Friends of Cannock Chase, Staffordshire County Council, the New Zealand
Government and the Chase Project have joined forces to commemorate the
New Zealand Rifle Brigade (NZRB) on Cannock Chase during the Great War.
The ‘In the Footsteps’ project (known as Nga Tapuwae in Maori) is
launching an ambitious crowd funding project (hosted by CrowdfunderUK)
which hopes to raise £12,500 in just four weeks. If successful, the
project will design, commission and erect an evocative interpretation
panel at the Marquis Drive Visitor Centre on Cannock Chase. This panel
will tell the story of the NZRB on Cannock Chase and remember their
sacrifice during the Great War. If successful, the panel will resemble
the panel [shown right] at Messines, Belgium.
The New Zealand Government have already pledged £1,000 to the fund
raising effort and so our Crowdfunding target is £11,500.
The interpretation panel will make use the iconic New Zealand ‘silver
fern’ design which was developed as part of the Nga Tapuwae (In the
Footsteps) trail. This trail tells the story of New Zealand soldiers
throughout the theatre of the Great War and our panel would become a
permanent part of that network.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the project or who would like to
make a donation can click on the link to
Please do pass this page on to friends and partner groups. We have just
four weeks to raise £11,500 and to make this commemoration of
Staffordshire’s historic links with New Zealand and the soldiers of the
New Zealand Rifle Brigade a reality.
The Emigrant and Colonists'
Aid Corporation was set up in 1867
by a group of upper class Englishmen. Headed by the Duke of Manchester,
their aim was to help the labouring classes, particularly agricultural
labourers, who were at that time experiencing difficulty in finding
employment in England because of industrial advances and changing social
Colonel William Henry Adelbert Feilding,
one of the directors of the Corporation, was sent to Australia and New
Zealand to buy a suitable block of land for a group of selected
emigrants to settle on. Colonel Feilding bought 106,000 acres in
Manawatu from the Wellington Provincial Government in 1871. This
land became known as "The Manchester Block." Feilding was the
first of three towns established within the block.
The first group of immigrants selected
under the scheme arrived at the site of Feilding in January 1874.
Halcombe was settled next, then finally Ashhurst. The towns were
intended as bases from which settlers could move into the surrounding
bush, break in the land and establish farms for themselves as they got
used to their new life.
To the right is a photograph of the
Corporation Staff taken at The Pines in 1876. Left to right, back
row: Charles Mountfort, Frank Owen, Alfred Atkinson, Tom Dalton,
and Percy Earle. Front tow: James Beattie, Howard Jackson, Arthur
Halcombe, Douglas McArthur, and Hugh Sherwill.
A peek into the past
The railway yards at Halcombe, looking
towards the village - 1883.
Jim Pitman, the first motorised milk
vendor in Feilding
Who am I?
To the left and right are a couple of photos from our collections which
are currently unidentified.
Can you shed any light on who they are?
The photo of the gentleman on the left was
perhaps taken in the 1930s and came to us as part of the Feilding Public
whilst the group of children to the right
has no accompanying information.
If you have any idea of the identity of
those in either photo,
click here to email the Feilding Archive.
See 'About Us' page for more details.
Feilding & Districts is a dedicated repository for the area's history.
If you have any historical documents or photographs about this area or its
please consider donating them to the FDCA.