CRUSHED TO DEATH IN A GOODS ELEVATOR

The Hanratty monument in the first Catholic section has a poignant memorial above the inscription. Two angels are supporting a woman whose eyes are raised and hands are clasped in prayer. Perhaps the angels represent the two young daughters of James and Mary Hanratty – Kathleen who was only 6 months old when she died in 1899, and Kitty, only 5 weeks old when she died in 1905. Worse was to come for the family though – James died in a ghastly accident at work in 1913, crushed by a goods lift.

CRUSHED TO DEATH.IN A GOODS ELEVATOR. A shocking accident, resulting in the death of James Hanratty, head storeman, occurred at the Victoria Street bulk store of Messrs. E. W. Mills and Co. at about 10.45 a.m. yesterday. A large 3-ton electric goods elevator, about 8 feet square, runs through the building. The lift merely consists of a square wooden platform, connected with runners on each side, and is used to convey all the bulk goods stored above the ground floor, through different floors. Hanratty had just brought down a number of casks of plaster of Paris from the top floor, which were to be taken away in a cart which was backed into deposition near the lift well. To make the connection in order to run the casks directly into the cart, the unfortunate man stopped the lift when its floor was about four foot from the bottom, and bridged the space between the lift and the cart, with a board, on which he rolled the casks down. He was so engaged when, by some means or other, the lift commenced to ascend, and Hanratty was caught between the top of the lift well opening, and the floor of the moving elevator, and was crushed badly about the chest and abdomen. He was heard by the driver of the cart to groan “I’m done!” and almost immediately afterwards the man died. No one could for a time get at the lever to drop the lift and so release his body. An employee, Mr. Charles Perry, slid down the lift well, but could not get the lift to work owing to something having been thrown out of gear by the stoppage of the lift whilst the power was still on. It was only after strenuous efforts on the part of Mr. Archibald-Forbes, the manager of the department, that the lift was lowered sufficiently to allow of the release of the body half-an-hour after the accident. Mr. W. T. Bray, secretary for Messrs. Arthur Cock sandCo.. wholesale opticians, whose offices are on the first, floor of the building, heard the thud and an unusual noise made by the lift gear. On looking down the well he saw Hanratty’s position, and opining that something serious had happened he rushed downstairs and found Hanratty dead in the lift, at once ran off to summon medical assistance, and Drs.Begg, Fyffe, and Ewart were soon on the spot. Hanratty has been in the employ of Messrs. E. W. Mills for about a quarter of a century and was regarded as a careful, steady, and reliable man. The deceased, who was about 48 years of age, had resided at Wadestown for over 20 years and was a member of the local school committee. He leaves a wife, three sons, and a daughter.Dominion 6 February 1913

Turnbull & Son

This charming wee house in Mt Victoria came on the market today. It was built in 1910 for Mrs Catherine Gray who is buried at Bolton Street. This house is a: “fine example of a New Zealand adaption of the Federation Queen Anne style in timber” – WCC Inventory Report. The architects were Thomas Turnbull & sons, a practice that made significant contributions to the built fabric of our city. As a father and son team they produced the General Assembly Library (1899), former Bank of New Zealand Head Office (1901) and Dr Henry Pollen’s House (1902) amongst many other well known buildings.The Turnbull family plot is located at Karori Cemetery in Public 2 section. It is a substantial plot but like its neighbours, has its back to the road. Have any of you spotted it?

More about the Gray family here:http://mtvictoria.history.org.nz/his…/105-brougham-street/

Thomas Turnbull
William Turnbull

T G Macarthy Headstones

Well done Public Trust for getting the professionals in to refurbish the T G Macarthy headstones. Vlad was doing some detailed work on the lead lettering this morning – fiddly and time consuming but necessary to protect it for decades to come. T G Macarthy made a fortune from brewing and hotels and did many quiet philanthropic works during his lifetime. He married very late in life a much younger woman. They had no children and when he died he left half his fortune in trust with the Public Trust, and the other half to his wife. If she remarried and had children her portion was to pass to them. She did remarry but again there were no children so when she died her portion was returned to Public Trust who have been administering it wisely and well for more than a century. Many schools and local organisations throughout the greater Wellington region are still benefiting from grants from the Trust to this day. The Trustees are the Governor General, the Prime Minister, the Mayor of Wellington, and the Catholic Bishop of Wellington. https://www.publictrust.co.nz/…/thomas-george-macarthy…

GEORGE HENRY ATHEA – ACCIDENTALLY KILLED

Deep in Public2 section is this fine headstone to 28 year old George Henry Athea who “met with a fatal accident whilst in the execution of his duty”. He had been married to Kate for for two years and they had a young daughter, Olive. The tram had only been running to Kilbirnie for two years and George had been working as a conductor for one year.On 10th September 1908, George was serving as a tram conductor on a ‘Palace Car’ between Kilbirnie and the Government Railway Station when he fell from the back steps of the car before it pulled up to the Kilbirnie Hotel. He continued the journey as a passenger and then was conveyed to his home in Farm Grove Berhampore, by Archibald Butters who had been in charge of the Tram Car. When the doctor finally saw him George was “deeply unconscious” and died at 7pm that night. The inquest concluded the death was caused by a fall from a tramcar resulting in a fracture of the skull and that the death was purely accidental. George’s father, George Athea Senior died suddenly on the 19th September. On the 7th October, a benefit concert was held by the Zealandia vaudeville company to raise money for his widow. In 1910 Kate remarried to Henry Barraclough.

Athea Plot
Kilbirnie Hotel
BB-17-11-06-16.tif

IN FOND REMEMBRANCE OF OUR DEAR LITTLE GLADYS

This angel standing adrift from her plinth caught our eye and the wistful words recorded beneath. Gladys was the daughter of Albert Edward Neilson and his wife Alice Maud Nicholls, who were married in 1903. Gladys died aged 19 months in 1908. Their second and only other child, Albert Kenneth, was born in 1910.

Sadly there is not much more that can be shared about Gladys, but we can report that her father Albert featured often in the Evening Post – first covering his contribution to the Boer War as Sergeant Farrier, but mostly in his role as rugby referee. In this line he refereed the Ranfurly Shield on occasion and also the Springboks Tour of New Zealand in 1921, was Secretary of the Wellington Rugby Union and was a member of the New Zealand rugby council.

Alice was a member of the National Women’s Reserve which was set up in 1915 to support the War. Alice represented the organisation at burials of returned soldiers.

Both Albert and Alice are interred in the same plot with Gladys in 1965 and 1966 respectively.

Then & Now

Everyone likes a game of “then and now” – which do you prefer? Original photo courtesy of WCC Archives Online.

Original photo:
Record Identifier39-8
Date Range 1983
Text on slide: Karori Cemetery CEM 008.
Copyright Attribution Wellington City Council
Copyright LicenseCC-BY
Citation Wellington City Council Archives, 00557-39-8

Then & Now

Another “then and now”. Interesting how the Main Chapel was once so visible on the skyline, as was the Underwood angel, and The Shelter more open. The implements shed has undergone quite a transformation too!

Original photo:

Copyright Attribution
Wellington City Council
Copyright License CC-BY
Citation
Wellington City Council Archives, 00557-39-18