Crosbie Ward (1832 – 1867)

For Crosbie Ward, his three month voyage to Lyttelton must have been like sailing through a continuous slow choking fog. His heart had been heavy ever since the news of the death of his older brothers had reached his family in Ireland. When he wasn’t grieving, he was sick with worry as his remaining younger …

Quail Island Gets A Feminine Touch

I can’t say whether Elizabeth Watts-Russell was one of those who laughed when the Ward brothers – Edward, Henry and Hamilton – chose Quail Island as the place to set up their farm.  The brothers were well aware of the giggles happening around Lyttelton as they prepared to make their move.  Edward – the eldest …

Henry John Tancred (1816 – 1884)

Henry John Tancred had a career that would make anyone’s head spin!!! Born in the Isle of Wight in 1814, Henry became an officer in the Austrian Army. In 1848, he had a nasty fall from his horse which left him mildly handicapped. He took his sick leave in England and it was there that …

Pioneer Names In Land Ledger

There would have been no hope for this old ledger if it hadn’t been behind glass at the Canterbury Museum. A ledger of land purchased up to the 30th April 1868 – section numbers, purchaser’s surnames, where and what acreage. Some names just jumped out of the page at me, I was so buzzing that …

“Wind Lulled From Evening Till Morning…” ~ The Last Month Aboard The Charlotte Jane

“On board the Charlotte Jane…I try to recollect the events of the past five days, which from confusion, sickness and disagreeables of every kind could not be recorded at the time…”Edward Ward – 12th September 1850.The Charlotte Jane had sailed out of Plymouth on the 7th September 1850. Edward starts his journal off on the …

Gleig’s Island ~ Quail Island

“Having reached the island which Quail Island rises to about 250 ft above the level of the harbour I landed at a shelly beach and ascended the hill in order to correct and complete my sketch. During my walk there I flushed several quail and from that circumstance I gave it the name Quail Island.” …

The Ward Brothers

Maybe it had been the tedious bumpy ROADLESS journey over the sea of tussock – from Hawkins (a stone’s throw from Darfield) to Rolleston – that made the farmhand lower the new plough down to harvesting position before he towed it back to Bangor in which he worked. He had been sent out hours before …