Sunday, November 11, 2018

Thames (NZ): Armistice Day 1918 & 2018

Thames had been planning their peace celebrations all week, despite the worsening situation of influenza in the town and surrounds. The schools had closed and even the Post Office, while churches held very short services.

On 12 November, the paper reported that celebrations were being arranged, once it was definite the the peace agreement had been signed. Then on the front page of the late edition an overlay caption appeared (see below) The Armistice with Germany had been signed.


The newspaper the following day (13 November) reported the towns dilemma, while flags were being flow all around the town, many had been lowered to half mast, on account of all the deaths that occurring in the district from the influenza outbreak.

2018, 11 November.
Today the town has remembered the 100th Anniversary of Armistice, with a service up on the Waiotahi Hill beneath the Thames Peace Memorial. Shuttle van and cars ferried people to the event, while others were like mountain goats climbing the steps from Upper Albert Street.


  

  


The service was co-ordinated by the Thames RSA, opening prayers from Rev Brendon Wilkinson of the St George's Church, Thames. Followed by short speeches from Scott Simpson MP and Sally Christie TCDC Councillor. All spoke of the effects of war for those who came home, as well as the numbers lost overseas. The ATC stood guard, at the car park and surrounding the Peace Memorial.

 
Scott Simpson (left) and Sally Christie (right) addressing the crowd.

  
The TCDC wreath was laid by Sally and friends.

  
Thames Nurses laid a wreath (left) and Scott Simpson MP (right).

   
A wreath was laid by the RSA followed by a prayer. The last Post was played and the wreaths were then taken by the ATC Guards to be laid at the base of the cenotaph. 


 


The wreaths presented by the RSA, Thames Nurses, Scott Simpson MP and the TCDC.

Those gathered then climbed the path to the Peace Memorial.

 Thames Nurses gathered at the Memorial to remember the nurses who served overseas in the Great War. Four dressed in the commemorative WWI uniform and two in the uniform from the 1980s.

LEST WE FORGET

Thames (NZ): Le Quesnoy and the Thames Connection

There is an online documentary series by Jude Dobson that I have not yet had time to watch, but mark it down as a must. Why? When compiling the list of WWI ROH100 for November I noted that there were the names of at least two men who are remembered at the cemetery at Le Quesnoy:

RAE Thomas Handley12/3453; 2nd Lieutenant NZRB KIA, and buried at Le Quesnoy Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France and HUNTER  John Joseph49153; Private  2nd Batt WIR, KIA, and buried at Le Quesnoy Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France.


Reading an article by Jude Dobson in the New Zealand Herald, Sunday 11 November 2018, the name of Bernard Ayling is recorded. 

The article discusses the Dolores Cross Project where our soldiers overseas are taken a little bit of New Zealand. Dobson recalled placing one for NZ soldier Bernard Ayling, "Another, Bernard Ayling, I knew of as the wounded man on the stretcher in an archive photo - their concern wondering if he would survive. Alas, he did not.

AYLING Arthur Bernard; 23/58; 2nd Lieutenant 1st Batt 3rd NZRB

Bernard Ayling was the son of Stanley and Minnie Ayling of Rolleston Street Thames. Stan worked in the Post Office and Bernard was a clerk in Auckland on enlistment. Bernard's brother Herbert had died in 1915.

The full article is online : Armistice day: Lest We Forget.
NZ soldier Bernard Ayling on stretcher at Le Quesnoy. Photo / Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira


Bernard Ayling's grave in Romeries Communal Cemetery Extenstion, France.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Thames (NZ): Armistice Day Eve 1918

While to the town tried to cope with the flu pandemic, the Thames Star Newspaper was still full of news of the Great War end.

NOVEMBER 1918 ROH
There were still men dying in the month of November 1918:
4/11/1918 In the Field, France; RAE Thomas Handley12/3453; 2nd Lieutenant NZRB KIA, and buried at Le Quesnoy Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France
4/11/1918 In the Field, France; AYLING Arthur Bernard23/58; 2nd Lieutenant 1st Batt 3rd NZRB
4/11/1918 In the Field, France; HUNTER  John Joseph49153; Private  2nd Batt WIR, KIA, and buried at Le Quesnoy Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France
5/11/1918 In the Field, France; JUDD Reginald Augustine42942; Gnr 1st Brigade NZFA 1st Battery
7/11/1918 Staffordshire, England; ELLIOT Alexander Noel76918; Rifleman 5th (Res) Batt 3rd NZRB
7/11/1918 Auckland, New Zealand; MORRISON Harry4/1571; Sapper NZETC
9/11/1918 Auckland, New Zealand; DEEBLE William45487; Private 1st Batt AIR
9/11/1918 Auckland, New Zealand; TWEEDIE  Alexander Nelson2/1909; Bombardier  NZFA
10/11/1918 Whangarei, New Zealand; COAKLEY Austin Edward12/326; Sergeant-Major AIR
13/11/1918 Auckland, New Zealand; MURPHY Dennis84881; Private Maori Reinforcements
15/11/1918 Palmerston North, New Zealand; TRUSCOTT  John10/3139; Pte 2nd Batt WIR 17th Coy
18/11/1918 Featherston, New Zealand; TONKS Percival Gordon86391; Private NZTU
21/11/1918 Auckland, New Zealand; SMITH Albert Harrison35522; Sergeant Permanent Band
24/11/1918 Trentham, New Zealand; MARSHALL Cecil James Cunningham89710; Corporal NZTU
25/12/1918 Thames, New Zealand ; HALL Walter Ernest7/603; Sergeant CMR
28/11/1918 Samoa; MARTIN  George Peter23/2235; Lance Corporal  Samoan Relief Force
29/11/1918 Germany; HAWKINS Benjamin Arthur64502; Private No 2 NZ Entrenching Bttn

Thames Star Newspaper 10 November 1918
Thamesites celebrated the end of the wharf a few days early, with bells tolling and horns tooting, only to be told that confirmation of the end of the war had not yet been officially received!

The towns folk where reminded that they should wait until official news was received - there would be three tolls at intervals of the Shortland and Pahau Street Firebells. People should then quickly proceed to the Shortland end of Pollen Street and march behind the bands to the Park. The proclamation would then be read!

UPDATE ON THE PROCLAMATION in the next post.

WW100 FOREST UPDATE 10 11 2018
Driving past the WW100 Commemorative Forest it was pleasing to see the progress being made to the forest located at Rhodes Park, south of the Kauaeranga River.

A boardwalk crossing has been made from the car park over the drain to the cycle/walkway. An entrance is being constructed and a covered kiosk that will have information on the forest and the war. Well done TCDC and all concerned with the project.
 


  

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Thames (NZ): 1918 Flu Pandemic remembered

While the town and country prepares for Armistice Day  it is important to remember another event. The month that the Spanish Flu left its mark on the people of the town.

The background is available on history NZ
There is a page that outlines death rates.
These figures are taken from Geoffrey Rice, Black November: the 1918 influenza pandemic, University of Canterbury Press, 2005. The population figures are those of the 1916 Census. Death rate is per 1,000 of population. Maori populations for counties are inclusive of interior boroughs. Only registered Maori deaths are listed, and these are not available for some districts. The total death toll for New Zealand is thought to be about 9000.
The details for the Thames Area are:

Thames November 1918
We will follow the Thames Star and record the problems the town endured and lives lost - while remembering that the figures are on the low side as many Thames people took ill and died while being away or with family in other towns.

1st November: The paper had news on how the influenza could be treated if it arrived.

5th November: News that the influenza had arrived in Auckland. Concern was expressed that Thames had to plan for the worst

6th November: The Influenza disease was officially named as an epidemic by the Minister of Health.

7th November: It was reported the Board of Health had locally checked the situation in Thames and it was aware that there were many cases of influenza but none of a serious nature.

TS 9 Nov 1918
8th November: A local man who had travelled by train from Auckland yesterday reported that several onboard had influenza.

9th November: Deaths were occurring but often retrospectively it is hard for us to assign them as flu deaths in the local paper. 

Things had really kicked in at Thames with inhalation stations set up around the town and the railway stations. The town divided into three districts with available ladies checking and caring for those who could not, while the technical classes were asked to cook meals for those who couldn't manage.

Eighty-five people went through the hospital's inhalation room, while nearby Kerepehi had over 200 take the inhalation treatment (the area badly hit). Public places had been closed the previous evening, but the high school was kept open.

10th November: MORE COMING SOON


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Thames (NZ): The Thames Guardian and Mining Record 1871-1872 ONLINE

Wow, a new newspaper online at PapersPast!


"Available online 1871-1872
Gold was discovered at Thames in 1867 and the town itself grew from three goldfield settlements, Shortland, Tookeys Flat and Grahamstown. By 1868 the population had grown to 15,000. The first newspaper, the Thames Advertiser and Miners’ News was launched on 11 April 1868 by William Wilkinson (1838-1921) and Claude Corlett (c.1836-1906). It was soon followed by the Times and Thames Miners’ Advocate, and the Thames Evening Star, both started by William Shaw (?-1876).
Corlett pulled out of the Thames Advertiser in 1870 and started up the daily Thames Guardian and Mining Record the following year. The first issue of his new paper appeared on Saturday 7 October 1871.

The Guardian folded at the beginning of September 1872, having lasted only 11 months. By then both gold production and the population of Thames were on the decline. The plant was sold to the proprietors of the Hawkes Bay Times and Corlett moved on to the Christchurch Press, which he managed for a number of years.

Although short-lived, the Guardian offers an insight into the life of the Thames goldfields shortly after their discovery not otherwise available because hardly any issues of the earlier newspapers published before 1871 have survived."

Source: https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/thames-guardian-and-mining-record

INTERESTING NEWS:
Take a look at some of the news reported in these editions.
  • In December 1871 - they felt a new site for the hospital was required due to insufficient ground space!
  • Death notices in all editions. For example on 12 June 1872 there were notices for: Matthew McCrae, George Bull, Percy Herbert, George McGregor, Cecilia Smale, and Charles Mellsop.
  • Hotel transfer news: For the Albion, Salutation and Union Hotel. (2 May 1872)
  • The paper even has sketches of old shops! The sketch below is of the small shop that was located north of the Wharf Hotel in Brown Street.

The Greatest Wonder of the World

Monday, November 5, 2018

Thames (NZ): Baillie Street Thames Hospital Model

The Thames Hospital 150 Commemorations were held 2-4 November. Hundreds came to remember their or their families time at the hospital (both past and present).

The hospital is lucky to have one of Mr Ted Egan's miniature building models and it looked splendid on a new table stand. The stand was made by the Thames Menzshed. The backdrop photo is the work of KMG Print, Thames.

There is to be a protective cover placed over the model for its protection.

 Views of the Thames Hospital building model, by Ted Egan.

Background:
The Baillie Street building was opened in October 1900 - a grand hospital with four large wards and a central two-storied administrative block that also provided accommodation.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Thames (NZ): True Tales of Thames Hospital 1868-2018 Book RELEASED

The book launch was part of the opening of the Thames Hospital 150 Commemoration events this weekend.

Sadly the hall was packed to overflowing with a combined Wine & Cheese. But we got there and the book was launched.

Some speeches by Mr Paul Silvester (TH150 Chair & Co-Editor), Geraldine Dunwoodie (True Tales Co-ordinator The Treasury), Rod Perkins (last Thames Hospital Board CEO) and myself.

The response has been amazing, the worst part being so many now wish they had contributed a story..so maybe in the future another will be in the pipeline.

For now the book is on-sale at The Finance Office, Thames Hospital or at Carsons Bookshop, Thames. Cost $40.

  
Update 6/11/2018. Photographs from the book launch at the St George's Church Hall Friday 2 Nov. 
LEFT: Neil, Pauline and Sue man the book sales table.  RIGHT: Geraldine spreads the word about the 'True Tales' Project.
Photographs courtesy of Robyn Wilson.
=======================================
UPDATE: Name omission
on page i a name has been omitted from the list of Thames Hospital 150 Group Members:
the list should include Althea Loveday

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Thames (NZ): Korowai Display Thames Hospital

At 10am today, Tuesday 30 October 2018, a spectacular new display was added to the taonga that line the ground floor corridor at Thames Hospital Te Whare Hauora o te Kauaeranga. 

Weavers and supporters gathered, while the blessing was performed by Ngāti Maru Kaumatua Wati Ngamane. The five framed, miniature Korowai were then unveiled. (photo right) 

The next person to speak was Korowai Weaver and teacher Maata McManus QSM. Maata had been asked by Jacquie Mitchell (Thames Hospital Service Manager) to see if it was possible to provide a Korowai for the Thames Hospital 150. The result was that this incredible teacher of Korowai, gathered cloaks from women from Thames and wider district. One of them by Susan King (Kaitiaki at Thames Hospital) (Other names to follow)

Maata McManus standing left of the Korowai, and Wati Ngamane at the right end.
During proceedings Mrs McManus revealed that it was a very special time for her, as just the day before she was in Wellington and had received the great honour of being awarded a Commonwealth Point of Light Award for her inspirational work teaching the traditional art of Korowai.
"Maata McManus, representing New Zealand, is a pioneering health worker who is using the ancient Maori art of weaving traditional feathered cloaks to reach local women in need of care and support." UK Prime Ministers Office.
The women recalled that they had made many cloaks since the being taught the art of cloak making by Maata. The feathers came from several species of birds including pheasant.



Two of the Korowai in the new collection.
The photographs above of the Korowai weavers and their supporters.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Thames (NZ): New mural and more to follow at Thames Hospital


Its finally done, another item ticked off the Thames Hospital 150 checklist. Apologies for the poor photographic effort, but here is the latest addition to Te Whare Hauora o te Kauaeranga - Thames Hospital.

The 4.4m mural shows Shortland Town at the end of 1868, with the Thames Diggers' Hospital on the far right (surrounded by a fence). The mural is located on the north wall, off the main foyer, from the Mackay Street car park. The 'special wall' encourages visitors, patients and staff to wander along the corridor and view all the photographs and memorabilia on display.

This brilliant design is by Clint at KMG. Plus special thanks to Clint and Reon who worked late to apply the print to the wall - a job well done by KMG Print, Thames.

MORE TO COME:
This Tuesday 30 October 2018 at 10am, five framed Korowai will be blessed and added to the Hospital's collection of taonga.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Thames (NZ): Thames Hospital 150 Slideshow

The Thames Hospital 150 Commemorations are nearly upon us.

Here is a short slideshow about the hospital which shows a few  building events over the decades.

The Thames Hospital Commemoration Slideshow is available to view now.

Thames Hospital, Baillie Street Thames c1910.
PS. At 11am Saturday 20 October there is a new display opening at the Thames Museum that also celebrates Thames Hospital 150 Years.

***Last chance to register now - details on the Thames Hospital Facebook site.***

--------------------------------------------------

Remember the book "True Tales of Thames Hospital 1868-2018" launches Friday 2 November.
Just $40, 320 pages, a third in colour. Full of history over the decades. 
You can reserve your copy today.
Email the Thames Hospital for further details.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Thames (NZ): Thames WWI ROH - October 1918 Remembered


October 1918. With the war coming to a close after four long years, there was sadly no let up in the number of war related deaths. A further ten Thames men were Killed in Action during the month.

The details are: Date of Death/Place of Death/ Name/ Regimental No and details

1/10/1918 In the Field, France; GRUBB Otto Undrill31631; Private 1st Batt AIR
1/10/1918 In the Field, France; HANCOCK Archless Robert29397; Private 1st Batt AIR
1/10/1918 In the Field, France; TREMBATH George Henry31748; Private 1st Batt AIR
1/10/1918 In the Field, France; RICE William John52467; Private 1st Batt AIR
2/10/1918 In the Field, France; LOWSON Albert Leslie64084; Private 1st Batt WIR
5/10/1918 In the Field, France; ELVIN John Victor73330; Rifleman 1st Batt 3rd NZRB
5/10/1918 In the Field, France; TAYLOR Victor John Huia23/931; Corporal 1st Batt 3rd NZRB
6/10/1918 In the Field, France; NICHOLLS Fredrick19371; Private NZ Maori (Pioneer) Batt
8/10/1918 In the Field, France; CLINKER George Francis68239; Rifleman 2nd Batt 3rd NZRB
23/10/1918 In the Field, France; BARRETT Fredrick62236; Private NZ Machine Gun Batt A Coy

Background:
OTTO GRUBB: Otto was born at Thames, the son of Henry Thomas and Esther Grubb. He went to school at the Waiokaraka and Kauaeranga Girls’ School. On enlistment he was working as a pipe layer for the Auckland City Council. He had served in France from June 1917, and was Killed in Action on 1 October 1918, in the field, France. 

ARCHLESS HANCOCK: Archie was the son of Rosina and William Hancock, and he was born in Thames and was schooled in Thames. Hancock was only in the field for two weeks, when he was Killed in Action 1 October 1918.

GEORGE TREMBATH: George was born at Thames, the son of Francis and Emma Couch Trembath, the family lived in Pollen Street, Thames. Trembath's father was Mayor in the 1900s. George attended the Waiokaraka School at Thames until March 1907, when the family moved to Epsom in Auckland.  He was first reported missing on the 1st October 1918, but a fellow Private reported that “On 1-10-18 I saw 31748 Pte Trembath get killed by a shell near 1st Bn Ak Regt HQ.”  Trembath was then named as Killed in Action on 1 October 1918, in the field France.  

WILLIAM RICE: William went to school in Thames. He was the son of Mrs S Rice of Waihi, and was a labourer at Mangaiti on enlistment. Rice was Killed in Action 1 October 1918.

ALBERT LOWSON: Albert was born in America, the family then came to live in Thames (Beach Road). Albert attended the Catholic School, then Thames High School, he then went to work in the Post Office. Lowson was barely in the field for one week, when he was Killed in Action 2 October 1918.

JOHN ELVIN: John was born at Thames, his parents were William Robert and Charlotte Elvin. The family lived at Turua, where John was educated and later at Paeroa; before the war, and worked as a labourer for Bagnall Bros of Turua.  Elvin arrived in France in September and, within a few weeks, he was Killed in Action on 5 October 1918, in the field, France. 

VICTOR TAYLOR: Victor was born at Te Awamutu, the son of William Huia and Elizabeth Taylor. Victor was educated in Paeroa, then came to Thames High School. Apart from this time at Thames he had been in Paeroa nearly all his life.   He was Killed in Action on 5 October 1918, in the field, France. 

FREDRICK NICHOLLS: A member of the NZ Maori Pioneer Battalion. Nicholls was born in Thames, the son of Humphrey and Ngahura Tamihana Nicholls, later of Te Puke. 

GEORGE CLINKER: George's parents were Henry and Johannah Clinker, the family lived in Mackay Street, Thames. He was schooled at the Waiotahi School. When he enlisted he was working at Whakatane. Clinker had only been overseas since 23 April 1918, when he was wounded in the field and died the same day (8 October 1918).

FREDRICK BARRETT: Fred was born and schooled in Coromandel. He enlisted in 1917, and underwent training overseas at Sling Camp in England. Barrett went to France in March and was Killed in Action 23 October 1918. His name appears on the Thames WWI ROH Memorial.

Full list of Thames WWI ROH Deaths available HERE

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Thames (NZ): Thames Hospital unveils carving - 'Te Tirohanga'

The carving ready to be unveiled,
foyer Thames Hospital
Thames Hospital was established 150 years ago, today at the hospital, the unveiling of a carving recognised the relationship between local iwi and the hospital.

The carving was blessed and unveiled at 9am, 2 October 2018. Present were local iwi led by Kaumatua Wati Ngamane and Dr Korohere Ngapo.

The carving is named 'Te Tirohanga' and is the work of local carvers.
 
Top left: The blessing begins. Top right: The carving is unveiled.
Above: There ceremony continues in the foyer of Thames Hospital.

Master carver Darin Jenkins, gave a full description of the carving, which has been done using locally sourced kauri.

In the centre are photographs of the Thames Hospital c1900, that give the impression of having been etched into the wood.

A full description of the carving is available online.
"Master carver Darin Jenkins created the piece, together with several other carvers.
He said the Pare-Lintel wall furnishing, which hangs in the hospital's main entrance, represented the coming together of two peoples for the benefit, health and wellbeing off all.

This relationship is shown in the piece by the acknowledgement of each other by the hongi, the pressing together of noses enabling the merging of "Hā ora" the breath of life, the life essence, as expressed in the saying "Tīhei mauri ora".

"The beauty of this uniting concept is reinforced by native Huia and introduced pheasant birds on either side representing the gift of trust between peoples."  Between the central photo and bird figure are spiral patterns known as takarangi representing hononga joining – unity in the realm of enlightenment, Te Ao Marama, the world of light."
Source: Stuff.co.nz

ABOVE: Full view of the carving  'Te Tirohanga'.
BELOW: Closer look at the central carving of the Maori Chief and the Nurse,

  
ABOVE: Closer look left at the central photos of the hospital that have been incorporated into the carving, And right the kiwi and query huia combined to represent the native birds of Aortearoa.