John Annan (1869 – 1931)

When I stroll around Canterbury’s cemeteries, I glance over every stone for two main reasons. Firstly I am usually on the search for a particular name and secondly I am looking for a good story.

I found John Annan’s grave in Lyttelton Public Cemetery and on his stone it stated that he died as a result of an accident. What happened?

John was born in 1869, birth place unknown. The name of John Annan appears in the Lyttelton Times on the 27th October 1897 charged with the assault of David Moore. The case was dropped as it seems both men were even in their parts of the fight. I cannot say for sure that this was the same David Annan but it appears so.

On the 27th November 1931 (note the missing ‘2’ from the grave’s date), John was a part of the crew from the Health Department that was disassembling the leper colony on Quail Island. The job was almost complete when one of two iron wireless 60ft mast that were being taken down, fell on the John. He suffered a compound fracture of the skull and arm. He died on his way to the hospital. He was mourned by his wife Annie.

*photo taken by Annette Bulovic*

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