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Showing posts from January, 2010

2 mystery WW2 New Zealand WAAF ladies

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Last week I purchased on trademe from a second hand goods store in Geraldine, 2 framed portraits of women who were serving in the Airforce in WW2. The hat insignia looks that of the New Zealand WAAF's [Woman's Auxiliary Air Force] and the arm flying badges confirm they were in the airforce.

There appears to be no identifying information on the photos except for the second photo - however this is sparse and photo looks to be to Jack from Marge.





"To Jack with best w... from Marge[?]"



Do you recognise these women? I'd love to be able to give them back to their families.




















William Wight SMITH,
Charles O'Hara SMITH JP,
Sergeant Major SMITH
and their father
Captain John SMITH 41st Regiment

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A couple of years back I took this photo of a grave at Purewa Cemetery in Auckland and thought what interesting people to one day research. Grave* of William Wight SMITH memorialising also his brothers Sergeant Major Sidney SMITH, Charles O'Hara SMITH and their father Captain John SMITH

Tonight I came across the photo again as I was editing on Flickr. So I decided to do a bit of a trawl on the net and thought i would add here what i've found.

William Wight SMITH The only person buried in this grave is William Wight SMITH. William was a Commission agent of Wellington. Searches of him on National Library's 'Paperspast' site show him as the plaintiff in a claim for commission on the sale of land in 1907. He died intestate.
Sergeant Major Sidney SMITH Williams brother Sergeant Major Sidney SMITH, is memorialised on the headstone. He was a telegraph linesman prior to enlisting and serving in the Boer War. He was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal (Cape Colony and Oran…

Grace CLULEE's family, where are you?

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Last weekend my partner and I toddled off to Rotorua for the weekend.

On the way, we stopped at Paeroa and did the circuit of many and varied antique stores. At 'Arkwrights Antiques', I happened upon a small Holy Communion book [scroll down for photos] that was inscribed to Grace CLULEE on the occasion of her confirmation on 15 April 1894 at St Paul's [cathedral], Dunedin from [Reverend] J W A Melville* [interestingly enough he performed the marriage ceremony 2 months later for well known NZ barrister Alfred Charles Hanlon and his wife].

A nice thing to happen also tonight after getting it out to photograph, I thumbed through carefully and found the page for Holy Communion and there was a tiny pressed flower - what a delight! I'd like to think that this was put there on the day she was given it, but of course cannot be sure of that.

Grace CLULEE's family, if you are out there I'd love to give you this wee token of her life if she is on your family tree. It woul…

Past Christchurch/Canterbury Personalities 2

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Colonel De Renzie James BRETT M.L.C 1809 - 1889 Her Majestys 108th Foot Regiment
His age on his headstone is wrong. Should read 80 years.LINWOOD CEMETERY, CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND

I took the photos of Colonel BRETT's grave because i felt it had a story to tell and it most surely does!
I find it sad that such prominent people of the past have passed in to history and the origins of their legacies are not taught or talked about in our schools. We take for granted we have the city or country we do today but too often don't stop to think [nor educate others] about those brave, entrepreneurial people who have walked and worked our soils [and other countries as well] to become the productive places they are. De Renzie James BRETT is one of those men. He was one of 25 children. This probably gave him his tenacious abilities and proclivity to fight for his rights! His military service from the age of 16 reads like a novel! It's a must read...see his obituary below. He arrived in New Zeal…

Christchurch Volunteer Fire Brigade 1881 - competitors

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Whilst browsing around Ferrymead Heritage Park at the end of December, i just couldn't help myself on discovering old framed photos just propped up against display cases in the 'Hall of Flame' museum at the park.

Armed with my digital camera i just had to take individual photos of the fellows in at least one of the fabulous momentoes, you never know who may be researching them and not have a photo of them as yet! So here they are. The names are underneath the photo and in correct order.

For larger and downloadable photos, see this set on my flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/porkynz/sets/72157623019060571/ some of these men have more information on flickr.
Paperspast article mentioning the games http://tinyurl.com/yhzw5uj
Competing teams of the Christchurch
Volunteer Fire Brigade
At Friendly Societies Fete December 26th 1881
(for Engine Competition)

Larger photo at top of the 16 men - Superintendent E SMITH


No 1 team [winners]
Time 41 4/5 seconds
Foreman E SMITH
Engineer J FRA…

Past Christchurch/Canterbury Personalities 1

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Sali MAHOMET
'Ice cream Charlie'
1866 - 1943


As a child, one of my favourite memories from the 1960's and '70's was the treat it used to be when dad would come in the door after work now and then with a large brown paper bag full of small cartons of 'Vanilla ice' from the 'Ice Cream Charlie' van. Scrumptious and drizzled with cream and a delicious diluted version of homemade raspberry jam filling the gap that had been punctured in the top with the serving spoon after it had been scooped into the carton.

It is only after becoming an adult I can appreciate how Sali Mahomet alias 'Ice cream Charlie' had created if not a Kiwi icon, then at least a Canterbury Icon. I still enjoy an 'ice cream Charlie' if i get the chance to have one when i'm in Christchurch.
It was fortuitous to have happened upon his icecream cart at Ferrymead Heritage Park when I visited there over Christmas. I took some photos with the intent to write up a post abou…

Gunner H H TELFER 239095 Royal Field Artillery

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On my Christmas break in Christchurch I caught up with my aunt and uncle. The conversation turned to things historical as they do!
My Uncle brought out to the kitchen the British War and Victory medals his Uncle Harold had earned for being a soldier in the ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY serving at the Ypres Salient. These had been put on a swing mount and had a metal name bar to sit above the medals. Engraved on the bar was H H TELFER. I asked my uncle what Harold's full name was and he didn't know, so I presumed it must be something akin to Harold Henry...how wrong I was!
H H Telfer's medals on his bible
My uncle also brought out Harold's wallet with hand embroidering; his bible; a newspaper clipping about him retiring after 42 years as a butcher [see further down]; a couple of his uniform embellishments and a letter dated 1920 written to Harold by a nephew. Out came also, a photo of Harold outside his butcher shop in Hexham, Northumberland, Christmas 1924...


We chatted for a whi…