Interesting Observations

The compilation of the Nominal Rolls and subsequent additions went beyond the mere compiling of a list of service personnel. My interest was immediately sparked as odd coincidences and patterns started to emerge. This got me musing.

I thought to share with you just a few of these observances.

Not surprisingly, overwhelmingly most of the enlistments occurred in Whangarei, the main hub of North Auckland as it was called at that time. I thought it surprising though, that the next highest number was through Dargaville.

Looking at occupations or terms used for some of these, we find quite a number have now either become redundant or rather rare to find ..

Bull, George Robert, 1910-1966. Men of NZ Division opening first mails since cessation of North African hostilities, Maadi - Photograph taken by G Bull. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-04144-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23113348 “Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

Bull, George Robert, 1910-1966. Men of NZ Division opening first mails since cessation of North African hostilities, Maadi – Photograph taken by G Bull. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-04144-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23113348
“Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

Those of blacksmith, boot repairer, boot maker, butter box maker, cannister maker, coal miner (at least as far as the North is concerned), druggist, dyer’s assistant, flax miller, glass beveller, gum digger, linotype operator, tramway hand, kiln greaser, projectionist (as we then knew it), radio technician, mercer, bread roundsman, milk roundsman, shorthand typist, tablet porter, telegraphist, vulcanizer, saddler, and watchmaker’s apprentice. I cannot imagine a ‘Native Department’ being entertained, here in New Zealand, in these times and climes.

As for the term ‘gentleman,’ you’d be hard pressed to find that in any curriculum vitae, nowadays!

A couple of Whangarei guest houses/private hotels are listed here – the Cintra and the Leviathan. These no longer exist. A little bit of Whangarei’s history worth researching?

The more one studies the list, the more quirky little things one discovers. But I’ll leave you to find that out for yourself .. if you are so inclined.

2 Responses to Interesting Observations

  1. June Nathan says:

    My name is June Nathan and I live in Matangirau Whangaroa. I started researching my mother’s brother Tei Porter (801318) who fought in WWII and was killed in action in Italy.
    What amazed me about the initials only, not the name eg: T Porter on our Roll of honour, was I was one of the so called lucky ones who knew my uncles name was Tei. This became my first obstacle as some families didn’t know what the initals stood for considering they knew them by another name. Being maori that was even harder.
    Sadly there are also no photos to put to a few of these names, so what started as 1 has now led to 36 WWI veterans including 4 who are missing from the roll. 31 WWII including 6 also missing from the roll and this is where I began. That was 5 years ago.
    The support I have been getting from the community in the way of photos and family ties (whakapapa) has been over whelming.
    My list now includes 89 WWI & 81 WWII returned servicemen, but it doesn’t end there.
    I have spent many hours studing files after files and some have definitely left me baffled.
    But this is my way of acknowledging not only uncle Tei but every veteran in the Kaeo and Whangaroa rohe

    • emytopi1 says:

      Kudos to you, June. I can fully appreciate just how difficult this must have been for you. Many of the physical memorials spread throughout NZ are lacking – in that there are omissions and downright errors in the inscriptions. Also, I suspect that each district applies different criteria as to who should and should not have been put on a memorial or roll of honour. Just this week I had one chap alert me to someone who had been teaching in the Kaitaia area for a couple of years before enlisting in Kaitaia but not being allowed on the memorial by the local RSA by virtue of him having been born in Otago. He died in Italy in 1942. This online database, which is first and foremost a memorial to those who served broadens the scope to bring in many who might not otherwise be classed as Northlanders. I hope to have a little more information to hand regarding Tei Porter, as to his embarkation date etc, as I move forward through this second trawl through the rolls. You may want to return to the entry in another 12 months or so just in case I have additional info up there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *