Friday, September 4, 2015

HOBSON, Frank Eliot (1886-1915)

Trooper Frank Eliot Hobson, Second Reinforcements, Canterbury Mounted Rifles, NZEF.
 WWI service no 7/727
He wears the stag's head collar badges of the 10th (Nelson) Squadron of the CMR.


At 9.30 on the morning of October 14 1906, two young men looking for adventure and fresh opportunities set out from the small pit town of Catchgate in County Durham, England, on the first stage of their journey to the British colony of New Zealand. Nineteen-year-old Frank Hobson and his older brother George had just been picked up by their future brother-in-law Norman Field in a carriage borrowed from his father for the occasion. Another friend, Willie Heppell, had come along for the ride. It was a brisk autumn day, everyone was in high spirits, and as they rattled along they sang all the way to their first stop-over on a day-long farewell tour of friends and family. Being regular church-goers, they stuck to hymns, mindful that it was a Sunday. [1]

The third child and second son of George Robinson Hobson and his wife, Hannah nee Wall,[2] Frank Eliot Hobson was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne, Durham, England, on 28 November, 1886. His name stands out in a Hobson family tree heavily laden with "Michaels" and "Georges", and it seems likely that he was named for his uncle, Francis Armstrong Eliot, husband of his mother's older sister, Elizabeth. Frank came from a line of corn millers associated with the water mill on Kyo Burn at Harperley in rural Durham, northern England, ("corn" in this context being grain or cereal of any kind). Kyo was part of the parish of Collierley, which included a number of small coal-mining communities, and the parish church of St Thomas at Hare Law played an important part in the life of the Hobsons as both a place of weekly worship and scene for significant family events like christenings, marriages, funerals and burials. 


St Thomas Anglican Church, Hare Law, Parish of Collierley, Co. Durham

On the 1st of December 1822, Frank's great-grandfather Michael Hobson (1792-1877), son of Michael and Mary Hobson, was married in Newcastle to Margaret (1803-1851), daughter of George and Margaret Robinson. It's likely that the bridal couple were related to some degree - the groom's own grandparents were an earlier Michael Hobson who had married a Margaret Robinson in Whickham, Durham, in 1751. The Hobson and Robinson families both appear to have had a connection with Harperley Mill, as a George Robinson was recorded as the miller there in 1741. [3] 

 Harperley Mill was of ancient provenance, documented in 1290 as belonging jointly to two religious foundations, Durham Monastery and the Hospital of the Holy Trinity. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII, it was sold to the owner of Harperley Hall and passed over the years through the hands of various private owners. The mill house familiar to Frank was built in 1817 and replaced in 1933 after a disastrous fire. After it ceased operating as a working mill it underwent several incarnations, including a zoo, set up in its grounds in the 1960s, followed by a children's playground in the '70s, a working men's club and then a hotel. Today it sits neglected, a victim of the recession which has hit northern England particularly hard in recent decades.

Inscription over the Harperley mill door

 Michael Moore Hobson

(1866-1959)
Frank's uncle and last
of the Harperley millers.
Michael and Margaret Hobson had a daughter, Mary (who married commission agent James Wallace) and two sons - Michael, and Frank's grandfather, George, who was born on 20 June 1825, at Windmill Hills, Gateshead, where his father was working at the time as a grinder for one of the several windmills in the area supplying both Newcastle and Gateshead. As a small boy, George was sent during a family crisis to stay at nearby Harperley Mill, then run by his paternal grandfather. "My mother taking a fever, I had to be taken out of the way", he later recalled. "My grandfather would never part with me and there I remained." While the rest of his family lived at Seaham Harbour, where his father ran a grocery store with a licence "to let post horses", [4] George Hobson grew up living and working at Harperley Mill. In his own words, George "took over the entire management of the place" when he was about sixteen, [5] and inherited it when his grandfather died at over eighty years of age.


The Harperley Mill House as Frank Hobson knew it.
 His cousins Agatha and Sydney Hobson on the front steps.



Foreseeing that steam-power  would soon overtake the old water mills, George diversified into the seed growing, grocery and drapery businesses, catering to the workers and their families brought in by the rapidly developing coal-mining industry. The advent of the Stanhope & Tyne Railway in 1834 radically transformed an out-of-the-way rural area by providing quick and easy transport to industrial markets for the district's substantial coal deposits, previously only tapped on a small domestic scale.

On 1st of December 1845, George Hobson and Ann Moore were married at St Thomas Church, Collierley, by the Reverend T. Jackson. The daughter of James and Mary Moore, Ann was born at nearby Tanfield in 1828. George and Ann had six daughters - Mary-Jane, Margaret, Ann, Catherine, Georgianna and Isabella - and two sons, George Robinson Hobson (Frank's father), born 31 December, 1859 at Harperley, and Michael Moore Hobson.  A genial but astute self-made man, George prospered. By the age of 45 he was a well-respected local businessman and recorded as being a miller, grocer and seedsman, with a farm of 55 acres near Catchgate (so called because it was once the site of a toll-gate on a turnpike road) and employing 2 men and 2 boys, along with 3 household servants. His 78-year-old widowed father Michael was also living with the family. [6] George also owned, or perhaps leased from coal-mining company James Joicey & Co., a substantial brick block of real estate in what is still the commercial centre of Catchgate and known ever since as Hobson's Buildings.

George Hobson (1825-1905) of Harperley Mill, Kyo, Durham, in 1896.
Frank's grandfather, a benevolent constant in his early life.

George Hobson's wife Ann died on the 1st of March, 1875, and his elderly father Michael on 21 January, 1877.  On 30 April, 1877 George remarried at St Thomas Church, Collierley, to Barbara Smith (b. 1836 at Whickham), daughter of coal mine foreman Joseph Smith and his wife Ann. She must have been a kindly stepmother as several of her stepchildren, including George Robinson Hobson, named daughters "Barbara" after her.

As time went on George Hobson cut back. He held on to the seed growing business and a sideline selling animal feed, but handed over the grocery to his older son, George Robinson, and the running of the mill to his younger son, Michael Moore. On 12 November 1882, another wedding was celebrated, this time at St Stephen's Church, South Shields, when George Robinson Hobson, 23, married 21-year-old Hannah Wall (born in Jarrow, Durham, around 1862), second daughter of blacksmith William Wall and his wife Hannah (nee Sadler). [7] George Robinson was appointed Catchgate's postmaster, and with wife Hannah ran the family grocery store/post office at Hobson's Buildings. They raised a family of seven -  Annie (1884-1984), George (1885-1975), Frank Eliot (1886-1915), Barbara Head (1889-1985), Elizabeth Hilda (1891-1958), Eva Isabella (1893-1915) and William Henry (Willie) (1895-1918). As was the custom, the family would have lived in the apartment above the family business.


The Catchgate Post Office in Hobson's Buildings, North Road, Catchgate, in 2010.

Frank and his brother George attended school, perhaps the old Catchgate Junior School or the Board School at Annfield Plain. Both enjoyed playing cricket, croquet and tennis and games like billiards and chess, at which Frank particularly excelled, winning various local chess tournaments. An inscribed writing case still in the Hobson family's possession was the prize awarded to Frank in 1906 by the Annfield Chess Club for "the highest score obtained in the Newcastle & District Chess League matches". The Hobson children were surrounded by a close network of family - grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - and family friends. However, although comfortable, life at home became difficult as differences arose between their parents. By 1898 Hannah had left her husband and family [8] and in April 1899 George Robinson Hobson instigated divorce proceedings against her. [9] However, before the divorce could be finalised he contracted influenza and died of heart failure as a consequence on 27 December, 1900, leaving his children suddenly bereft of both parents. 

Frank at one of his favourites pastimes - 
playing a game of chess.

A family council followed, and George R. Hobson's bereaved children were taken in by their father's younger brother, Michael Moore Hobson, and his wife Eleanor Rae nee Heppell (1866-1934), known as Nelly. They had married at Gateshead in 1887, and had two children of their own with another one soon to be on the way. Grandfather George Hobson gave support and contributed towards their upkeep. Arrangements were made for the younger girls to attend the Pensionnat des Religieuses Ursulinesa convent boarding school for girls  in Gierle-lez-Thielen, Belgium (they hated it and didn't stay very long). By 1901, Frank, George, 17-year-old-sister Annie and 6-year-old brother Willie were living with their aunt and uncle at the Harperley Mill House.The older boys both had jobs - Frank, aged 14, was working as an apprentice miller, probably for his uncle, and 16 year-old George was employed as an apprentice joiner. [10] 

Their mother Hannah was by then working as a general servant in Elswick, Northumberland. Whether Frank ever saw her again is unknown, but it seems she was persona non grata as far as his grandfather and uncle were concerned. Her daughters Annie and Barbara managed to met up with her occasionally, but had to do so in secret.


Frank Hobson and his brothers and sisters at the Harperley Mill House
with their Uncle Michael and Aunt Nelly and cousins Agatha, George Hubert and Michael Moore Sydney.
From lt to rt.
 Standing: Willie, Annie (m. Norman Field 1909), George, Frank, Barbara (m. Bertram Costelloe 1910), Hubert
Seated: Elizabeth Hilda (m. Algernon Noble 1914) Eleanor (Nelly) Hobson (nee Heppell) with Sydney at her knee,  Michael M. Hobson and Eva. Agatha (m. Frederic Markham 1925) sits in front, next to the family's pet borzoi.

Frank's aunt and uncle provided a happy and stable home for their nieces and nephews, but George Robinson Hobson's family was about to be splintered even further a few years later when brothers Frank and George left home for the far side of the world. Frank had fallen seriously ill with rheumatic fever and had to undergo heart surgery. As fate would have it, he was treated by Dr Bernard Samuel Story (1872-1937), who at that time had a practice at Catchgate. Born in Manchester, Dr Story qualified as a medical practitioner in Manitoba, Canada, and was planning a further move with his wife Winifred and young family to New Zealand. He suggested that the climate in that country would benefit Frank's health in the longer term. Dr Story kept in contact with the Hobsons and after settling at Kaikoura on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island early in 1905, sounded out the holder of a local sheep-run about taking on both Frank and George as farm cadets - a farm cadet being in effect an apprentice farmer learning the ropes and working for board and lodging, often with a view to eventually owning and running a farm in his own right. [11] 

Before anything could be arranged, George Hobson Snr, for so many years the mainstay of the extended Hobson family, died on the 17th of  December 1905, at the age of 80. He was buried at St Thomas, Collierley, along with his first wife Ann, and left a substantial fortune. It's likely that Frank and George inherited enough money from their grandfather's estate to pay for the tickets they bought from the Shaw, Savill & Albion Company on 21 August 1906, for Berths 2 & 3 in Cabin 41 on the "SS Corinthic", travelling second class to Lyttelton, New Zealand. [12] The ship was to sail on 19 October 1906, and the next couple of months would have gone by in a blur of preparation. All too soon the time had come to be on their way.

The trip  which had begun on the morning of 14 October 1906 ended late that evening at the Newcastle Central Station, where the brothers were given a hearty send off by a large contingent of close friends and family, including their Aunt Nelly and Uncle Michael. Their train left just after midnight and arrived in London at 6.45 a.m. William  Brown, an old friend now working in London, had found them lodgings and the next couple of days were spent sight-seeing. On the Friday they caught a train from Fenchurch Station to Tilbury Docks and from there were transported by tender to the "Corinthic". The ship set sail at 1.30 p.m. for Plymouth, where it took on more passengers. Being cricket fans, the Hobsons watched with interest the embarkation there of the M.C.C. cricket team which toured New Zealand between December 1906 and March 1907.

Reverse (above) and front of the "SS Corinthic" boat ticket issued to Frank & George Hobson in 1906

The "Corinthic" sailed via Tenerife, Cape Town and Hobart, and once early sea-sickness subsided the days were spent eating (lots of this), reading, socialising, dancing, playing card games, chess, and cricket on deck. Highlights included visiting Tenerife, watching a dazzling acrobatic display from huge pod of cavorting dolphins, and seeing a bloody battle between a thresher shark and a whale play out next to the ship. Frank was quite ill at one stage and the ship's doctor was called. George feared a recurrence of rheumatic fever, but Frank soon recovered. There was frustration at Cape Town when first class passengers were allowed off the ship to go ashore but second and third classes kept on board, thanks to a small-pox scare. The Hobson brothers watched glumly from the ship's rail as the M.C.C cricketers tootled off, cheering, in a smart motor launch sent out especially for them. [13] Journey's end came for Frank and George on 7 December, 1906, when the "Corinthic" docked at Lyttelton. Armed with Dr Story's contact details, they made their way to Kaikoura.
   
The run-holder who had offered to take on Frank and George was John William (Will) Trolove (1863-1949) of "The Shades", near Kekerengu, eldest child of early Marlborough settler Edwin Trolove (1832-1886) and his wife Sarah Jane Amanda McRae (1841-1915). Sarah's father, intrepid Scotsman George McRae, was an even earlier Marlborough run-holder. having established a sheep station there in 1848, which he named "Blairich" after his birthplace in Scotland. George and his wife Helen (nee Sutherland) had previously spent time as a pioneers at the Red River Colony in Canada, a place of great hardship. By the 1860s the McRaes had one of the largest holdings in the Awatere, though the family would later be dogged by bad luck.
  
"Blairich" homestead in the early 1900s. 
It was destroyed by fire in 1950.

The first Trolove to settle in the Marlborough district was Will Trolove's uncle, Frederick William (Fred) Trolove, of "Walmington Hall" in Lincolnshire, England, who as a 17-year-old arrived in Nelson on the "Poictiers" in 1850, accompanied by his first cousin Robert Robinson, aged 20. [14] While Robert settled around Richmond and later moved to Orinoco in the Motueka Valley, Frederick took up the "Midhurst" run in the Awatere. Finding it too isolated, he soon exchanged it for the 'Woodbank" station between Kekerengu and the Clarence River. He was joined there by his brother Edwin around 1853, both living in a mud hut with a canny old Scottish shepherd named Lovell until a homestead could be built. They were financed by their maternal uncle, Dr John Shaw, a shrewd, scholarly bachelor. An inveterate globe-trotter, who himself visited New Zealand twice, [15]  Dr Shaw resolved to own a sheep-run there but wasn't keen on roughing it in the wilds of Marlborough. He tried to entice his oldest nephew, John Shaw Trolove, into settling in New Zealand on his behalf, but John Trolove was no keener on the wilds of Marlborough than his uncle, though his son Benjamin later ventured there. Dr Shaw made do instead with his younger nephews, sending forth a stream of dictatorial instructions from his comfortable home in Boston, Lincolnshire, to keep them on their toes. 


Sociable gathering of Marlborough run-holders at "Flaxbourne", earliest of the sheep runs established in the  Awatere. Isolation, common interests and inter-marriage made for a close-knit and hospitable 
rural community.

L-R. Standing: Unknown, J. Connolly, Miss Mien, Mrs Walter Clifford.
Seated: E.S. Rutherford,  W.Trolove, Bursill, Jean Rutherford, Mrs W. Tolove, Mrs Ballantyne.
Sitting on the ground: R.E. Weld, J. Greenfield, Mr Ballantyne.

Edwin Trolove married Sarah McRae at the "Blairich" homestead in 1862 and by 1867 the first three of their ten children had been born.  Frederick returned to England in 1864 for an extended visit and came back three years later with a wife, Mary Georgina (nee Simmons) and two sons, but his wife died giving birth to a daughter soon after their arrival. Under financial pressure following  transactions with colonial con-man Joseph Dresser Tetley, Fred and Edwin Trolove divided the "Woodbank" property in two in 1869.They kept one block, still known as "Woodbank", and the northern part, an 8000 acre block of hill country 35 miles from Kaikoura and now named "The Shades", was leased out, initially to John Clervaux Chaytor[16] The partnership with their uncle, Dr Shaw, was dissolved at the same time. Sarah cared for Frederick's motherless children as well as her own rapidly increasing family and governesses were hired to teach them all. In 1878 Edwin and Sarah decided to move so that their chldren could attend Nelson colleges and settled at Stoke on a farm named "Leadale", the land being bought from the estate of Dr Thomas Renwick, another early Marlborough pastoralist. [17] 

Frederick died in 1880 and Edwin at Stoke in 1886, at the early age of 54. "Leadale" was sold in 1895 to St Mary's Orphanage (also known as the Stoke Industrial School) and Edwin's widow Sarah moved to a house on Ngatitama Street with her younger children. Frederick's son Peter took over 'Woodbank" and ran it for a few years, but later sold up and moved to Christchurch. Edwin's oldest son John William Trolove eventually reclaimed ownership of "The Shades". In 1896 he married Geraldine (Deenie) Collins, a daughter of Nelson politician Arthur Collyns and his second wife Erica (nee MacKay), formerly owners of the "Mount Fyffe" sheep station near Kaikoura. [18] Will and Geraldine Trolove had a family of four - Erica (known as Peg) (b. 1897), Gertrude (b. 1899), Bryan (b. 1902) and Gwyndoline (b. 1909). Their descendants still live at "The Shades" today. 

Gathering at "The Shades", 1908.
L-R Back row: George Hobson, Geraldine (Deenie) Trolove, (nee Collins), her husband J.W. (Will) Trolove (owner of "The Shades"), Frank Hobson, Guy Collins, Amy nee Goulter (Peter Trolove's wife), George McRae Trolove (Will Trolove's brother), Girlie Trolove (George Trolove's daughter)
Erica (Peg) Trolove (later Parsons) sitting in front of George Hobson. Helen (Nell) Trolove seated in front of her brother George. 

Frank and George Hobson soon settled into life at "The Shades", working as rabbiters, learning stockmanship and thriving on the outdoor life of the sheep farmer. Both brothers quickly became absorbed into the extended Trolove family, which included Mowat cousins from '"Altimarlock" in the Awatere. Will Trolove's widowed mother, Sarah, and brothers and sisters frequently came and went between Nelson and "The Shades". There were four brothers - George (farm manager at "The Shades"), Frank and Frederick (both farming in the North Island by 1906) and Thomas  - and five sisters - Helen (known as both Nell and Nen), Emma, Adelaide, Isabella May (known as Mabel) and Frances (known variously as Fanny, Fan and Hui). Hospitality was freely exchanged with holders of neighbouring Kaikoura coastal stations as well, like the Moores of  "Valhalla" and the Parsons of "Benmore". Among those Frank befriended there were three he later served with during WWI - Noel (son of Peter Trolove), Benjamin (Ben) Trolove (a Trolove cousin from England also working at "The Shades") and George Harold Parsons, son of "Benmore" run-holder Freeborn Parsons. Another young man the Hobsons got to know well was Herbert Cochar Henderson, who joined the Trolove family officially when he married Mabel Trolove on 15 October 1908.

Frank's brother, George Hobson of "Ngarua", in 1912.

News was exchanged with England - sisters Annie and Barbara now married, Willie at school, Eva living with Barbara and her husband, Bert. After a few years both George and Frank became keen to own farms of their own. Around 1910 Herbert Henderson bought an isolated block of land on Takaka Hill, overlooking Tasman Bay. It was intended as an investment property, but instead he and Mabel ended up settling there and between 1910 and 1911 they added a homestead built of heart rimu and totara, named "Kairuru". It became a hospitable haunt for a number of visitors, including Trolove friends and family from Nelson and "The Shades". George was offered the opportunity to purchase an adjoining block of limestone country on Takaka Hill from Riwaka setller Robert Pattie, along with a separate block of flat farmland in central Riwaka, where Robert Pattie had built a house in 1906, and which would become George's home farm. Various members of the Trolove family, including Will Trolove, offered to chip in, and as majority shareholder of the newly-formed company "Trolove & Hobson", George became the owner of "Ngarua" on June 10, 1911. In 1913 he purchased an adjoining block of land from Fred Holder. 

"Ngarua" means "place of many holes", a name indicative of the property's karst landscape, which lends itself to the formation of tomos (sinkholes) and caves. Today "Ngarua" takes in the land from the "Kairuru" gate almost as far as the Canaan road on the north side, and surrounding the Ngarua limeworks (currently owned by Ravenscroft) and Ngarua caves, first discovered in 1897 and still owned by the Hobson family. 

Tasman (Tas) McKee took up a quarry lease agreement with George in 1935, and for many years the McKee family's company "Lime & Marble Ltd" quarried "Ngarua"'s white marble, which was then crushed and used for industrial and agricultural purposes. [19] This agreement didn't apply to three further blocks of land added to George's holdings between 1938 and 1954, the first being the Ryder's Dip property, so named because the old Takaka Hill bridle path took a steep dip near the entrance to the Ryders' land. This area is still known as "The Dip". These new sections (not limestone country) adjoined each other, but were situated 3 to 5km further down the hill towards Riwaka and separated from "Ngarua" by the "Kairuru" homestead and farm block. 

"Kairuru", home of Herbert & Mabel (nee Trolove) Henderson, ca 1915. 
Built in 1910, burnt down in one hour in April, 1959. 
The apocalyptic landscape is the result of burning off the native bush in preparation for sowing grass seed.
Split paling-and-wire fences are typical of the period.


Meanwhile, Frank had pipped George to the post by just one day, taking possession on 9 June 1911 of a farm on the  western side of Lloyds Valley, off the Orinoco Road at Ngatimoti, a small rural settlement inland from Motueka. The Trolove connection was also significant in Frank's case as his new block of land included as its nucleus Block XIII Section 40 , one of three sections (34, 39 & 40) originally bought in 1882 by the Robert Robinson, who had emigrated to Nelson in 1850 on the "Poictiers" with his younger cousin, Frederick Trolove. Robert's son Ernest (Ern) was a well-known identity in the Motueka farming community as a sheep breeder and drover, who for many years worked in partnership with two other Ngatimoti settlers, John E. Salisbury and "Greenhill Tom" Grooby, buying up and taking mobs of sheep over Tophouse via Hamner and Culverden to the Adddington saleyards in Christchurch. [20] Ernest had bought all three of these Lloyds Valley sections from his parents in 1887 when he married Emma, daughter of Orinoco Valley pioneer George Lines.  While hanging on to the 142 acre section 40, in 1894 he sold sections 34 & 39 to his friend John E. Salisbury,  who set up his home farm there and named it "Middlebank". In May, 1910, Ernest moved to a family property in Richmond with his wife, children and elderly parents, to be nearer medical care after his father suffered a stroke. He decided to sell the Lloyds Valley farm as he was now basing his operations in the Waimea. It was a year of change all round in Lloyds Valley, as long-time resident John Salisbury also moved on in mid-1911, selling "Middlebank" to Herbert (Bert) Canton and another block (Sections 7 & 113), right next to Frank's new farm, to an old acquaintance, Cyprian Bridge BreretonDuring WWI Brereton served as commanding officer of the 12th (Nelson) Company of the Canterbury infantry Battalion.


Ern Robinson working sheep at 
his home in Lloyds Valley, Ngatimoti.
Frank came along at just the right time, with a recommendation from Ernest's cousins, and so the land changed hands. Like his brother George, Frank Hobson financed his way into a farm by going into a partnership, in his case with Henry Francis (Frank) Devenish Meares, son of prominent Christchurch lawyer and local politician Henry Osbourne Devenish Meares and his wife Eva, nee Garrick. They set up a limited partnership known as Hobson & Meares, with Frank the majority partner. In addition, Ernest Robinson sold the partners his hill country sections 100, 103, 11 & Pt 114, directly behind and accessible from Section 40, and used originally as accommodation grazing for stock being collected for drives - a minimum of 400 sheep was required to make a drive worthwhile.. He also transferred to Hobson & Meares the lease in perpetuity of a large adjoining run-off block of 269 acres (Block XIII, Section 10), in the Greenhill area. [21] The farm came complete with dwelling, stables, sheds and a hop-kiln and Frank named it "Kainga Tui" (home of the tui). The two Franks were soon joined there by young English farm cadet, Leonard Arnold "Dick" James. He came from Durham City, where his father, Rev. P.E. James, was a master at Durham School, then a prestigious boys' only boarding school. Dick James had trained for four years in England with the Officer Training Corps and now joined the local Territorials unit, the 12th (Nelson & Marlborough) Regiment. He was possibly a friend or acquaintance already known to the Hobson brothers and had worked at George's "Ngarua" for a while before moving down to Lloyds Valley.

Frank may have been leasing the Orinoco farm for several months before he bought it - annual Government sheep returns show Hobson & Meares of "Kainga Tui" already running 638 sheep at April, 1911. Frank was recorded as being in the Tasman area early in 1911 when clocked by police riding his motorcycle without a light and fined a solid 40s plus 10s 9d in costs at the Magistrate's Court held at Brightwater on 20 January 1911. [22] Being independent and relatively fast (if bumpy) transport, motorbikes soon became popular with young men following their introduction to New Zealand around 1900, but Frank's might well have been one of the first to be seen in the Orinoco Valley and probably caused a stir among the local lads. Lloyd Road, described as "rough, corrugated and unsealed", may have defeated the motorcycle, which Frank put up for sale later in the year.



The Orinoco Valley ca. 1911.
Known for his engaging and easy-going personality, Frank soon found friends among young farmers of a similar age at Ngatimoti. Several, like Frank Strachan, the Guy brothers, Walter & Hector, Alan De Castro, and Ern Robinson's nephew Ted Burrowwould also become war casualties. The connection with Ern Robinson would have been a valuable entrée into a small, sociable rural community which depended on neighbourly co-operation. People worked hard but enjoyed a chance to kick up their heels; there were school concerts and wedding parties, picnics, tennis and cricket matches and hunting in the hills. St James Anglican Church was a focal point for residents and no doubt Frank regularly attended Sunday services as he had grown up doing, though his interest in matters of religion and spirituality went beyond token duty. He remained a frequent visitor to "Kairuru" and "Ngarua" on Takaka Hill. Annual sheep returns and stock sale reports show the "Kainga Tui" farm steadily increasing the size of its flock and turning over numbers. They also ran some cattle and probably had a few acres in hops or raspberries. The bachelor boys at "Kainga Tui" must have became tired of fending for themselves - in October 1913 they were advertising for a "good housekeeper for a country residence". [23] By May 1914 it appears that the Hobson & Meares partnership had been dissolved and the ownership of the Orinoco land transferred to Frank Hobson alone. News came around the same time of another wedding in England, when his sister Hilda married Algernon Noble.

Frank had known Frances, youngest of Edwin & Sarah Trolove's daughters, for several years. They became close, and although not formally engaged, it was generally understood that they were promised to one another. There were visits to her mother's home in Nelson, though the trip was something of a mission, made tediously slow by the poor condition of the road through the Moutere. - in fact travellers most often chose to use the coastal steamer service across Tasman Bay by preference. He also wrote letters, though it being considered improper at the time for him to write to an unmarried woman directly, he corresponded with his "Fan" via her mother Sarah, of whom he was also very fond. 

Overlooking tents at Trentham Military Camp ca. 1914

When the First World War broke out on 4 August 1914, young men from the Motueka Valley were quick to join up and "Kainga Tui" was left deserted by early 1915 after all three of its inhabitants enlisted. Frank took a few weeks to sort out arrangements for the farm and sell a few odds and ends, like his gig and harness. [24] He then made his way to the Trentham Military Training Camp along with his friend Dick James and many others who were to make up the 2nd Reinforcements to the Main Body of the NZ Expeditionary Force, which had shipped out on the 16th of October, 1914. Frank was passed as fit and signed his attestation form at Trentham on 27th October, 1914. His medical report tells us he had dark hair and grey eyes, was 5ft 7in (1.70 cm), and note was made of the scar on his left chest, legacy of his earlier heart surgery. He was assigned to the 10th (Nelson) Squadron of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment.  Dick James joined the 12th (Nelson) Company of the Canterbury Infantry Battalion and later travelled to Egypt on the "Willochra" with his mates from the Territorials. The trainees were all raring to go by December 4, 1914, when Frank sent a letter to Sarah and Frances Trolove in Nelson from the Royal Oak Hotel in Wellington, whilst on final leave:

"I had a photograph taken today... George will send you one. You will know we are going to Egypt and hope to get away next week, everyone is very anxious to get away now, and the sooner the better as we are all feeling the monotony of camp life... Love to yourself and Fan & I think of you often, often." [25] 


The "SS Verdala" (HMNZT 13) farewelled from the wharf at Wellington, 13 December, 1914.

On 11 December 1914, Frank embarked on the "SS Verdala", dubbed "HMNZT (His Majesty's NZ Transport) 13" for this voyage. Major Mitchell was the Officer Commanding. With other men from the NZ Mounted Rifles Brigade (comprising all four of the regional mounted regiments - Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago) he spent the afternoon working to get the horses on board and settled. The 2nd Renforcements were officially farewelled at Newtown Park on the 12th by the Governor and Premier. Preceded by both brass and pipe bands and with the Mounteds in the lead, they then marched back to the wharf through Wellington's main streets, lined with cheering crowds that included a large number of Boy Scouts. A kind of mass hysteria infected the throng at the wharf, who created a great din, shouting, cheering and tossing hats, handkerchiefs, fruit, sweets and coins in the air.

Rough weather delayed them in Wellington Harbour on the 13th, but the 2nd Reinforcements' flotilla moved out early the next morning, leaving New Zealand behind.

"December 14, 1914: It was an imposing procession, with HMS Psyche in the lead, "Willochra" next, then "Verdala" - No 13 -  and then "Knight of the Garter", these three troopships having on board according to some reporters 'the finest body of troops that have ever left these shores'. They are getting finer every time, it will be interesting to know how fine the last will be". [26] 

They were bound for Egypt via Australia and Colombo. Frank had started a diary, and noted wistfully on December 22, 1914, "Hope 'Kairuru'-'Nga Rua' party is having a good time". (They were. Peg Parsons (nee Trolove) from "The Shades" later recalled spending the 1914-15 Christmas holidays at "Kairuru" as a schoolgirl: "Masses of people there - Blacketts, Tomlinsons etc. Huge feeds, great fun, cards, singing around the piano, with Aunt Add (Adelaide Tomlinson nee Trolove) chief pianist...") [27] The Nelson men on board the "Verdala" had a good laugh when they received safety razors stamped "Made in Germany" as Christmas gifts from the national Patriotic Fund. The 2nd Reinforcements disembarked at Alexandria on February 2, 1915, then entrained to Zeitoun camp near Cairo, where NZ and Australian troops underwent training together in the desert for the next couple of months. 

A Christmas gathering at "Kairuru", this one in 1918
Lt-rt: Seated at the back: Helen (Nen) Trolove, Herbert Henderson with baby son, Jim.
Mabel Henderson (nee Trolove) seated centre with children Ron on her left and Joan to the right.
 Front, far right: Frances (Fanny) Trolove (later Hobson)
On either side of Mabel are the Smith brothers - Roy to the left and Alf to the right, farm cadets at "Kairuru".
Keeping it in the family, Alf's daughter later married George Hobson's son,

There was time for some sight-seeing - Frank and Noel Trolove (who was also serving with the CMR) visited the Sphinx and the Pyramids at Giza and later went together to Sakkara. Frank looked around tthe Zoological Gardens at Giza with Harold Parsons, caught up with Dick James and sneaked off without a pass for a day out with a couple of mates which included a tour of the Museum at Cairo followed by a slap-up meal at a popular restaurant, then a drink at Shepheard's Hotel. Brief excitements amid the tedium of training and picket duty included being sent up to the Suez Canal at the end of January 1915, though they played no part in the Battle of the Suez Canal which followed on 3 February, and patrolling the streets on horseback in April after the riot in Cairo by ANZAC soldiers known as the Battle of the Wazzir. NZ Infantry had been landed at the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April, 1915, and by the start of May the Mounteds became aware that things were heating up there and they might soon be seeing action themselves.

"May 2, 1915: In the evening we heard part of the casualty list from the Dardanelles and are all anxiously waiting further news; the accounts in the local papers are very meagre, though quite enough to show that heavy fighting has been taking place. Wounded men are coming in daily and are being put in the various hospitals around the districts. The weather is now very warm, but quite bearable, the flies being the worst part, and sometimes in the messroom it seems we'll have to eat our food outside and let the flies have the inside, if they would agree to it." [28] 

On the 5th of May the men of the NZ Mounted Rifles were put on notice that they would be leaving their horses behind and proceeding to the Dardanelles as infantry reinforcements. In short order Frank was heading to Alexandria to take ship on "HMT Grantully Castle", 2,500 men packed in like sardines.

Like most English schoolboys, Frank would have been familiar with classics like the "Iliad", giving the approach to the site of Homer's Troy a special resonance.

 NZ troops embark on the "HMT Grantully Castle" 
at Alexandria, 9 May, 1915
"May 12, 1915: Woke this morning to find ourselves anchored off the entrance to the historic Dardanelles. Very foggy and drizzling with rain, so that we can see very little. Breakfasted to the sound of the guns, the dull booming of which could be plainly heard and was evidently coming from artillery operating on land". [20] 

After bivouacking for a night at Anzac Cove, the NZMR were ordered to relieve the Royal Naval Brigade at Walker's Ridge.

"'Taking over' the trenches at Walker's Ridge was soon accomplished - the line running from the sea almost straight up Walker's Ridge to the top where was situated General Russell's headquarters, but Outposts No 1 & No 2 which formed part of the Canterburys' section were not taken over till dark, as it was possible to travel between them and the trenches only during the night. Even then it was not a pleasant job. The Turks had machine guns ranged on the beach, and would open up at odd moments during the night." [30] 


Digging in at Walker's Ridge.
"Digging with picks and shovels may be hard work, but try a small entrenching tool, a terrace of hard clay
 with stones throughout and dig a hole big enough to contain a man. 
There was of course the drivng power of self-protection."  Lt-Col. C.G Powles


Frank's last diary entry was made on the 23rd of May, 1915, a rare quiet day.

"Turned out at 1.30 this morning expecting another raid somewhere, but after sitting trying to keep warm till daybreak nothing happened so we returned and had another few hours sleep, the first we've had without arms for some time. Had a swim and saw Dick today for the firat time since leaving Egypt. Aeroplanes are active again today but firing is very desultory on both sides and seems altogether too peaceful - this is the quietest day yet ..

On the evening of May 28th the 1st Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry attacked and took over a Turkish position freshly established 450m north-east of No 2 Post and posing a significant threat . The CYC named this position No 3 Post and then handed it over to the Wellington Mounted Rifles. At 8.00 pm on the evening of the 30th, two troops of the 8th (South Canterbury) and 10th (Nelson) squadrons of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles moved up to No 3 Post to relieve the WMR, who had been under heavy fire all day. The CMR beat back the Turks long enough to allow the WMR to retire with their wounded by midnight. However, their own position was untenable - they were surrounded and subjected to a concerted counter-attack which included a constant barrage of Turkish hand-grenades. Not long after midnight (now May 31st) Frank Hobson was killed instantly by an exploding hand-grenade which struck the trench he was helping to hold so wounded comrades could be evacuated. [31]  His body was buried in the collapsed trench by debris from the explosion, and as the CMR had to abandon No 3 Post and fall back on Fisherman's Hut soon after, it was never recovered.

"I have made repeated enquires about this, but have been unable to get any satisfaction," wrote Frank's friend Dick James to George at "Ngarua". "They all say he was killed instantly and buried at the same time."

The notice of Frank's death appeared in the Nelson "Colonist", 21 July, 1915, alongside an obituary for Private John Carruthers (Jack) Blackett, whose death would also have hit "Kairuru" and "Ngarua" hard. Widows Sarah Trolove and Elizabeth Blackett were good neighbours in Nelson's Ngatitama Street and their families were very close. Jack Blackett's sister Shirley was a particular friend of both Mabel Henderson (nee Trolove) and her younger sister Frances. 


"It is with the deepest regret that I have to acquaint
you with the death of your brother, F.E. Hobson.
 He was killed while nobly doing his duty..."
Letter of condolence (left) sent to George Hobson by Frank's commanding officer, Captain D.W. Talbot of Motueka, 10th (Nelson) Squadron, Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment, NZEF.

Letters of condolence flew thick and fast to George back home, including one from Frank's commanding officer, Boer War veteran Captain Daniel Willis Talbot (1876-1953) of Motueka. Another CMR officer, Captain George Cuthbert Mayne (who would himself be killed in action at Gallipoli on August 8, 1915), slipped a note in with Frank's effects: "He fell while fighting very bravely and he did his duty to the utmost. He was a good soldier and his cheerful disposition gained him the friendship of all."



One of the most poignant notes came from George and Frank's youngest sister Eva in England, who was losing her battle with consumption and must have been aware that her own time was running out. She died a few months later on 6 December 1915 at the home of their sister Barbara Costelloe (nee Hobson), in Caistron, Northumberland.

"I have had you in my thoughts often since this last keen blow came... You must feel it the keenest of all of us, but there is one big consolation - we shall met him again, even though some of us wait longer than others. I hear you are thinking of joining - don't George - there is equally as much to do in the world for brave men as at the Front, and will be after this war. We none of us want you to go. Let us decide this one thing for you, even though it is a big thing to ask..."

George certainly had plenty on his plate, dealing with both his own and Frank's farms, which he had been doing since the last of the "Kainga Tui" bachelors, Henry Devenish Meares, departed to enlist in March 1915. However, in 1916  conscription came into force in New Zealand and in May 1917 George's name was drawn in the 7th ballot for the 31st Reinforcements. [32] It's more likely to have been his farming commitments than his family's wishes that led to his exemption. He was an executor of Frank's will along with his sister Annie Field (nee Hobson), but complications, possibly caused by interests in both New Zealand and England, delayed the granting of probate till 1924. Frank's medals - the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the 1914/15 Star- went to George at "Ngarua", and his King George V Plaque and Scroll to his mother Hannah Hobson, at that time living with her sister Elizabeth Eliot (nee Wall) in North Shields, Northumberland. Hannah moved about several times after leaving the family home but died at Jarrow, her birthplace, in 1939. She was 77. [33] 


Cap badge of the Manchester Regiment as worn during the First World War
This emblem is is the heraldic coat of arms of the City of Manchester and is depicted on
 the headstones of WWI casualties from the Manchester Regiment.

War hadn't yet finished with the Hobson family. Frank and George's youngest brother, Willie, was called up late in the war. He enlisted at Morpeth, Northumberland, and served as Private William Henry Hobson, service no 42567, firstly with the 2nd/10th (Oldham)  Battalion of the Manchester Regiment and then with the1st/8th (Ardwick) Battalion of the Manchester Regiment in France. He was 22 when he died of wounds received in action there on 6 April, 1918. He lies beneath a headstone at Étaples Military Cemetery, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France. The wording, as requested by his nominated next-of-kin, sister Barbara Costelloe, reads simply "Thy will be done." His effects and medals went to his oldest sister Annie, as executor of his will. [34]

On 18 December 1917, George added to 'Kainga Tui" when he bought the farm next-door (Section 41) in the estate sale following the death of early settler Roger Lloyd, for whom the valley was named. In September 1919, George turned over the Orinoco farm to Kenneth Boor (Ken) Tennent, a returned serviceman and Military Medal recipient who fought with the 6th Reinforcements, Canterbury Mounted Rifles. It's unclear whether or not he knew Frank, but may well have been a friend of Noel Trolove's and did have a connection with the Devenish Meares family in Christchurch through his sister Kathleen. [35] Before the war he had run his own sheep farm at Fairlie, South Canterbury. This arrangement with George must have been made before Ken Tennent returned to New Zealand - his military papers record his intended destination after demobilisation as "Orinoco, Nelson." 

Frances Hobson nee Trolove (1884-1953)
George had other things on his mind at this stage - he had become engaged to his brother's former sweetheart, Frances Trolove.  Not wanting any fuss or awkwardness, given the circumstances, George and Fanny chose not to have a Nelson wedding but instead married quietly on 11 August 1920 at St John's Anglican Cathedral in Napier, with the Rev. Canon Frank Mayne officiating. [36] The Tomlinson family stood as witnesses;  Fanny's sister Adelaide, brother-in-law William "Tat" Tomlinson and niece Phyllis. The Tomlinsons at that time lived in Napier, where William Tomlinson was working as an accountant for the Bank of New Zealand. George and Fanny settled at the homestead on George's Riwaka property, and raised a family. A daughter, Shirley, was born in 1921, followed in 1925 by a son, named Frank for the uncle who was lost to the war. When Ken Tennent moved on in 1926 George took back the Orinoco property and  ran  it himself in rotation with his other farms. From the early 1930s it was used mainly for a tobacco growing operation, providing seasonal employment for a number of Orinoco Valley residents throughout the difficult years of the Great Depression and the Second World War. In 1949 he sold it to Norris Lathom "Laddie" Mayson (1911-1989) and concentrated on his land at Riwaka and Takaka Hill.


George Hobson (1885-1975)
 with daughter Shirley
and Jack the dog at Riwaka in 1973
.
Frances Hobson died of a heart attack on 4 October, 1953, aged 69. George returned to a still war-ravaged England in 1956 with his daughter Shirley, as part of a 3-month-long group farm tour organized by stock and station agents Dalgety & Co. for NZ farmers, an opportunity to look at different agricultural practices and enterprises while travelling around the UK. He caught up with family back home, the last time he would see his sisters Annie, Barbara and Hilda and uncle Michael Hobson, who had continued to operate as a seedsman and corn miller for many years, running both the Harperley and Catchgate Water and Steam Mills. Aunt Nelly died in 1934 and Michael Hobson married again to Eliza Bone in 1937. He died in 1959. George  suffered a last unexpected loss on 17 June, 1975, with the early death of his son Frank, also from a heart attack. The shock may have hastened his own death shortly after on 26 August 1975, at the age of 90. The land he farmed is still in the hands of his family today. [37]

Dick James was invalided out of the war in 1917 and returned to Motueka to work for George for a time. He later married and moved to live in Tauranga, where he died in 1957. Henry (Frank) Devenish Meares enlisted at Seatoun in Wellington in March, 1915. He had an unhappy war. He found military discipline intolerable, was constantly put on report, and passed from unit to unit before being eventually invalided home suffering from shell-shock. He never returned to the Nelson area but spent the rest of his life in Canterbury. Harold Parsons' war finished early in Egypt, when he became seriously ill. He was hospitalised and then sent home, where he married Will Trolove's oldest daughter Erica (Peg) in 1918. The Trolove cousins Ben and Noel also survived, despite skirmishes with injury and illness. Ben never returned to New Zealand, but after demobilisation in 1920 settled on a farm in Peterborough, England, near the family home. Noel Trolove was promoted to second lieutenant, but illness saw him declared medically unfit in December 1916. He was sent back to New Zealand and took up sheepfarming at Kaikoura. Noel died in Christchurch in 1939, so never felt the blow which struck his family during WWII. He and his wife Laura (nee Magnus) had five sons. Four of them - Peter, John, William and Derek - served with the Air Force, Peter with the RAF and the others with the RNZAF, but John was the only one to come home.

Tranquil Lloyds Valley has changed little in the hundred years since Frank Hobson took a last backward look before heading off to war; if anything it has become quieter, and that road remains unsealed. However, while his former "Kainga Tui" is still run as a farm, thanks to the foresight of later owner Les Moran in setting up a QEII Covenant, a section of the land once burned to the ground and cleared for pasture has regenerated over time into a fine stand of native bush.

A well-thumbed clipping of a favourite poem, torn from a newspaper and tucked away in Frank's old writing case, gives us a moving glimpse of his aspirations and on-going search for a deeper meaning in life:


     In the world's broad field of battle, 
 In the bivouac of Life, 
    Be not like dumb, driven cattle ! 
     Be a hero in the strife !

    Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant ! 
        Let the dead Past bury its dead ! 
    Act,— act in the living Present ! 
        Heart within, and God o'erhead !

    Lives of great men all remind us 
        We can make our lives sublime, 
    And, departing, leave behind us 
        Footprints on the sands of time.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Memorials

Frank Hobson is commemorated at the Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey and at the Ngatimoti War Memorial in Tasman, New Zealand. He is also listed in the Nelson-Tasman Roll of Honour and on the Gallipoli memorial wall at the Nelson Provincial Museum.


Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing, Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey
"To the Glory of God and in lasting memorial of...456 New Zealand soldiers whose names are not recorded in other areas of the Peninsula but who fell in the ANZAC area and have no known graves.."


Acknowledgments

For information and access to family documents and photographs, Mr D. Hobson, Motueka, NZ, and Mrs J. Chant, England (Hobson family); and Mrs J. Hope, Auckland, NZ (Henderson family). Special thanks are due to the late Shirley Hobson (1921-2006), custodian of the Hobson family history.


References

1) George Hobson (1885-1975) Diary of Voyage to New Zealand, 1906

    Note:  Norman Field (1885-1947), son of Alfred and Anne Field, married Frank's oldest     
    sister Annie Hobson at Tynemouth on 30 October, 1909.
   
2) Archway Archives NZ. Military personnel file: Frank Elliot Hobson
Note: Frank Hobson's military personnel file records his name as Frank Elliot Hobson, but his middle name was in fact spelt "Eliot", as per his birth certificate. "Frank" was his proper name and not short for "Francis".
Frank Eliot Hobson. Registration of birth: 1st quarter, 1887. Registration district: Lanchester/Durham. Vol 10a, pg 255.

3) Ancestry.com

4) 1851 Census of England HO107/2391 Folio 561, pg 69


5) Interview with George Hobson (1825-1905)

    Jubilee of Mr George Hobson, Harperley Mill: Presentation of an Address
    "Consett Chronicle", Friday, 21 February, 1896.
     Courtesy Mr D. Hobson

6) 1871 Census of England, RG10/4956, pg 66


7) Family Search, England, Marriages 1538-1973

    George Robinson Hobson to Hannah Wall, 12 November, 1882 at St Stephen's Church,    
    South Shields, Durham.

8) Parliamentary Sessional Papers: Reports of the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies for  

    the year ending December, 1899 Apendix (A) Disputes settled by the Registrar under the    
    Trustee Savings Bank & Post Office Savings Bank Acts in 1899. Case 47, pg 55.
On 21st December, 1898, Hannah, no longer living with her husband, withdrew most of the money from a Post Office savings account set up in 1884 by her husband for their oldest daughter, Annie. Her husband disputed her right to do this, and on 14 April, 1899 the Registrar ruled that the money rightfully belonged to their daughter.

9) National Archives, Kew, England # J77/666/245 
      Divorce Court File: 245 
      Appellant: George Robinson Hobson. Respondent: Hannah Hobson.

10) 1901 Census of England, RG13/4666 Folio 128, pg 36


11) Personal correspondence, Hobson family collection


12) Shaw Savill & Albion Company Ltd. Second Cabin Passengers' Contract Ticket, Messrs   

      F.E. & G. Hobson - receipt. (Hobson family collection)
      See also: Family Search, NZ Archives NZ Passenger Lists 1837-1973, F.E. Hobson

13) George Hobson, Shipboard diary (1906)

14) Graham, Pauline (compiler) & Robinson, Moira (researcher) (2000) A History of the  

       Robinson Family ; Lincolnshire, England, to Nelson, New Zealand 1752-2000 Nelson,    
       NZ, Copy Press Ltd, pg 11

15) Dr Shaw's visits to New Zealand in 1852 & 1858 feature in his travel books A Tramp to 

       the Diggings of Australia (1852) and A Gallop to the Antipodes, Returning Overland 
       through India (1858).

16) Cyclopedia of NZ (1906) Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts:

      Kekerengu. See entries for "The Shades" amd John William Trolove, pg 44

17) i) Loftus, Helen J. (1997) The Tetley Affair: Colonial Dreams & Nightmares. Waikanae, 

           NZ: Heritage Press Ltd.   
           Ch.7 Whatever Happened to..? See Frederick & Edwin Trolove, pg 125

       ii) Kennington, A.L. (Bert) (1978) The Awatere: A district and its people. NZ, Blenheim:  
            Marlborough County Council. Blairich and Altimarlock pp 60-69. Middlehurst pg 81
       
       iii) Henderson, Jim (1983) Down from Marble Mountain. Auckland, NZ: Hodder & 
            Stoughton Ltd. Ch. 5 Author! Author!  pp. 53-59

18) Trolove-Collins wedding St James Church, Kowhai, Kaikoura, 15 October, 1896

      Nelson Evening Mail, 28 October 1896, pg 2 
      Geraldine's father arbitrarily changed his surname from "Collins" to "Collyns" late 
      in the 1870s. Children, like Geraldine, born before the change were registered under
      the name "Collins".

19)  The Lime and Marble of Takaka Hill

       The Prow: Stories of  People & Places from Nelson & Marlborough.
       See also Lime & Marble Limited in "The History of the Lime Industry in the Waimea County" by R. 
       Courtney Lawry in The Nelson Historical Society Journa,l  Vol. 2, Issue 3 (1989). Pub. Nelson, New Zealand.

20) "Droving"Brereton, Cyprian BridgeNo Roll of Drums (1947) Wellington, NZ: A.H.& 
       A.W.  Reed. Ch. XIV, pp. 140-145. (Stories of Ngatimoti's pioneers.)

21) Nelson Land Board Monthly Meeting. Transfer approved of L.I.P. Section 10, Block XIII, 

      Motueka, E.Robinson to F.E. Hobson and H.F.D. Meares.
      "Nelson Evening Mail", 9 June, 1911, pg 3
    
22) "Nelson Evening Mail", 20 January, 1911. Local & General News: Magistrate's  Court
        at Brightwater.

23)  Nelson Evening Mail, 13 October, 1913. Advertisement: Housekeeper wanted
   
24) "Colonist" 27 August, 1914. Advertisement: Gig and harness for sale.

25) Personal correspondence from Frank Hobson to Mrs Sarah Trolove.

      Hobson family collection.

26) Hobson, Frank Eliot (1886-1915). War Diary

      Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. Manuscript ID 94/50, MS-94-50

27) Henderson, Jim (compiler) (2000) "Mountain Farm, Bush Farm". Auckland, NZ: Radio 

      Pacific Publishing. "Peg Parsons at Kairuru, 1914-15", pg 26. 
     
28) Hobson, War Diary

29) Ibid


30) Powles, Colonel C.G. The History of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, 1914-1919.

       Ch III Of the Voyage to and Arrival at Anzac and of Life in the Trenches, pg 23

31) "Grey River Argus", 13 August, 1915: Major Cribb Injured. pg 7. The action in which         

       Frank Hobson was killed is described in the extract from a letter written by Private 
       Anderson of the West Coast section of the 3rd NZ Reinforcements. (Note: for "bomb" 
       read "hand-grenade").

32) List of Nelson-Marlborough Men: Seventh Ballot, 31st Reinforcements

      "Colonist", 16 May, 1917, pg 11.

33) Military Personnel File: Frank Eliot Hobson


34) The family of Robert Collings Tennent

       Family Tree Circles website

35) Information supplied by the Manchester Regiment Archives


36) Marriage certificate, ref. 1920/8502 Hobson-Trolove.
      NZ Dept of Internal Affairs, BDM Historical Online Search .

37) Oral history, Mr D. Hobson, Motueka, &  Mrs J. Hope, Auckland.
     

Other Sources

Short video clip showing a traditional water-powered corn mill at work.
Website of the Heatherslaw Corn Mill Working Museum, Northumberland, England.

Annual sheep returns, NZ: See Marlborough/Nelson/Westland Sheep District  Waimes County. (Appendix to the Journals of the House of Represenatives).

Hobson & Meares 1910-1911 p 72, Hobson & Meares 1912-13, pg 76, F.E. Hobson 1914, pg 77

Gallipoli Place Names: an interactive map
NZ History website (NZ Ministry for Culture and Heritage)

Canterbury Mounted Rifles Timeline: 1915

NZ History website (NZ Ministry for Culture and Heritage)

The Battle for No 3 Post (Gallipoli campaign)

Wikipedia.


Photo credits


Frank Eliot Hobson ( 1887-1915) Taken as a memento for friends and family at a photographic studio in Wellington on 4 December, 1914, while on final leave before sailing to Egypt.
Courtesy Mr D. Hobson

St Thomas Anglican Church, Collierley
Geograph Britain and Ireland.

Inscription over the old Harperley Mill door

Courtesy Mr B. Wilson

The Harperley Mill House as Frank Hobson would have known it

Courtesy Mr D. Hobson

George Hobson (1825-1905)

Jubilee of Mr George Hobson, Harperley Mill: Presentation of an Address
"Consett Chronicle", Friday, 21 February, 1896. 

Catchgate Post Office, Hobson's Buildings, North Road Catchgate, Co. Durham

Google map screenshot, dated October 2010.

Frank Hobson playing chess at Harperley Mill

Courtesy Mr D. Hobson

The family of George R. & Hannah (nee Wall) Hobson with their aunt Eleanor and uncle Michael M. Hobson and cousins at the Harperley Mill House, ca. 1905
Courtesy Mr D. Hobson

SS Corinthic Second Class Passenger ticket Frank & George Hobson, 1906.

Courtesy Mr D. Hobson

"Blairich", Awatere homestead  of the McRae family

Ex Kennington, "The Awatere, A District and its People".

"Flaxbourne" homestaed group
Marlborough Museum-Marlborough Historical Society.

Gathering at "The Shades", 1908 
Courtesy Mrs J. Hope.

Frank's brother, George Hobson (1885-1975) of "Ngarua".

Courtesy Mr D. Hobson.

"Kairuru", home of Herbert & Mabel Henderson, situated on Takaka Hill, ca. 1915
Alexander Turnbull Library, NZ. .Ref no 1/4-027781-F. Object # 14345

Ernest Robinson's home in Lloyds Valley, Ngatimoti

Guy Collection/Nelson Provincial Museum Collection, ref. 315127

The Orinoco Valley

Guy Collection/Nelson Provincial Museum, ref. 315129

Overlooking rows of tents at Trentham Military Camp [ca 1914]

Alexander Turnbull LIbrary, NZ.  Ref .no. 1/2-020728-F 

The "SS Verdala" farewelled from Wellington wharf 13 December, 1914

 Note: The original photo caption incorrectly labels the "SS Verdala" as HMNZT 15.
Te Papa Tongarewa/Museum of New Zealand. Photography Collection.
Type: photographic postcards, ref. no PS. 002973

Henderson family photograph, "Kairuru", Christmas 1918.

Courtesy Mrs J. Hope

NZ troops embark on the "HMT Grantully Castle" at Alexandria, 9 May 1914.

New Zealand Mounted Rifles website 

Digging in on Walker's Ridge 

National Army Museum/ Te Mata Toa. Ref. 1991.587

Manchester Regiment cap badge

British Regiments: Medals of the Manchester Regiment

Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey
Australian Associated Press (AAP)

9 comments:

  1. Hello, fascinating story. You may be interested in our project: http://dominiongeordiesinww1.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to hear from you, James. Frank Hobson certainly fits the parameters of your project and you are welcome to link to his story on the Dominion Geordies website if you feel it would be of interest. I hadn't realised so many emigrants from North-eastern England served with Dominion forces during the First World War. English emigrants fighting with Dominon forces aren't often commemorated on memorials in their home towns either, so great to see some of them being recognized in this way. There's something very moving about retrieving lost lives, I find.

      Delete
  2. Hi Annis, thanks for getting back to me. I was wondering if you're in touch with any of Frank Eliot Hobson's relatives? We'd love to talk to them about their ancestors and also about links back to relatives in the NE. My email is james.mcconnel@northumbria.ac.uk and if you'd pass it onto them that would be great. Many Thanks James

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi - Good to see some family history about McRae of Blairich and Trolove - Kith and kin from down that way - interlinked. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  4. You're welcome, Anna - good to hear from a Trolove/McRae connection :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have written about the Trolove family and their Shaw ancestors in my account of the family of the artist J.M.W.Turner (Of Geese, Mallards and Drakes: IV, The Marshalls and Harpurs) http://turnerwordpress.jmwturner.org

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  6. Hi Annis. My great grandfather is George Hobson. My mother is George's granddaughter Helen. A very interesting and well presented article. Fantastic insight into what is ultimately a tragic story but one I'm glad I now have some understanding of. Congratulations on your work and thanks. Jeremy Marwick

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  7. Thanks very much for your kind words, Jeremy - a pleasure to "meet" another member of the Hobson clan. I found Frank's story such an interesting one to follow and was so fortunate to be given access to photos, letters and diaries along the way. I still sometimes think with a twinge of regret about that excited young man heading off with his brother on their grand adventure to New Zealand, knowing, as he did not, where life would lead him. "Lest We Forget".

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  8. Hi Annis. A great read, enjoyed it very much. My Great (3) grandfather was George McRae (1799-1864) of Blairich Station

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