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 ..
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.