of condolence be forwarded to Mrs Borrows.

The funeral of the late Dr Borrows, which took place on the 24th, was largely attended by members of the professions and leading citizens. The cortege extended from the Octagon to Hanover street, and included over 100 persons on foot and about 10 carriages. The Rev. Mr Best officiated at the grave and made a few appropriate remarks concerning the life of the deceased gentleman.   -Otago Daily Times, 2/12/1881.

Northern Cemetery, Dunedin.

12/709 Private George Couston, 10/3/1889-25/4/1915.

Amongst those previously reported wounded, and now reported, after searching inquiry, wounded and missing, is Private George Couston, a Dunedin boy, who enlisted with the 16th Waikato Regiment. He left with the Main Expeditionary Body, and the last letter received by his parents was from the troopship, two days prior to the Gallipoli landing. Repeated cablegrams have been sent for information, but without success, and it is feared that he was amongst those killed early in the fight. Sergeant Allan, who returned by the Willochra, came across the bodies of an Australian and a New Zealander on a ridge at Gallipoli Peninsula. The New Zealander was a 16th Waikato private, and his disc bore the name of Couston, and on the body was a letter from Mr. B. B. Couston. Private Couston was a lad of most happy disposition, loved by all he came in contact with, and he was one of those who answered the first call for volunteers. According to Sergeant Allan's account, he had been wounded in the leg and was binding this wound when some snipers shot him through the heart. He was buried not far from where he fell, and a cross with one word, "Couston," was erected to mark the grave.   -Dominion, 14/8/1915.




Amongst those previously reported wounded and now reported wounded and missing is Private George Couston, a Dunedin boy, who enlisted in the 16th Waikato Regiment. He is the youngest son of Mr. William Couston, ironmonger, of Dunedin. He was educated at the Arthur Street and Boys' High Schools, and of late years was engaged in sheepfarming in the North Island. He left with the main expeditionary body, and the last letter received by his parents was from the troopship two days prior to the Gallipoli landing. Repeated cablegrams have been sent for information, but without success, and it is feared that he was amongst those killed early in thp fight. Sergeant Allan who returned by the Willochra says he came across the bodies of an Australian and a New Zealander on a ridge at Gallipoli. The New Zealander was a 16th Waikato private, and his disc bore the name of Couston.  -NZ Herald, 14/8/1915.


COUSTON. — In loving memory of George Couston (l6th Waikato Regiment, Main Body), who was killed while in action at Gallipoli on 25th April, 1915.   -Otago Witness, 30/4/1919.

Northern Cemetery, Dunedin.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

9/59 Sergeant Alexander Lister McLintock, 24/9/1891-27/9/1916.

Alexander McLintock was with the Otago Infantry Regiment on Gallipoli and was wounded, according to his Army records, on the 7th or 8th of August, 1915.  The 7th was the day on which the great August offensive, intended to push the Turkish army off the Peninsula, began.  He suffered a gunshot wound to his arm.  He was fit enough to join the Regiment when they moved on from Egypt to France in time for the Battle of the Somme.

He was wounded again in that battle, possibly on the first day of the "big push" which was designed to break German lines and send cavalry to Berlin - or, at least, close to it.

His wounds are described as "wounded legs multiple," the abbreviation "sw" instead of "gsw" indicating shrapnel instead of rifle bullets. He was admitted to the 1st Canadian General Hospital at Etaples, France.  It is possible that infection of some kind set in as his condition two days before he died was described as "seriously ill." It might have been then that his right leg was amputated.

Corporal Alexander Lister McClintock (wounded) is a son of Thos. McClintock, Middlemarch. He was born at South Dunedin, and was educated at the Middlemarch School. He is a member of the Middlemarch Lodge, M.U.I.O.O.F., Brass Band, and Football Club. He was a good rifle shot, for which he holds the marksmans badge, and was one of the first to volunteer from Middlemarch. He is 24 years of age.  -Otago Witness, 15/9/1915.


Sergeant Alexander Lister McClintock (died from wounds) who was a son of Mr Thomas McClintock, of Middlemarch, was employed in farming before he enlisted. He left New Zealand as a trooper, and received promotion in the field. He was wounded in Gallipoli, and subsequently spent five months in Egypt. He went to France with the first lot of New Zealand troops. He was wounded on September 17, and died in hospital in England on September 27. Sergeant McClintock, whose brother is in Trentham at present, was about 24 years of age.  -Otago Daily Times, 7/10/1916.



McCLINTOCK. — In loving memory of Sergeant Alexander Lister McClintock, who died at Etaples Hospital on September 27, 1916, from wounds received in action in France. "He did his duty." —Inserted by his loving parents, brothers, and sisters.   -Otago Witness, 28/9/1920.

Southern Cemetery, Dunedin.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Pilot Officer Owen Vincent Tracey, RAF, 15/3/1915-8/12/1941.




(P.A.) WELLINGTON, October 7. Recognition of one of the most spectacular feats of the air war is given in the announcement of the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to the late Acting Flight-lieutenant Owen Vincent Tracey, R.A.F., formerly of Dunedin. He was the officer who saw a comrade parachute from his aircraft while in combat with enemy fighters over the Western Desert. At great risk to himself Flight-lieutenant Tracey followed the parachuting airman to the ground, landed, picked him up, and brought him back to base in his fighter aircraft. 

The D.F.C. is not awarded posthumously, and the decision to make the award was made before Flight-lieutenant Tracey’s death was officially presumed by the Air Ministry a short time ago. His widow resides at Harrow, Middlesex, England, and his mother is Mrs M E. Tracey, of Dunedin. 

The citation accompanying the award describes the incident recorded above, and adds: Flight-lieutenant Tracey took part in a long-range fight during the Crete evacuation. In addition he led his flight in practically every operational flight his squadron carried out during the present campaign in the Western Desert. It is known that he actually destroyed six enemy aircraft, but it is thought that he accounted for many more than those officially recorded.

Flight-lieutenant Tracey, by virtue of his outstanding, keenness, proved an inspiration to all who came in contact with him. Flight-lieutenant Tracey was born in Dunedin in March, 1915, and educated at Onehunga and Oamaru. He gained his pilot's A license as a member of the Otago Aero Club early in 1937, and after being selected for a short-service commission with the R.A.F. sailed for England in June, 1939, to commence training.  -Evening Star, 8/10/1942.

Owen Tracey's story is a larger one than the above, of course, and I cannot do better than the writer of this story, with photo, on the Battle of Britain London Memorial page.

Southern Cemetery, Dunedin.