Monday, December 31, 2012

WWI Legal Casuality - Hawera - W.R. "Roy" Foden and the Bray family

One day I was sitting in the Hawera District Court, awaiting a case to be called, and I noticed the name of a young man who had been a casualty in World War One - W.R. Foden.  Looking him up prompted this entry, which has been sitting in draft form for some time.  Surprisingly, I found he had a connection with Feilding and his family lived just around the corner from where we now reside!

Edward Foden (1854 - 18 October 1947) married Grace Eliza Bray (1868, NZ - 16 December 1941, Hawera) in 1888.  

Grace was the daughter of Civil Engineer Charles Bray and his wife Emma Harvey.  

Charles Bray was born around 1840 and was the son of Charles Bray (1809 - 1868 and buried at Wakapuaka Cemetery, Nelson).  Charles, the eldest son in the family, married Emma (nee Harvey) on 8 July 1863 at Christ Church by the Bishop of Nelson.  She had been born around 1846.  

Charles and Emma spent their early marriage in Nelson before heading north.  It seems that the Bray family left Nelson some time in late 1874 or 1875, after Charles' brother, Joseph Thomas Bray, left their business and fled to Australia. The following was reported in The Colonist newspaper on 29 June 1875:

We take the following from the Southern Cross respecting a case heard in Auckand in which several parties in Nelson are interested:—

Re Bray Brothers.

This was a petition for adjudication. Mr Hesketh appeared for the petitioning creditor and moved that the order for adjudication should be made absolute.

Mr Bennett appeared on behalf of the debtors to show cause against the adjudication. The Petitioning creditor relied upon an allegation that the debtors had absented themselves from Nelson for a certain period, with a view to defeating and delaying their creditors, and that such constituted an act of bankruptcy. The petition was dated the 10th.

The debtors were contractors, carrying on works in Nelson. Joseph Thomas Bray, having fallen into dissipated habits, left the place for Australia, and some time afterwards, Charles Bray, having received an offer of employment at Manawatu, in Wellington, also went away, leaving the estate in an embarrassed condition, with one large creditor secured.

The petitioning creditor, Mr Harley, brewer to whom the debtors owed £208 4s, alleged that Charles Bray had left Nelson without sufficient notice to his creditors of his intention, and petitioned for an adjudication of bankruptcy.

There were a number of affidavits on both sides, Charles Bray alleging that he did not leave Nelson with a desire to defeat or delay his creditors, and that he left openly, and without any concealment of his intention.

Mr Bennett was heard at length in support of his contention that there had been no act of bankruptcy committed, but that Charles Bray had taken the best step he could for the payment of his creditors by obtaining employment.
Mr Hesketh was heard on the other side.

His Honor was of opinion that an order of adjudication, should be made absolute as against Charles Bray, who had, according to the affidavits, left no one in charge of his estate, and departed from Nelson with the intention of defeating and delaying, his creditors. Joseph Thomas Bray had committed no act of bankruptcy. It was the duty of the Court, in order if possible, to obtain an equal distribution of the estate amongst all the creditors to make the order absolute as against Charles Bray. The Court then rose.

Charles was definitely in Feilding by 2 August 1878, when he served on an inquest jury into the death of a man named George Smith, who had been found dead on 1 August 1878 at a whare near Awahuri.  The inquest was held at the Denbigh Hotel in Feilding.  Incidentally, the unfortunate Mr Smith was determined to have died of natural causes. 

The Bray family quickly established themselves in Feilding, settling finally in Grey Street.  Charles, as Engineer for the Manchester Road Board and then the Oroua County Council, organised and arranged tenders for the building of structures and roads.  These included tenders for things like the Masonic Lodge in Feilding and the Wesleyan Church, as well as greens for the Feilding Bowling Club.  Charles worked closely with the founding members of Feilding and districts.  He was variously also described throughout contemporary reports as an 'architect', 'clerk' and 'rate collector' for the County Council or Road Board.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, as at 1897, detailed information about the Manchester Road Board:

The Manchester Road Board has its offices in Manchester Street, Feilding. The members of the Board are:—Messrs. F. Y. Lethbridge, M.H.R. (chairman), Feilding; James Purkiss, Halcombe; G. C. Wheeler, Stanway; H. J. Booth, Makino; W. G. Pearce, Colyton; and D. Thomas, Ashurst. Mr. Charles Bray, sen., is the secretary, valuer, returning officer, and engineer. The Road Board was established in 1879, and with the exception of the borough of Feilding, the whole of the Manchester Block, comprising an area of 106,000 acres, comes under its jurisdiction. The rateable capital value is £878,592. The Board's income amounts to about £2500 per annum. A general rate of 8d. in the pound, with a special rate of three-sixteenths of a penny in the pound, is levied by the Board. The district is divided into six wards, each of which returns one member to the Board. Some of the wards have special rates which apply to them only. There are about 700 ratepayers in the district.

Further, it contained information about Charles personally:

Mr Charles Bray, Senr., the Secretary of the Manchester Road Board, resides in Grey Street, Feilding. He was appointed to the position of secretary, engineer, etc., in 1879, on the foundation of the Board. He was born in Cornwall, and came out, per ship “Palmyra,” to Nelson in 1858. Mr. Bray commenced his colonial career in Nelson. He had afterwards a considerable experience on the West Coast and Otago diggings. As a contractor, he subsequently undertook the formation of roads and construction of bridges for about eleven years.

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, as at 1906, detailed information about the Oroua County Council:

The Oroua County Council has jurisdiction over a large extent of prosperous farming country, adjacent to Feilding. It was established in the year 1903 to supersede the Manchester Road Board. The area of the county is 213 square miles, and the population at the census of 1906 was 3,698. Rates are levied on the capital value; there is a general rate of £⅝d. in the pound, and also special rates.

Charles was elected Church Warden of the St John's Anglican parish in February 1884.  He replaced Mr A. Dawson, who had recently died.

Charles was a member of the Feilding Fire Brigade.  On 23 April 1891, the following letter appeared in the Feilding Star.  Monkton St is also just around the corner from our home - obviously named after "Dr Monkton." 

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Apparently Charles was known in Feilding as "Old Mr Charles Bray", presumably to distinguish him from his son, "Young Mr Charles Bray."

Charles and Emma had a large family of twelve children, with only one dying in infancy, and one dying as a child.  The family consisted as follows:

1. Charles Bray (19 July 1864).  This child was born at his grandfather, William Harvey's house in Hardy Street, Nelson.  

In the 30 May 1885 edition of the Manawatu Herald, it was reported that two sons of Charles Bray were to open a business as general storekeepers in Ashhurst.  Presumably this was Charles Jnr, who would have been about 21 at the time, and his 19 year old brother Wiliam.  On 12 January 1886 the Feilding Star reported the Charles Jnr had been gazetted Postmaster in Ashhurst.  Obviously this venture didn't continue for more than a few years, as Charles Jnr took up his job with the Kiwitea County Council by 1896.

Charles Jnr married Wilhelmina Mary Cook (1864 - 1945) in 1889.  

Charles Jnr worked as an engineer for the Kiwitea County Council around 1896/97.  The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, as at 1897, detailed information about the Manchester Road Board:

The Kiwitea County Council, which was formed in 1892, having previously to this exercised the functions of a road board, is made up of the following ridings:—Makino, Apiti, Hautapu, Waituna, Kimbolton, Ongo, and Oroua. The annual rateable value in 1892 was £396,482, which in 1895 had increased to £29,000. The members for 1896 were:—Messrs. W. F. Jacob (chairman), J. J. Williamson, H. G. Shannon, Price-Jones, Wm. Morton, A. H. Tompkins, and Jas. Read. Mr. Chas. Bray is clerk to the Council, the meetings of which are held on the third Saturday in each month.

In 1892 Wilhelmina's brother Arthur was killed accidentally.  It was reported in the Feilding Star on 11 October 1892 that Charles Jnr travelled down to Wellington for the funeral:

A fatal shooting accident occurred at Makara on Sunday morning, by which a young man named Arthur C. Cook lost his life.  It appears that he and his brother were out shooting in a boat, and the deceased, on stepping on shore off the boat, took hold of the gun by the muzzle, when it went off, killing him almost instantly.  The deceased has relatives in Feilding, and his brother-in-law Mr Charles Bray, Junr. went to Wellington yesterday afternoon to attend the funeral which took place today.  

On 16 March 1899, the Kiwitea County Council, via the Feilding Star, announced the Charles Jnr had been appointed county Inspector of Abattoirs and Slaughterhouses.

Later Charles Jnr held the position of Engineer at the Paeroa County Council, and this is what he was doing in October 1904 when the Thames Star reported that he had filed for bankruptcy.  However, on 8 August 1905, Charles Jnr applied and was granted a discharge of bankruptcy.

Charles and Wilhelmina's family was as follows:
 1.1 Charles Bray (10 October 1890).  Family living in Queen St, Feilding at the time of his birth. 
 1.2 Alan Roland Bray (19 October 1894 - 1966).  Alan married Daisy Mary Evans in 1920.
 1.3 Ralph Adolph Bray (26 August 1896 - 31 July 1957).  Family living in Beattie St, Feilding at the time of this child's birth.  Ralph married Ida Knight (9 May 1893 - 2 September 1985) in 1919.  Ralph was listed as a Garage Attendant at the time of his death.  He is buried at the Kelvin Grove Cemetery in Palmerston North.      
 1.4 Lilian Emma "Lily" Bray (30 August 1898 - 1977).  Lily married Donald Sinclair Hay in 1927.
 1.5 Elsie Grace Bray (1901 - 1961).  Elsie married Walter Charles Bettelheim in 1929.
 1.6 Susan Bray (1903 - 1909).  Susan died aged just six years.
 1.7 William Arthur Bray (1905 - 1964).  William married Evelina Best in 1919.
 1.8 Wilhelmina Lottie Bray (1907).  Lottie married Thomas Westaly Lowe in 1928.
 1.9 Ruby May Bray (1909) 

2. William Bray (1866 - 1 August 1929) William married Lydia Maud Welch (1869 - 1959) at St Matthew's Anglican Church in Feilding on 5 February 1890.  Lydia was the daughter of the late Henry Welch of Masterton.  They were married by Rev. W.E. Page M.A.  Their family were as follows:

 2.1 Doris Errol Bray (1894)
 2.2 Lorna Mabelle Runalls Bray (1900)
 2.3 Eldon Arthur Bray (1901 - 1961).  In 1921, Eldon married Edna Maud Shortt (23 August 1902 - 1979), but it seems something must have been defective in relation to the marriage, as the following year he apparently 'remarried' her!  Eldon apparently left for Oakland, California between his marriage and the death of his father in 1929.  He later returned and died in New Zealand.  He is buried in the Karori Cemetery in Wellington 
 2.4 Elgar Harvey Bray (1906 - 1970) (note the use of the paternal grandmother's maiden name as a middle name).  

At William's death in Wellington in 1929, the Evening Post published the following obituary:

Mr. William Bray, of Upland road, Kelburn, whose death, at the age of 63, occurred on 1st August, was a son of the late Mr. Charles Bray, engineer for the Oroua County Council, who laid out the streets of Feilding and practically the whole of the roads in the Kiwitea, Kimbolton, and Ashhurst districts. Like his father, the deceased was extremely popular with all classes of the community.

He was born in Nelson in 1866, and lived there for 11 years, when he removed to Feilding. In 1902 he took up work in Hokitika, leaving that district eight years later for Greymouth. Fifteen years ago he came to Wellington and went on the staff of the Union Clothing Company, with which firm he was associated until the time of his death. His whole life was a very busy one, spent in the service of his fellow beings. He was a loyal and devoted member of the Anglican Church, and took his full share in its work. For many years he was a chorister in St. John's, Feilding. At Hokitika and at Greymouth, he gave his services as choirmaster and churchwarden. He also assisted on the West Coast as a lay-reader. Coming to Wellington in 1914 he joined the choir of St. Michael and All Angels Church, Kelburn, and was also appointed upon the vestry.

When he was in Hokitika the welfare of the young filled a large place in his heart, and he was one of the leading promoters of the Boy Scout movement there. He was also one of the founders of the Hokitika Bowling Club, and for many years was its secretary. In Wellington he joined the Kelburn Bowling Club, and the high esteem and affection in which he was held by the members of that club was shown by the exceptionally large number of members who were present when the last rites were performed. He was also a member of the Masonic Order, being connected with Tararua Lodge, Pahiatua, Pacific Lodge of Hokitika, Westland Kilwinning Lodge (of which he was Worshipful Master), and a member of the Royal Arch Chapter.

The funeral, which was very largely attended, took place from St. Michael and All Angels Church, Kelburn. He leaves a wife, two daughters, and two sons, the eldest of whom is in Oakland, California.

3. Emma Maria Bray (1867 - 1947).  Emma married Francis "Frank" Robert Linton in 1887.  Emma and Frank lived in Mangapiko, by Te Awamutu, and that is where Emma's mother retired too after Charles' death.  Emma and Frank had the following family:
 3.1 Margaret Grace Linton (1889).  Margaret married David Rutherford Anderson in 1912.
 3.2 Robert Charles Linton (1890 - 17 September 1916). Robert died in WWI while serving his country.  More information is available here
 3.3 Annie Lyle Linton (1892)
 3.4 Andrew William Linton (1895 - 14 August 1918).  Tragically, the Lintons lost another son to WWI, not long before the end of the war.  More information about Andrew's service is here.
 3.5 Barbara Elizabeth Linton (1897).  Barbara married Ernest George Matthews in 1909.
   3.5.1 Ernest Laidlaw Matthews (1910)
   3.5.2 John Edward George Matthews (1911)
 3.6 Isobel Zanna Linton (16 November 1898 - 1985).  Isobel married Roy Newton Johnstone (1892 - 1968) in 1921. 
 3.7 Francis Armstrong Linton (1901 - 1960).  Died unmarried. 
 3.8 Alister Murray "Murray" Linton (1904, at Halcombe - 1980).  Murray married Alice Maud Richardson (11 May 1908 - 2001) on 19 May 1930.  See here for a wealth of information on Murray Linton. 

 3.9 Harvey Little Linton (1905 - 1968).  Harvey married Lily May Richardson (1906 - 1968) in 1930.  It would appear that Harvey's wife Lily and Murray's wife Alice were sisters.  
 3.10 Janet Ellen Linton (1908).  Janet married Richard Beamish Smythe in 1928.

4. Grace Eliza Bray (1868 - 1941).  Grace married Edward Foden on 9 February 1888.  Two days later the Feilding Star published the following account of their betrothal:

Wedding Bells!
The marriage of Mr E. Foden, of Wellington, to Miss Grace E. Bray, daughter of Mr C. Bray, C.E., of this town, was the all absorbing event on Thursday last. The high esteem in which the parents of the bride ara deservedly held by everyone in the settlement, the popularity of the bride, whose services in the Church choir and as a singer at all charitable gatherings have been widely appreciated, added largely to the interest taken on the occasion of her marriage.

From two o'clock in the afternoon large numbers of persons, well dressed and well looking ladies and gentlemen, were seen wending their way up Manchester street in the direction of St. John's Church where the ceremony took place and by three o'clock the building was completely filled with a congregation composed of representatives from every family in Feilding and the neighborhood.

Punctually at three o'clock the bridegroom, Mr Foden, entered the church, accompanied by Mr Charles and Mr William Bray (brothers of the bride), Mr VV. Porthouse, and Mr Audrey, as groomsmen. Shortly afterwards the bride entered the church, attended by her father, followed by her bridesmaids her sisters, Miss Ada and Clara Bray, Miss Margaret Bartholomew, and Miss Wilhelmena Cook, of Wellington. The bride looked charming, dressed in embroidered muslin and white satin, with an embroidered veil and wreath of orange blossoms, as did the bridesmaids, who were dressed in white, with heliotrope ribbons. The marriage ceremony was most impressibly performed by the Rev. A. Hermon. The choir was in full strength, aud the choral service was very well rendered, Mrs Hermon officiating at the organ. After the ceremony was completed and the register signed. Mrs Hermon played the Wedding March as the bride and bridegroom marched down the aisle of the church. At the door Mr F. R. Linton (a brother-in-law of the bride) was waiting with a carriage and a pair of spanking greys, into which the happy couple were placed, and driven rapidly to the private house of Mr Bray in Grey street.

When leaving the church showers of rice and old shoes were fired after the departing vehicle. In order that there might be no mistake a pair of old boots were suspended in the rear of the carriage. At six o'clock in the evening the railway platform was crowded with wellwishers anxious to see the happy couple take their departure for New Plymouth, where they will spend the honeymoon. Rice and old shoes were again showered on the departing couple in marvellous abundance, while the same old pair of boots which had already done duty on the carriage were appended to the brake van.

We are quite certain we give utterance to the feelings and desires of every one who was then present, as well as those who were unavoidably absent, in wishing Mr and Mrs Foden every happiness this world can give, Mr Foden has been long known to many in Feilding as a most estimable young man, while Mrs Foden possesses every qualification necessary to make a good wife and companion through life. On the eve of her marriage she was presented by the Curate and members of the choir with a handsome clock, suitably inscribed, an account of which has already been published in our columns.
Edward Foden and Grace Bray Foden had five sons:

 4.1 Frederick Charles Foden (5 November 1888 - 1964).  Frederick was born at his grandparents' house in Feilding. At the time of his birth his parents were living in the Hutt, possibly on their way north to Hawera.  Frederick married Winifred Frances Stringer in 1922.   Fred became an optician and for a time worked out of Dowling Pharmacy in Hawera. 
 4.2  Edward Genders Foden (1893 - 1966).  Edward married Fay Cora Frederica Cross in 1921.  
 4.3  Norman Arthur Foden (27 May 1894 - September 1978).  
Norman also served in WWI, leaving Wellington with the 7th Reinforcements, 2nd Battalion, F company on 27 May 1916.  His destination was England.  He was also a Rifleman and at the time he enlisted, he was a schoolmaster.  Unlike younger brother Roy, Norman survived his time abroad.

Norman married Frances Campbell (1892 - June 1954) in 1923.  Norman worked in Wellington as a Barrister and Solicitor, was in partnership with a Henry James Thompson, and acted for the Crown.  He also published at least three books, including The Constitutional Development of New Zealand in the first decade (1839 - 1849).  

On 24 July 1937, after being awarded his doctorate, the Evening Post published the following:

The degree of doctor of laws was conferred upon Messrs. Norman Arthur Foden (Wellington) and Ross Hepburn (Christchurch) at the monthly meeting of the executive committee of the New Zealand University Senate, yesterday. Mr. Foden was first educated at Hawera, and was dux of the Hawera High School. He continued his studies at Victoria University College, where he had a distinguished career, graduating master of arts in 1925 and master of laws in 1926.

Mr. Foden is a barrister and solicitor by profession, and has been in practice in Wellington since 1921. Nearly two years ago he joined the Crown Law Office, where he is now an acting Crown solicitor. He is lecturer in accountancy law at Victoria, University College. With three brothers he served as an infantryman in the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces in France, being twice wounded 'in the battle of the Somme.

In 1934 and 1935 he was in London collecting material at the public records office for his thesis, "The Genesis of New Zealand Legal History," for which he was awarded his doctorate, the examiner being Professor Berridale Keith, of Edinburgh University.

Mr. Foden has always taken a keen interest in sport, both as a player and an administrator, and he has been prominent in swimming, hockey, and lawn tennis. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Edward Foden, Hawera, and he is a nephew of Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Grundy, Hawker Street, Wellington.

Norman is buried at the Picton Cemetery with his wife Frances.
Dr N Foden, representing the Crown, and Dr O C Mazengarb, appearing for the master of the Waipiata, at the inquiry into the collision between the Taranaki and the Waipiata. Photograph taken Jun 1950 by an Evening Post staff photographer.

 4.4 William Roy "Roy" Foden (1896 - 12 October 1917).  Roy is the one who drew me to research this family, as his name appeared on the Roll of Honour in the Hawera Courthouse, as I said earlier.  He worked for legal firms prior to his death and thus is honoured in this way.  The first firm he seems to have worked for was Halliwell and Sellar, under partners Herbert Halliwell and Robert Gardiner Sellar, which came into being as a partnership of Barristers and Solicitors on 21 August 1912.  This partnership dissolved on 18 May 1915, and Halliwell entered into another partnership with Arnold Thomson and Frederick Campbell Spratt.  The firm was known as Halliwell, Spratt and Thomson, Barristers and Solicitors. They operated out of Regent Street in Hawera.  

Roy Foden left New Zealand as a Rifleman with the 1st Battalion of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, on 9 October 1915.   He left from Wellington and was destined for Suez, Egypt.  Obviously he saw some years of service before his death in Belgium on 12 October 1917.

On 17 October 1917, the Hawera & Normanby Star published the news of his death:

The news of this young officer's death in action will be learnt with sorrowful pride by many friends in Hawera and district. He was the fourth son of Mr and Mrs E. Foden, of Hawera, and had been on active service for a considerable period.  He secured his sergeant's stripes soon after leaving, and after some time in France was sent back for special training to England, shortly afterwards securing his commission and rejoining the army in France. He had not been long there when he fell. 

Before he left New Zealand he had been on the staff of Messrs Halliwell and Sellar, and afterwards with Messrs Halliwell and Thomson, of Stratford. He was a Hawera boy who was popular and very highly esteemed by all who knew him.  He was one of the best types of young manhood who left New Zealand.  The greatest sympathy will be felt for his parents in their time of sorrow.

 4.5 Ted Noel Foden (20 November 1903 - 1998).  I can't find evidence that Ted married. 

At the time of William's death the family were living in Wilson Street in Hawera.  

Edward Snr and Grace are both buried in the Hawera Cemetery, seemingly with Edward's father, Thomas who died aged 80 on 7 December 1909.  

5. Ada Susannah Bray (1869 - 1962).  Ada married Alfred Edward Awdry (1860 - 1945) at St John's Anglican Church in Feilding on 5 February 1890.  Alfred was the son of the Rev. Canon Awdry of Hartham Parsonage, Corsham, Wiltshire, England.  They were married by Rev. Allan S. Innes Jones.  An account of the wedding appeared in the 6 February 1890 edition of the Feilding Star:

Yesterday afternoon, in St. John's Church, Feilding, Mr Alfred Edward Awdry, of Feilding, second son of Rev. Canon Awdry, of Hartham Parsonage, Corsham, Wilts, England, was married to Miss Ada Bray, third daughter of Mr Charles Bray, C.E., of Feilding. The Rev. Mr lnnes-Jones was the officiating clergyman. There was a full choral service. The church was crowded with ladies and gentlemen.

After the ceremony when the happy couple left the church they were smothered in rice and pelted with old shoes in the orthodox fashion. They were then driven to the house of the parents of the bride in Grey street. The happy couple left by the mail train for Wellington in the afternoon. A large number of friends and relatives were assembled on the platform at the railway station to wish them bon voyage, and volleys of rice accompanied them as they took their seats in the carriage. We wish them all the happiness this world can afford. 

Ada and Alfred lived around Wanganui and Marton and on 4 September 1895 the Feilding Star reported that Ada was seriously ill: 

We regret that Mr Charles Bray was called suddenly to Wanganui yesterday in consequence of the serious illness of his daughter, Mrs Awdry. 

(Ada obviously recovered, as she lived to the grand old age of 93!)

 5.1 Mildred Ethel Awdry (1893)
 5.2 Dorothy Edith Awdry (1895).  Dorothy married Harcourt Eugene Louis Peat (1883 - 1942) in 1915.
 5.3 Edward Charles Awdry (14 November 1905 - 1972).  Edward married Iris Maude Flower (1 July 1907 - 1993) in 1929.

6. Clara Jane Bray (29 June 1872 - 1918).  The family were living at Gloucester St, Nelson, at the time of her birth.  Clara obviously met her future husband through her sister Ada - as Ada's husband was Clara's future husband's brother - hence sisters became sisters in law!  Clara married Frederick Augustus Awdry (1860 - 1948) at St John's Anglican Church in Feilding on 23 December 1890.  Frederick was the son of the Rev. Canon Awdry of Hartham, Wilts, England.  They were married by Rev. Arthur Hermon.  
 6.1 Constance Lila Awdry (10 October 1891, at Hale Street, Makino - 1949).  Constance married William Yelverton Frazuinho Cross in 1909.  Later that year their first son was born.
   6.1.1 James Cross (1909) 
 6.2 Mabel Hill Awdry (1892 - 1948).  Mabel married Oscar Ebenezer Kinred (9 June 1887 - 1975) in 1909.  
 6.3 Frank Chennells Awdry (1905 - 21 January 1919).  Frank died aged just 13 years, and buried at the Taihape Cemetery.

7. Frederick Joseph Bray (2 August 1874 - 1 September 1886).  The family were living at Gloucester Street, Nelson, at the time of his birth.  Freddy died as a 12 year old at his parents' house in Grey St, Feilding.  Freddy was buried with his little sister Flora in the Feilding Cemetery.  No doubt his sister Grace's name choice (Frederick Charles) for her first born son in 1888 was influenced by the loss of her younger brother.  Even though he was so young, an obituary appeared in the Feilding Star on 2 September 1886 as follows:

Obituary Notice.
We deeply regret to have to announce the death of Frederick Joseph Bray, third son of Mr Charles Bray, which occurred yesterday at the residence of his parents. The deceased was a fine promising lad, as warm-hearted as he was intelligent, and amongst his school fellows none was more popular than “Freddy,” as he was affectionally called. Some months ago “Freddy” was attacked by an insidious disease, which, as announced above, terminated yesterday in his death at the early age of 12 years.
His illness was a long and painful one, and was borne with great fortitude and patience by the little sufferer till Death claimed him. General regret and sympathy have been expressed by all sections of the community with the parents' bereavement. We deeply sympathise with Mr and Mrs Bray and family in the loss they have sustained by the decease of such a promising son.
The funeral will leave the parents' residence to-morrow (Friday) at 2 o'clock.

8. Arthur John Bray (1878 - 1918).  Arthur married Beatrice Alice Ann Clayson (1877 - 1932) in 1902.
 8.1 James Henry Bray (1893 - 14 February 1923).  James married Mary Josephine Dunn in 1919, and died just four years later at the age of 29.  James worked as a storeman and looks to have been a bit of a scoundrel and in August 1916 the Hawera & Normanby Star had recorded that he received 18 months reformative treatment for his part in thefts from a warehouse of a company called Sharland and Co.  He was sentenced in Wellington by Judge Chapman.  it seems likely that, given the sentences the others involved received, His Honour took James' relative youth into account.  Eventually he seems to have got his act together and gone to work for the Electric Company.  Unfortunately this lead to his premature death:
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James left one young daughter and his widow, Mary.  She married again in 1926, to Gordon Albert Nash.  
 8.2 John Bray (1896 - 10 July 1936). John married Olive Louisa Berkett (1891 - 1953) in 1918.  John Bray also died relatively early, at the age of 40.  Olive doesn't appear to have remarried.  
 8.3 Irene Myrtle Bray (6 March 1902 - 22 February 1988).  Irene died unmarried.  She was cremated at the Karori Crematorium in Wellington.
 8.4 Harold Cedric  Bray (22 November 1904 - 8 December 1985).  Harold died unmarried and was also cremated at the Karori Crematorium in Wellington.
 8.5 Cyril Cresswell Bray (1909 - 1934).  Cyril also never married.  Cyril worked for the Gas works and is buried at the Karori Cemetery in Wellington.  

9. Norman Gowan Bray (1880).  Norman married Hilda Corisande Short in 1912.

10. Flora Blanche Bray (August 1882 - 17 October 1882).  Baby Flora died aged just two months and buried at the Feilding Cemetery.  Flora's death was acknowledged in the 18 October 1882 edition of the Feilding Star which recorded her funeral occurring that afternoon.

11. Janet Mabel Bray (1886 - 1946).  On 7 March 1894, the Feilding Star regretted to advise the district that poor Janet, then only around eight years old, was laid up with diptheria!  Luckily, she obviously survived and went on to marry George Melville Archibald in 1911.  

12. Edward Roy "Roy" Bray (1888).  Roy married Olga Charlotte Millicent Smith in 1912.  

On 26 January 1893, the Feilding Star reported the Charles was preparing plans for an hotel building in Apiti, for Mr Ben Poole.

On 24 December 1894 the Feilding Star reported that Charles and Emma were taking the train to Plimmerton to spent their Christmas holidays.  Presumably Arthur, Norman Janet and Roy went with them.  

Charles died at 12.30 am on 12 August 1907.  Charles and Emma were living in Grey Street, Feilding at the time of his death (around the corner from where I live!).  Note was made of Charles' death in the Hawera & Normanby Star that day:

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Charles is buried in the Feilding District Cemetery.  His wife Emma died on 27 August 1913, also aged 67.  She is mentioned on his headstone in Feilding, but died in Te Awamutu and is buried there.  

Charles Snr's death prompted one of the kindest obituaries I've read so far in my research.  

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Emma died on 27 August 1913 in Te Awamutu and this obituary appeared in the Feilding Star, the following day:

A private message from Te Awamutu states that Mrs E. Bray, relict of Mr Charles Bray, who was for many years Engineer to the Manchester Road Board- and the Oroua County Council, died last night. Mrs Bray had been in failing health for some time, and her death was not unexpected. During her long residence in Feilding she was known as the most kindly and lovable lady it was possible to meet, always thoughtful for others, sympathetic and helpful to those in trouble, never sparing herself when she heard the call to help, and drawing forth whole-souled attachment and reverence from all those who had the good furtune to be amongst her friends. She leaves a grown-up family, all of whom are married, and scattered over the Dominion. Mr Norman Bray, of Bunnythorpe, is a son. The remains are to be interred at Te Awamutu.

Emma Bray was the daughter of William Harvey, a cabinet maker of Nelson, who died at Emma and Charles' house in Grey Street, Feilding on 15 May 1890 at the age of 71, meaning he was born around 1819.  William Harvey is buried at the Feilding Cemetery.  Emma was his only daughter. 

Charles Bray's siblings/parents

Charles' father was also Charles (1809 - December 1868) and his mother was alive at the time of his death.  

Mrs Bray and her five children had left London on the barque Palmyra on 28 October 1857 under Caption Tierney.  Palmyra arrived in Dunedin on 14 February 1858.   The Bray family obviously travelled on to Nelson, where presumably Mr Bray awaited them, arriving on 26 March 1858.

Charles' family - siblings, appear as follows:

(1) Mary Ann Bray (1834 - 1898).  Mary Ann married George Thomas (1830 - 1892), possibly prior to coming to New Zealand.  The likelihood is that she was not one of the five children that Mrs Bray travelled with on the Palmyra, as she was probably already married with children of her own by 1857.  She and George presumably came to New Zealand together.
 1. George Thomas (1861 - 1892) 

Mrs Mary Ann Thomas' death was acknowledged in the Feilding Star on 28 September 1898:

We regret to learn that Mrs Thomas of Hawera, the widow of George Thomas and a sister of Mr Charles Bray of this town, died yesterday morning. The remains went through to Wellington this afternoon en route for Nelson, where the interment will take place. Mr Bray will leave Feilding to attend the ceremony, and will be absent for about a week. We sympathise with the family in their bereavement. 

Mary Ann was buried in the Wakapuaka Cemetery in Nelson on 30 September 1898.  

(2) Charles Bray (1840 - 1907)

(3) Jane Bray (1842 - 9 April 1895, Ashhurst).  Jane's first marriage was to Joseph Porthouse in 1859.  Her second marriage was to John Aitken
  1. John Porthouse (1861 - 17 September 1913, Otaki). 
  2. William Porthouse (1866) of Feilding
  3. Ellen Jane Porthourse (1868).  Ellen married Alfred Searanck Bunn Eade on 31 August 1887.
      3.1 Florence May Eade (1889)
      3.2 Kenneth Porthouse Eade (1890)
      3.3 Walter Aitken Eade (1892).  Walter married Ada Philps on 20 December 1915 at the Feilding Baptist Church.
      3.4 Myrtle Nellie Eade (1893)
      3.5 William Francis Eade (1894)
      3.6 Alfred Lamb Eade (1896)
      3.7 Allan Victor Eade (1897)
      3.8 Charles Harold Eade (1899)
      3.9 Barnado Nansen Eade (1901)
      3.10 Alice Jane Eade (1903)
      3.11 Ronald Thomas Blandy Eade (1907)
      3.12 Malcolm John Eade (1909)
      3.13 Stanley Grenfell Eade (1911)  
  4. Charles Bray Aitken (1872 - 1950) of Ashhurst, Colour Sergeant of the Manchester Rifles in 1902.  

  5. Agnes Gertrude Aitken (1874).  Agnes married John Newsome Clapham in 1892 and for a time they lived in Ashhurst, later relocating to Newmarket, Auckland with their family. It appears likely that this move occurred after the death of their thirteen year old daughter Winnie Clapham in 1919.  Certainly, by the time of son Philip's marriage in 1924, they were living in Newmarket.  Agnes and John had the following family:

      5.1 Myrtle May Clapham (1893 - 1969).  Myrtle married first, Thomas Arthur Smith in 1911.  Thomas died in 1924 aged just 41, and Myrtle married for the second time, John Edgar Laing (6 December 1895 - 1980) in 1929.  Myrtle and first husband Thomas had at least one child:
          5.1.1 Muriel Myrtle May Clapham (1912 -1912).  This baby died as a ten week old infant. 
      5.2 John Squire Clapham (1897).  John served in WWI in the 33rd Reinforcements, Auckland Infantry Regiment, A Company.  He left for war on the Athenic on 31 December 1917, and unlike many others, he returned.
Like his sister, Myrtle, John also married twice.  First to Mary Jane Bailey (1897 - 1958) in 1923 and then to Vera Esma Burrow (8 November 1907 - 1973) in 1928.  However, it doesn't appear that Mary Jane died, rather that there was a divorce.  
      5.3 Philip Newsome Clapham (21 December 1899 - 1974).  Philip married Elizabeth Doherty in November 1924.  An account of the wedding appeared in th 24 November 1924 edition of the Evening Post:

An evening wedding was recently solemnised at St. Anne's Church, Newtown, by the Rev. Father Falon, when Miss Elizabeth Doherty, youngest daughter of Mrs. Doherty and the late Mr. Bernard Doherty, was married to Mr. Philip Newsome Clapham, second son of Mr. and Mrs. Clapham, of Newmarket, Auckland.
The bride, who was given away by her brother, Mr. James Doherty,of Raurimu, wore a dainty frock of cream brocaded marocain inset with lace, her veil being tastefully arranged with orange blossoms, and she carried a bouquet of roses. and maidenhair fern.
The bridesmaid, Miss Mary Walker, wore a frock of apricot shot taffeta, and black lace hat, and carried a. bouquet to match. The flower girls in attendance were little Pat Nolan and Joyce Doherty (nieces of the bride), who were in cream lace frocks and mob caps, and carried Victorian bouquets. Mr. D. Christie was best man and Mr. N. Doherty was groomsman.
Following the marriage ceremony the wedding breakfast was partaken of at St. Anne's Hall, where over 100 guests had assembled to honour the newly married couple. Mr. and Mrs. Clapham  eft later by air for the North, the bride travelling in a navy blue coatfrock heavily embroidered and a hat to match. The newly-married couple intend residing in Auckland.

Tragically, the newly married couple didn't have a long and happy marriage, as the following year, on 15 October 1925, the Evening Post published the following:

The friends of Mr. Philip Newsome Clapham are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of his late beloved wife, Elizabeth, which will leave St. Anne's Church, Green street, Newtown, on Friday, 16th October, 1925,- at 9.30 a.m., for the Cemetery, Karori. Requiem Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m.
J. E. TAYLOR AND SONS, LTD., Undertakers, Cambridge terrace and Karori. Day and Night Tel. 26-073. 

Poor Elizabeth was only 27 at the time of her death.  I'm unaware if Philip remarried, but he is not interred with her in Karori Cemetery.

5.4 Winnie Gertrude Clapham (1906 - 1919).  Winnie died aged just thirteen years and buried at the Feilding Cemetery. 

 5.5 Thomas Dunnill Clapham (1908 - 1968).  Thomas married Dorothy Helen Eaton (1906 - 1937) in 1929.  Sadly, in keeping with the bad luck which seemed to befall spouses of this family, Dorothy died at the young age of 31.  

6. Walter George Aitken (1878 - 1959).  Walter married Margaret Alice "Daisy" Middleton (1884 - 1955) on 16 May 1906.  Their wedding day was acknowledged in the 17 May 1906 edition of the Feilding Star:

A wedding which occasioned considerable interest was solemnised at Ashhurst yesterday, the contracting parties being Mr Walter Aitken, youngest son ot Mr John Aitken of the Gorge, and Miss Daisy Middleton, second daughter of Mr L. Middleton of Ashhurst. The Rev Lewis, of Palmerston North, officiated. Mr C. B. Aitken acted as best man, and the bridesmaids were Miss M. Clapham and Miss V. Middleton. Subsequently a reception was held at Mr J. Clapham's residence, where the health of the happy couple was drank with great enthusiasm. The honeymoon is to be spent in Nelson.
Together, Walter and Daisy had at least two children.  
   6.1 Cyril Walter Aitken (18 May 1907 - 1996)
   6.2 Alice Laurie Aitken (1910)

(4) Mrs Lloyd:  Charles had a sister, who married Mr William Lloyd, who is mentioned in the death acknowledgement for his father in 1868.

(5) Joseph Thomas Bray (1846 - 21 July 1902) apparently returned to New Zealand from Australia, and seems to have tracked his elder brother down and settled in the Feilding/Colyton area.  He married Emily Baker (1860 - 27 February 1946) in 1885.  They are buried in the Feilding Cemetery together.  Their first son was born in 1886 and more followed:
  1. Joseph Clementson Bray (1886 - 1930).  He married Olive Letitia Irene Wills (1891 - 1952) in 1915 and was buried at the Feilding Cemetery.  
  2. John Bray (1887)
  3. Marie Florence Bray (25 March 1893 - 1978).  Marie married Henry Malcolm Bruce Parker (5 August 1893 - 1981) in 1920.  
  4. Emily Dorothy Bray (1894 - 1933).  Emily married William Gray in 1916 (going from Bray to Gray!!).  Emily died aged just 38.
  5. Alice Bray (16 August 1896 - 3 January 1988).  Alice married Edwin Graeme Ewen Parker (1897 - 27 May 1955) in 1921.  Graeme had been away to war during the first World War.  He was a rifleman in the 4th Battalion, B Company of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade.  Graeme was the  younger brother of Alice's sister Marie's husband Henry. Both Graeme and Henry were the sons of John Claude and Annie Laura Parker, who farmed around the Bunnythorpe area.  Alice and Graeme are both buried at the Feilding Cemetery, as are Graeme's parents.

(6) William Bray 

(7) John Bray (1848 - 5 December 1917).  John resided in Collingwood.  John died unmarried.  The Colonist (a Nelson newspaper) acknowledged John's death in its 19 December 1917 edition:

December 13th.
Mr John Bray, a member of a well known Nelson family, passed away at his residence, Rockville, Collingwood, on the 5th inst. The late Mr Bray had been mining and farming in the Collingwood district for over 30 years, and was much respected. He was unmarried.  

(6) Mrs Mitchell of Blenheim

Charles' father's death was recounted in the 23 December 1868 edition of the Nelson Evening Mail as follows:

An inquest was held this morning at the Wakatu Hotel, before the Coroner, Dr Squires, and a jury, of which Mr R. Disher was foreman, into the circumstances attending the death of Mr Charles Bray, senior, which occurred at his house on the Haven Road on Monday night last. The jury having viewed the body, the evidence of Mrs Bray, the widow, and of Mrs W. Lloyd, the daughter of the deceased, was taken, which entirely corroborated the statement made in our issue of yesterday of the circumstances under which the deceased met his death.

It appeared that he had complained for the last 13 years of pains in the chest, which he attributed to indigestion, and had also been subject to fits, the last of which occurred about 12 months ago, the symptoms of which in no wise resembled the attack under which the deceased expired. Dr Cotterell deposed to having been called in on Monday night to see the deceased, who was lying on the floor perfectly lifeless, and to the results of the postmortem examination, which proved that death had been produced by fatty degeneration of the heart, causing syncope, and a verdict was given, in accordance with the evidence, of "Died from disease of the heart". 


  1. Hi there. Very interesting read - extremely impressive research. One small point - the Bray grave in Karori Cemetery, Wellington, where James H, Cyril and John (children of Arthur) are buried, has James's wife listed as 'Molly', not 'Mary' as you state. By the way, has your research given any hint as to what killed John (aka Jack) Bray?

  2. Harold Cedric Bray did marry Mary Lousia Harrison in 1929 (BDM has his middle name recorded as 'Sidric') and they are together in Karori Cemetery (plot 4061).

  3. Hi, Interesting to see the info on Edward Foden. I have an 1882 Wallaceville [3 miles from Upper Hutt] School Register and the sole teacher was E. Foden. Great to see the connections and read about his marriage. Thanks!