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Avondale Historical Journal 74

Avondale Historical Journal 74

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Published by Lisa Truttman
Journal of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society, Auckland, New Zealand
Journal of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society, Auckland, New Zealand

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Published by: Lisa Truttman on Nov 04, 2013
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The Avondale Historical Journal
November—December 2013
Volume 13 Issue 74
Official Publication of the Avondale-Waterview Historical  Society Incorporated 
The Marble Plaque — Avondale Primary School’s First World War Roll of Honour
This was once on display at Avondale Primary School, then given to the RSA for safe keeping. Currently displayed facing Layard Street. John H A Bollard Eric H Astley Fred Albert Crum Stanley Fransham Reginald P Filleul Leslie Rotorua Darrow William N C Bishop John J Bishop
Originally there were 33 names on the plaque all in alphabetical order: two further names, J T Lilley and H W Cox were added later. The rimu board had gone by the time I came to know the board after the demoli-tion of the old school buildings (1971-1972), while it was displayed in the window of what had once been the confectioner’s shop on Layard Street, part of the RSA clubrooms. Today, unfortunately, it has also been badly cracked.
The names on the marble are mainly those who were former pupils of Avondale School, even if only for two of three years back in the 1890s as their families passed through from others places. Sometimes, though, there appear to be names from those families living in or near the area, whether on the school rolls or not. I’m still waiting for more of the military files held at Archives New Zealand to become available, as well as opportu-nity to do more research via Papers Past and the BDM records, but here are some of the stories behind the names.
Here are the names on the marble roll, in order, along with what I’ve found so far on each man and his family:
George Edmond Vernon Aimer
 According to the early rolls for Avondale School, Vernon, Grace and Kenneth Aimer attended standards classes at Avondale School from March 1897 to June 1899, children of Edmund Baxter Aimer and Annie Elizabeth née Feek. The Aimers were living at the Hokianga in 1884, Dargaville c.1888, then Drury by 1895. They must have spent a couple of years here, be-fore moving on to the city and Parnell.
Vernon Aimer was a clerk for Cahill & Co from when he was around 14 years old. At the age of 16, he came into strife with a youthful indiscretion when he was found guilty of breaking and entering his employers’ premises in 1903, and served a 12 month sentence. From that low point though he bounced right back.
 AN AIRMAN'S DEATH  LIEUT. G V AIMER  A POPULAR AUCKLANDER  Lieutenant George Vernon Aimer, a member of the  Royal Flying Corps, who was accidentally killed whilst  flying near London on June 22, was the eldest son of  Mr and Mrs C B
 Aimer, of St. Stephen’s Avenue, Parnell. He was born in Hokianga in 1886, and was educated in Auckland. For a time he was employed in the Government Forestry Department at Rotorua, sub-sequently taking a position in Fiji. Shortly after return-ing to Auckland, in 1910, he entered the service of the  Bank of New Zealand as correspondence clerk, a posi-tion he held for about five years. In August of last year he obtained extended leave of absence, and proceeded to England for health reasons. After a short time in hos-
The Avondale Historical Journal
Volume 13 Issue 74
 Page 2
I’ve been interested in rolls of honour for some time, but up until recently have only ever photographed them. Since information has become more readily available from Archives New Zealand, coming up to the centen-ary of the First World War, I started looking deeper into a roll of honour in Pt Chevalier, and started finding the stories behind most of the names. Avondale has three WWI rolls of honour, as well as memorials to the fallen in our two cemeteries. Of these honour boards, only two are listed on the Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph database at the time of writing (October 2013). These are: the St Jude’s honour tablet displayed in the church entrance (unveiled by Archdeacon MacMurray 21 August 1921, on dedicating a new font and baptistery), and the 1917 Oddfellows board, once displayed at the Oddfellows Hall at St Georges Road, but now hung in the entry foyer at the Avondale RSA on Layard Street. The Avondale School’s roll of honour (1919) seems to have been largely overlooked.
The Avondale School Marble Roll of Honour
The “marble roll”, as I’ve called it, is a marble slab dis-played beside the RSA’s 25pr field gun in the garden on Layard Street (pictured on the front page):
 A very solemn function took place on Saturday after-noon in the Avondale Public School, when a memorial tablet in memory of old boys of the school who had given their lives in the great war of 1914-18 was un-veiled. The tablet, which is of white marble, was pre-sented by Mr J Binsted and was unveiled by Mrs  Binsted. There was a very large attendance of parents and relatives. Mr H A V Bollard, Chairman of the school committee), who presided, said the district owed a deep debt of gratitude to the donor. Kipling's "Recessional" was beautifully sung by the children, un-der the conductorship of Mr. Gough. Mr. R B Nesbitt (chairman of the Road Board), Mr Darrow (headmaster), Mr J L Scott, and Mr. King (member of the Board of Education) also addressed the audience. The tablet, which was covered with the Union Jack, was unveiled by Mrs. Binsted while the children sang the beautiful hymn "Abide With Me." The tablet is nicely mounted in rimu in the design of the setting sun, by Mr  H Spargo. The tablet is headed: "In memory of the brave boys who gave their lives in the great war, 1914-18."
 Auckland Star 
, 22 December 1919)
Avondale’s WWI Rolls of Honour
 Lisa J Truttman
John Henry Allen Bollard
Son of William Allen Bollard of Moray Place, Dunedin, and Harriet Bollard nee Sankey. He was pre-sumed missing, later declared killed in action by shell fire in France in 1916. His mother Harriet died the year he was born, in 1893, and is buried at the George Maxwell Memorial Cemetery with the Bollards. William Allen Bollard (1869-1941) was a landscape artist, and third son of John Bollard of Avondale.
Ewen McLean Brookes
The Brookes family lived on New Windsor Road. Ewen attended the Standards classes at Avondale 1901-1906. When he signed up he was a clerk working for Winstones Ltd. He was killed in action October 1916.
Wallis John Burrow
He attended Avondale School’s standards classes in 1904. His parents John and Mary Burrow lived on New Windsor Road. Mary and three of her children are buried at St Ninians cemetery. Wallis was a cabinet-maker when he signed up in 1917. He died of wounds in January 1918.
Charles William Catton
The Catton family lived in the Avondale/Blockhouse Bay area from c.1900-1905. Charles was a farmhand working in Russell when he joined the army, and was killed in action September 1916.
Matthew Thomas Charles
Also known as Thomas Matthew Charles. Born in Tikorangi, Taranaki in 1892. Only very briefly at Avondale School during the standards classes in 1904, he went to a Catholic school after that. His father Thomas Charles lived in Victoria Road (now Victor Street) and Kitchener Road (Holly Street). Another cabinetmaker before he joined the army, working in Napier. He started out as a sapper with the field
 pital he offered his services to the War Office, but they were not accepted, owing to the state of his health.  Lieutenant Aimer then studied aviation, and after quali- fying for his pilot's certificate, was appointed an in-structor at the London Provincial Aviation Co.'s School. Later he again offered his services to the mili-tary authorities, and was given a commission in the  Royal Flying Corps. Since then he had been through a course of instruction in army work at Oxford, and it is believed was receiving further training at one of the War Office's aerodromes when he met with the unfortu-nate accident which resulted in his death. When in  Auckland the late lieutenant was very popular in athletic circles, and had at different times, over a pe-riod of eight years, been a member of the St. George's  Rowing Club, part of which time he was captain. A brother, Trooper Alexander Goven Aimer, left for the  front with the thirteenth reinforcements.
 NZ Herald
24 June 1916)
His brother Kenneth Aimer who also went to school here in the 1890s and served during the war went on to be come a well-known architect, and part of the part-nership of Grierson, Aimer and Draffin who designed the Auckland War Memorial Museum in the 1920s.
Eric Henry Astley
 Eric attended Avondale School’s standards classes June 1902 to June 1904, a son of John E Astley. He died at Gallipoli from wounds in June 1915.
William Norman Clarke Bishop John Joseph Bishop
William Bishop was briefly at Avondale School, for about a month, at the end of 1910. His brother John has here a bit longer, 6 months in 1906. They were mem-bers of the Bishop family of Titirangi.
FIGHTING FAMILY. THREE TITIRANGI BROTHERS. Private W N C Bishop, who was killed in action on May 25, was the youngest of the three sons of Mr J J Bishop, of Dunvegan, Titirangi, all of whom volunteered for active service. Private Bishop. who was 21 years of age, was educated at the Titirangi and Avondale public at the Auckland Grammar School. As a lad of 17 he entered the service of the Postal Department in Wellington four years ago, and subsequently was transferred to Auckland. He enlisted on attaining his twentieth birthday, and left with the twenty-eighth rein- forcements less than a year ago. His eldest brother  Lieutenant J J Bishop, of the thirteenth reinforcements, was killed in action in October 1st whilst leading his men with great gallantry during the severe fighting in Flanders. Sergeant T A Bishop, the only surviving brother, who left with the twelfth reinforcements, has been serving on the western front for the past year.
 NZ  Herald 
 11 June 1918)
The Avondale Historical Journal
Volume 13 Issue 74
 Page 3
Charles William Catton

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