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1884–1939Music teacher, pianist, carillonist
Gladys Elinor Watkins was born in Akaroa on 20 October 1884, the 11th child of English-born parents Elizabeth Ellen Pavitt and her husband, Stephen Watkins, a gardener. She was educated at Miss Freeman's ladies' school (later Chilton House School), Wellington and at 17 began what was to become...
Story: Watkins, Gladys Elinor
1912–1945Communist, journalist, soldier
Clement Gordon Watson, usually known as Gordon, was born at Mangaweka, near Taihape, on 5 April 1912, the son of Roberta Agnes Hughes and her husband, Reginald Beresford Spencer Watson, a farmer. His mother died when he was a child and his father subsequently settled in Fiji, where he ran a...
Story: Watson, Clement Gordon
1907–1966Rural women’s advocate, community leader
Ellenor Catherine Squires was born in Nelson on 22 April 1907, one of three children of dental surgeon William Westbrooke Squires and his wife, Mary Beatrice Moffett. She was educated at Nelson College for Girls, and worked for a time as a dental assistant in her father’s surgery. On 11 April...
Story: Watson, Ellenor Catherine
1887–1967Doctor, public health administrator
Michael Herbert Watt was born at Green Island, near Dunedin, on 16 March 1887, the 11th of 13 children of Scottish-born parents Michael Watt and his wife, Isabella Shand. His father was minister of the local Presbyterian church and taught at Dunedin's Presbyterian Theological College from 1874...
Story: Watt, Michael Herbert
1902–1974Clerk, accountant, company manager, industrialist, philanthropist, race-horse owner
James Wattie was born on 23 March 1902 in Hawarden, North Canterbury. The third of five sons of William John Wattie, a shepherd, and his wife, Annie Elizabeth Jifkins, he grew up in a close-knit, hardworking farming family with a Scottish heritage. Soon after he started school the family moved...
Story: Wattie, James
Elizabeth Rose Rebecca Bradshaw is thought to have been born in Ireland, probably in 1833 or 1834, but nothing is known of her background or early life. Probably in 1850, in England, she married John Charles Watts Russell of Staffordshire; there were no children of the marriage. As the fourth...
1922–1984Aircraft engineer, military and commercial aviator, airline operator, meteorologist
Born at Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, on 26 September 1922, Brian Kynaston Waugh was the second of two sons of Helen Elizabeth Caudle and her husband, Walter Waugh, an electrical engineer. He developed an early fascination with aviation after his father became a foreman on the construction...
Story: Waugh, Brian Kynaston
1884–1950Coalminer, trade unionist, politician
Patrick (Paddy) Charles Webb was born in Rutherglen in north-eastern Victoria, Australia, on 30 November 1884. He was one of nine children of George Webb, a miner, and his wife, Mary Ann McNamara. The family established a vineyard during Rutherglen's shortlived mining boom in the mid 1880s and...
Story: Webb, Patrick Charles
1889–1962Lawyer, rugby player, politician, diplomat
Thomas Clifton Webb was born on 8 March 1889 at Te Kopuru, Northland, the son of English parents Thomas Webb, a farmer, and his wife, Penelope Martha Massey. Clifton attended Te Kopuru School and in 1902 won a Junior National Scholarship, which took him to Auckland Grammar School. He then...
Story: Webb, Thomas Clifton
1875–1967Postmaster, boarding-house keeper, farmer
George William Wallace Webber was born on 15 August 1875 at Nelson, New Zealand, the first child of Maria Elizabeth Wells and her husband, Wallace Thomas Webber, a sheepfarmer of Elmslies Bay, French Pass, in the Marlborough Sounds. From 1877 his father had a contract with the post office to...
1815–1897Trader, land speculator
William Webster was born in 1815 at Portland, Maine, in the United States, and arrived in New Zealand in March 1835. It has been suggested that he absconded from a whaling ship but he may have arrived by way of Sydney, after making contacts among the trans-Tasman business community.
Story: Webster, William
1886–1965Artist, art teacher
John Weeks, although one of the leading New Zealand painters of the 1930s and 1940s, has been rather neglected by art historians. He was born on 8 June 1886 at Sydenham Damerel, Devonshire, England, to farmer parents Emma Hooper and her husband, William John Weeks. The family emigrated in 1892...
Story: Weeks, John
1904–1969Military leader, ambassador
Cyril Ettrick Weir, the youngest of the 10 sons of Cochrane Weir, a farmer, and his wife, Allison McKay, was born at Sandymount on the Otago Peninsula on 5 October 1904. He was always known as Steve, and added Stephen to his name by deed poll in 1960. Weir attended the local primary school and...
Story: Weir, Stephen Cyril Ettrick
1900–1971Communist, teacher, editor
Hedwig Weitzel was born in Palmerston North on 17 September 1900, the daughter of German parents Marie Benninghoven and her husband, Friedrich Gustav Weitzel, a brass founder. The family subsequently moved to the Horowhenua area and by 1912 were living in Wellington. Hetty attended Wellington...
Story: Weitzel, Hedwig
1925–1961Farmer, ornithologist, conservationist, missionary
Elwyn Owen Arnold Welch was born in Masterton on 13 January 1925, the son of Ethel Falkner and her husband, Owen Welch, a farmer. Ethel’s family was from nearby Kaiparoro, where her father had built the first sawmill in the district. The Welch family farmed Kelvin Grove on the northern flanks...
Story: Welch, Elwyn Owen Arnold
Nugent Herrmann Welch was born at Akaroa on 30 July 1881, the third child and second son of Isabel Nugent and her husband, Joseph Sandell Welch, an assistant surveyor. In 1893 Joseph accepted a position as senior draughtsman with the Department of Lands and Survey and the family moved to...
Story: Welch, Nugent Herrmann
1823–1891Pastoralist, politician, premier, explorer, artist, colonial governor
Frederick Aloysius Weld, third son of Humphrey Weld and Maria Christina Clifford, daughter of Charles, sixth Lord Clifford of Chudleigh, was born and baptised at Chideock Manor, near Bridport, Dorset, England, on 9 May 1823. His ancestry was distinguished and its religion pervasive.
Story: Weld, Frederick Aloysius
Barbara Weldon, who was to become one of the more colourful characters on the West Coast, was born in County Limerick, Ireland, probably between 1829 and 1837. By 1861 she was in Melbourne, Australia, where she made a number of court appearances for drink-related offences, and was described as...
Story: Weldon, Barbara
Thomas King Weldon was born either at Cork or at Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim, Ireland, probably some time between 1826 and 1829. He was the son of Patrick Campbell Weldon, an inspector of police, and his wife, Mary King. He married Eliza Simmons in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, on 24...
Story: Weldon, Thomas King
1814?–1893Whaler, merchant, coloniser, adventurer
Edward Weller was baptised at Folkestone, Kent, in England, on 29 July 1814. He was the son of Joseph Weller and his wife, Mary Brooks. There were six children of this marriage; Edward was the third of three sons, and was later in partnership with his elder brothers, Joseph Brooks (1804–1835)...
Story: Weller, Edward