Site sponsored by
remember World War One : Memorials of the Manawatu District
Over the past
two and a half years Peter Olsen has been slowly working his way around our
district locating rural Memorials, and where necessary, giving them a good
cleanup, and if needed a redo of the inscriptions. Sixteen stone and
granite obelisks, eight gateways, and thirty-three wooden board memorials were
found. The district mentioned is from Ruahine in the north to Rangiotu in
the south, and from the Rangitikei River to the Ranges.
Four of the
obelisks have been moved, two others damaged, and two of the boards lost through
fire. Most of the boards have been in schools or community halls, though
with the closure of schools over the years some have become centralised.
When the remedial work has been done, and now with a greater interest being
shown toward them, Peter believes they will stand the test of time ......
the 100 years since WW1, this project is seen as a small tribute to all who
served there. The resulting 72 page book is now available for sale with
all proceeds generously donated to the Feilding & Districts Community Archive.
Go to our Sales page for more information ......
Manchester Block 140th Anniversary of Settlement
the 140th anniversary of the settlement of the Manchester Block and
to mark the occasion Feilding Districts & Community Archive is running a project
which asks residents of the area to send in information on their families to the
archive by completing family registers. This information will become a research
resource for future generations.
first settlers came on organised shipping schedules and were the initial pool of
pioneers to settle the Manawatu area. Further settlers came on different
immigration schemes and also settled in this area after 1874. Settlement
continued into the 1900s as areas outside the township of Feilding were
purchased, surveyed and large farm blocks sub-divided. Then there are the
ongoing ‘settlers’ to Feilding who arrive from various parts of New Zealand and
the world and who now acknowledge this area as their settlement of choice.
Click on the appropriate link to download
the form, save it to your PC, complete it at your leisure, save it again and
email it to FDCA by
this link and attaching the document.
If your computer or tablet doesn't
support the format of these forms (MS Word), download pdf copies using the links
below, hand fill them in and post them to 'The Manchester Block Project, FDCA,
PO Box 42, Feilding.
A Silent Tribute to Those
There are many photographs already held at the
Feilding & Districts Community Archive
of young men from Feilding and surrounding farming areas who
headed off to the various war zones of World War 1. When conserving and
cataloguing photographs of these young men, volunteers at the archive often
research the pictures and make connections between those who returned, their
families, and the part they played in the ongoing development of our
soldiers had a formal or studio photograph taken of themselves in uniform
before they headed off.
Such formal photos of the young men in uniform sometimes included a family
friends or sweethearts. For our World War 1 remembrance project, Feilding &
District Community Archives is planning a silent digital presentation of
photographs of our local men to be screened in the theatrette in the Coach
We need your help! We need as many of these photos as we can lay our
hands on. We’d like people to dig out those old albums and biscuit boxes and
find those photos that are tucked away in many of our homes. Either the
original photo (on loan if preferred) or a high resolution digital scan is
required as photocopies will not be of suitable quality. Archive staff can
help to convert the original photographs for computer use if needed.
Include the name(s) of the person or persons in the photo, printed clearly
on the form provided (see link below), and drop them off at the reception
desk of the Coach House Museum marked for delivery to the “FDCA WW1
Project”, or email them to
email@example.com before the end of February 2015. If
you wish the photograph returned, please include your name and mailing
address, or alternatively gift the photograph to the community archive
us to create a small tribute to all those local lads who served in the Great
War, and to their families who waited anxiously for them to come safely
WW1 Project Form
News from the
Private J. M. O'Grady
Private James Michael O'Grady (Auckland Battalion, killed in action) was a
son of Mrs O'Grady of Main Street West, Palmerston North. He was 26
years of age, and was born at Taikorea in the Foxton district, and
educated at the Taikorea public school. Two years ago he went to
Auckland province and settled in the Bay of Islands district where he was
employed when hostilities broke out. He was among the first to offer his
services to his country, and joined the Auckland Infantry Battalion which
trained in Auckland. In order that his enlistment might not come as too
great a shock to his mother, Private O'Grady enlisted in the name of
Hurley, his mother's maiden name, and did not acquaint her of his action
until after the force left New Zealand since which time he had written
regularly. In one of his letters he stated that he had enlisted because he
considered it was his duty to fight for his country and that he would not
remain in New Zealand and be called a shirker. Private O'Grady went
to the Dardanelles with the First Expeditionary Force and took part in the
severe fighting that ensued after the landing on April 25th. and being
wounded was placed in hospital in Cairo, where he had to undergo an
operation as the result of his wound. Making a quick recovery, he
returned to the front on May 6th and a month later, on June 2nd, was
killed in action.
Source: O'Grady Press, 2 August 1915 (page 10)
Yet another Feilding name has to be added to the Roll of Honour, Lieut.
George Webster being reported killed in action in France on August 24.
George was the second son of Mr G. J. Webster, a former Borough Engineer
here. He was educated in Feilding, and in the year 1909 was dux of
the District High School. Upon leaving school he joined the staff of
the N.Z. Loan and Mercantile Agency Company here, being afterwards
transferred to Palmerston. He sailed in June 1917 with the 26th
Reinforcements as 2nd Lieutenant. Mrs Sidney Fisher, of Feilding, is
a sister. Previous to the war, George was a promising young
cricketer, a good sport, and pleasurable companion. There are many
boys and older boys in this district who will deeply sympathise with the
Source: Feilding Star, 10 September 1918
Restoring the Colonel
Held in pride of place within the archive is a
painting of Feilding's namesake, William Henry Adelbert Feilding (son
of the 7th Earl of Denbigh), and steps are being taken to restore the
portrait and its interesting frame.
General The Honourable William Feilding was a
British soldier serving with the Coldstream Guards. He served in the
Crimean War and was British commissioner to the French Army during the
Franco-Prussian War. In 1871, as a Colonel and Director of
the Emigrants and Colonists Aid Corporation, he was selected to travel to
both Australia and New Zealand looking at blocks of land suitable for their
proposed emigration scheme for the labouring classes.
Finding offerings in Queensland not to his
taste, he sailed to New Zealand and within a short time journeyed to Foxton
where he met Arthur Halcombe and the two of them travelled inland to the
Manawatu for a look at land the New Zealand Government had for sale.
Back in Wellington on 20 December 1871 an agreement was reached to purchase
106,000 acres for 75,000 pounds and the recruiting of emigrants in England
The Colonel came back to visit the new
settlement of Feilding in 1875. Immigrants had been arriving for a
year, and life had been struggle for them - not the rolling green fields
they had been expecting with a wet winter adding to their woes.
However, when (now General) Feilding made his next visit in 1895, great
progress had been made and he was able to view a thriving settlement.
Unfortunately, General Feilding died of cholera in
Bangkok on his way back to England, and is buried in the Bangkok Protestant
Feilding & Districts is a dedicated repository for the area's
If you have any historical documents or photographs about this area or its
please consider donating them to the FDCA.