Pat had known Violet, David and Eric Latto, as they were all around his age, however until we started with the family history, he was unaware that there was a third son, the younger Alex Latto.
Alex Latto's father, James Latto was born in Swannanoa, North Canterbury to David Latto and Janet Latto nee Hislop in 1883. He married Mary Tarling around 1909 and died in Christchurch aged 81. He had worked on the railways and had apparently fought in the Boer War.
Here, Pat writes to Alex:
Well this would be a surprise to you getting a letter from your cousin, Pat Nidd. To avoid any confusion, any reference to Pat refer s to William Thomas, the names I was christened. Pat is a nick name and it has caused endless confusion over the years.
I don't know how to start. I always knew of Violet, David and Eric but did not know of you. It was only when I spoke to Violet on the phone when I was in Christchurch in March that she mentioned you. I am 80 and you are a few years younger.
It is possible that my sisters in Christchurch both who died a year or two years ago may have mentioned you as apparently they used to see Vi, David and Eric now and again. They used to get things a bit muddled up and I used to get garbled messages from them.
Now, interesting it is that some research into the Latto's has brought this about. Philippa my granddaughter said to me a few months ago that she was going to do some research on the Latto's - who was my grandmother, where did she come from , where did she live, cousins, uncles, aunts.
I had some papers which I got from Isabel Butler. They were copies which she got from Violet and were compiled by Baden her son.*
Over the years I was a bit interested in the Latto families, the only ones I knew anything about was your family. I did not know anything of the others although I had heard my mother talk of the Falloons - but I never was sure of the relationship.
I was born in Wellington on 17 February 1914.
... Edward Michael still living, Francis Gerald still living, Angela Adelaide deceased and Joan Hilary deceased.
In the Gill family there were eight - four boys and four girls. They were Maurice, Gerald, Mary, Adelaide, Frank, Paul, Monica and Kathleen.
Maurice and Paul followed their father in the tailoring business. Gerald became a Marist Priest and taught at several colleges and was Rector at St Augustines College, Wanganui and St Patrick's, Silverstream - he died in 1991. Maurice and Paul are both dead.
Mary and Adelaide both married and are now dead.
Frank, you probably have heard of. He joined the air force in NZ in 1936 and went to the UK in 1938. He had a fairly distinguished record in the RAF during the war awarded a DSO for an exploit on Berlin and rose to the rank of Wing Commander. On return to New Zealand after the war in 1948 he continued in the air force here and became an Air Commodore as deputy chief of air staff. He retired when he was commanding Operations Group at Whenuapai and went to live up the East Coast Bays raising cattle when Muldoon talked him into standing for Parliament in the East Coast Bays seat, which he won. He was Minister of Defence, Police, Health and Immigration. He then went to Washington USA as our ambassador. When he became ill with cancer, he returned to NZ and died in Auckland in 1981.
Jennie, whom I have mentioned married a Falloon and George, her son, became a Presbyterian Minister and was the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in 1970.
Monica and Kathleen Gill are still alive and live in Wellington. Monica is married and not in very good health - result of a stroke a couple of years aog. Kathleen is a Catholic nun - she served in the Islands for a year or so and is now looking after the welfare of islanders around Wellington.
So you have ten cousins still living in New Zealand. There may be some in Perth but I don't think so. There are eleven Latto's in the Perth phone book. Mary Pearl Latto - see under George Latto in the family tree** visited Perth about thirty years and the Latto's there made her most welcome.
When I write further I will enlarge on your cousins.
In our family we have one boy and one girl - Michael, 49, and Jennifer, 45. I married Kathleen Todd of Wellington who was a close friend of Adelaide Gill - that is how I met her.
Michael is Philippa's father. He lives in Feilding with his wife Pauline. Philippa has two younger sister Jacquelyn and Victoria. Jacquelyn is at university at Wellington and Victoria is in her last year at college in Feilding. Michael has been in the meat business all his life with Agriculture Dept and Borthwicks but ten years ago he set up his own consultancy business in Feilding. He has operations in NZ, Australia, Saudi Arabia, UK and has been pretty sucessful.
Jennifer was married, now separated. On separating she bougth a small farm near Masterton which she is now leasing. She is working looking after P.J. Borthwick, on of the partners of the Borthwick Empire. He is...
...reading "The River rules my Life" that I read in the fly leaf where Mona thanked her Aunt Mary Latto for information and photos. She also mentioned her brother Mick Tarling.
I am pretty certain that Mick Tarling is the one I knew here in the 1960s and was an Instructor at the Police School. It was in the six o'clock closing days for the pubs. He and a cobber of his, Lance Bandwell, used to drink at the old Te Aro Hotel where I used to drink. It was owned by Jim Smither from Christchurch who I used to go to Marist School with. Anyhow one Saturday night when I was not at the pub they turned up home here with a load of beer with a cobber of mine. I got to know Mick and Lance pretty well - both finished up Chief Superintendents.
When I was down in March I think it was Violet who told me that Mick had the pub at the Hill Top, Little River.
My father was married twice. It was, I think, in 1907 he had the Wellington Hotel lease. His first wife died in child birth with her second child. yes, it was 1907 the year his father died at the Wellington. Dad's mother died in 1900 and they are both buried here in Wellington in the Mount Street Cemetery.
After the Wellington Hotel he had the Te Aro Hotel where mother was a barmaid. Mum told me that she was one of the first barmaids who were required to be licensed in 1908. Eventually he married mum and I was born there in 1914.***
Mum and Auntie Addie must have come to Wellington about 1905 I think. If only I had talked with your father (Uncle Jim of Addington) about this.
Auntie Addie married a Thomas Gill who boarded at a private hotel here in Wellington. The Gills, I think, came from Darfield. Old Mrs Gill - Tom's mother - used to live in Jerrold Street - she was still alive in 1938. Tom Gill and a brother boarded at this hotel - the brother was Arthur. They were tailors by trade.
Tom Gill eventually started in business here as a tailor and stayed such all his life. he had two sons Maurice and Paul who came into the business. Maurice and Paul are both dead.
Arthur Gill went to Dunedin where he had a pretty substantial tailoring business. Another brother, Jim, was a carrier. He had a horse and flat top and lived at the top of Lincoln Road near Sunnyside. I remember him well.
*Baden Dingwall was Violet's son-in-law - things were confused as Baden married Violet's daughter Molly, who was also a Dingwall - their fathers had been cousins. Baden was a wealth of genealogical knowledge but passed away some time around 2006.
**Mary Pearl Latto was daughter of George Latto, David's brother, so was a cousin of Mary Nidd nee Latto.
***Actually, Pat was born on the Terrace at a private hospital - but his father did own the Te Aro Hotel at the time.
Ernest Edward Timperley was born around 1884 in England. I believe he probably arrived in Wellington as a third class passenger on the ship Arawa in June 1910. Following his marriage to Constance Latto in 1914, Ernie died on 4 March 1916 aged just 32. The following obituary appeared in the Evening Post on 6 March 1916:
The following day, on 7 March 1916 in the Evening Post, this appeared:
What did Ernie Timperley look like? Here's a clue:
Inside left forward in the YMCA and Wellington Representative Association Football Team
The above cartoon appeared in the New Zealand Free Lance paper on 24 July 1909.