Thomas William Harrison 1885- 1972
Married 3 times. His first marriage was in 1910 to Alice Pattinson, daughter of a fallen miner named John Pattinson, killed in the Brunner Mine Disaster. Son Thomas married to a daughter of the fallen miner John Pattinson. Thomas then living in Blackball, divorced her in 1915 on the grounds of adultery and claimed that a child born to them was not his…they had only ever lived together for one month after there marriage and had been estranged for over 4 years. His second wife Harriet May Morgan whom he married in 1918, died in 1928 but they had 7 children together. He then married Annie Taylor in 1930. He died 1972 aged 87 and buried at Kelvin Grove cemetery in Palmerston North. The painting below is said to show Thomas William Harrison Hill playing cricket on the main road in Dobson in the late 1890’s. He is the young batter in blue stockings in the foreground.
Mary Jane 1888-1973
Married William Norris Franklyn in 1907 and had three children Daphne (died as a baby), Lilian and William. She died in 1973 and is buried in Wakefield, Nelson.
His mine boss appealed against going to war in 1917 on account as he was needed in the mine. Electoral rolls show him as a miner in 1920. He may also have farmed on Omoto Road and worked for the railways for a time or been a taxi driver. (there are two Robert Hills on many electoral rolls) Died 1951 and buried near his father in Hokitika. No conclusive record of marriage yet found. I have notes to say possibly a Margaret. Kids?
John George (George) 1891-1918
A sawmiller living in Dobson in 1914. From army records… 5ft 8in, fair complexion, red hair, blue eyes, 78 kg Scar on left leg – old leg injury and dislocation of knee – recovered. Married in 1916 to Annie Todd with one daughter called Thelma Francis. In 1917 living and working in Kotuku – employed by Jack Brothers Sawmillers. Killed in action WW1 in France 14th April 1918.
Married to James Holmes Straw in 1916. Daughter Francesca Marcella born 1917. Widowed 24th August 1918 as James killed in action in France. Living in Ngahere at the time and had lost her brother and husband within 4 months. Remarried Edward Wentworth Jones, a saw miller in 1919 and had many more children with him. Lived at Kotuku for a time but moved to Tasman Street, Greymouth in the 40s where Edward became a miner. Died 1956, buried Greymouth. Edward W. Jones remarried her sister Rose Mary sometime after her death in 1956 and they moved to Otago. Rose Mary had lost her husband Alexander in 1958 so they were both widows/ers.
James Leslie 1894-1951
Married to Mabel Jane Summerly in 1917. A foreman at the Dobson Coal Company then worked for Singer Sewing Machine Co. in Auckland (according to army records). 5ft 8in, light hair, blue eyes, 76kg. Wounded twice in WW1 – decorated soldier who served overseas for 5 years, first in Egypt then in France. Shot and also crushed by own convoy of trucks. Two daughters. Lost leg in train accident upon return to NZ. Had a store at Taylorville. In 1949 was a hotel keeper in Taylorville. Died of cancer and buried Karoro. Read more about his incredible life here.
Rachel Ann/Annie 1895-1965
Married James William Mathieson in 1917 and were living at Blake Street, Blaketown. From the 20s – Lived at 101 Preston’s Road Blaketown in the for decades up to the 60s. Husband a wharf worker. She died in 1965 and is buried Greymouth. 4 known children.
Married the mayor of Brunnerton, Frederick Williams in 1918 and lived directly across the Brunner bridge at Brunnerton. Given away by her brother Robert. Wedding details reported in papers Past. Rose Mary (May) Hill was her bridesmaid. Lied in a house on the hill at Wallsend very near the swing bridge to Taylorville. Had 7 children. Died 1959 followed by her husband in 1970. Both buried Greymouth.
Albert Victor (Poppa Hill) 1898-1970
Married to Gladys Eileen Abbott in 1923. Had kids Albert Victor, John George Joseph Hill, Daphne, Mary Patricia, Joyce Emma and adopted Pamela Leeming. In 1914 aged 16, Papers Past clippings show he gave formal evidence in an inquest into the death of a fellow miner Daniel McMahon who died following an explosion in the North Brunner mine. In 1919 still listed as a miner in Lower Dobson. In 1928 Sawmiller in Te Kinga. In 1938 Papers Past have him involved in a defamation case – he was a unionist in the timber industry. In 1941 he appealed being drafted to WW2 on the grounds that he was temporarily unfit. Still a sawmiller in 1946 and working with his son Vic but by now there are 3 Albert Victor Hills in the electoral rolls. (The other one is a bushman at Ngahere). By 1949, Uncle Joe has joined his father and brother as a sawmiller. Still working at sawmill in 1954 but By 1957 Poppa Hill shows as retired.
Named so as born 1st January 1900. In 1928 was a stone worker in Dobson. In 1935 – 1943 is a miner living in Maori Gully Kokiri. Buried Hokitika near his father and brother Robert. Rumour has it that he met his end while drying out at Seaview mental Hospital.
Born Dobson, birth registered at Brunnerton. cert 647/1900
Rose Mary 1901-1986
Married to Otago born Alexander Sime in 1921, a baker until his death in 1958. Lived in Westport in the late 1920’s but moved to Otago at some stage but before 1935. Married her widowed brother in law Edward Jones sometime after 1958 and he moved to Otago to be with her, but he was still living in Tasman Street Greymouth in 1963 and working as a miner. Son Thomas died in Cherry Farm Mental Hospital Otago in 1982.
Ernest Cecil 1902 – 1933
Married to Mary Ellen Hynes in 1927. Was living in Kotuku in 1928 and working as a sawmiller. Suffering ill health and depression, he committed suicide in Dobson in 1933 with a pea rifle and was found by his wife. They had no children.
Charles 1904 – 1904
Twin of Isabella – died aged 2 weeks. Inquest launched possibly due to his father’s state of mental health causing concerns. Found to have died of natural causes.
Isabella 1904 – 1968
Married in 1928 to Andrew Cation Kay Crowe. Buried Marsden Valley Cemetery Stoke Nelson. Living in Mount Street Nelson in 1935 – husband a labourer. Around this time have moved to Ngakawau – Hector. Living in Hector in 1942 with Fireman (mine?) husband Andrew. He was a powerhouse attendant in the 50s and still living Hector.
Charles II 1905- 1973
Married to Gertrude Horan in 1930. Had at least two children, one named for his brother James Leslie. In 1935 living at Kaimata and a labourer. In 1963 living at 38 Murray Street, Greymouth – Charles a railway employee.
Florence Violet 1907-1980
Married Francis Arthur John (Jack) Sole from Waimate in 1927. Had at least 2 children. Died in Christhurch. In 1928 he was a railway porter living in Shakespeare St, Grey. In 1935 living at Doyle Street Greymouth and he is a railway employee. Moved to ChCh in the 1940s where Francis continued to work on the railways.