Christ Church Graveyard
We never set out to have such a draw to bimbling around graveyards, but they do give such a window and often an historic look of the people of an area, none more so than here in Christ Church graveyard. We spent a while reading all the monuments and gravestones but...........
...........Bear was none too pleased when the first gravestone he read belonged to a lady called Beryl, who died on his birthday, the year before he was born, though. It was still a bit of a shock to read such a familiar date.......... Yes dear....
The HMS Hazard came to New Zealand from Hong Kong where the commander Charles Bell, was believed to have contracted malaria. He came to Kororāreka on sick leave aboard the Government brig Victoria. One night he had a seizure and fell overboard. He was picked out of the water alive, but died soon afterwards. The Navy cares for this grave and the one below.
This is the grave to the two Royal Marines and four seamen of HMS Hazard, who fell in the defence of Kororāreka on the first day of Heke’s War in 1845. The original marker (on the right) was made of English oak was found to have rotted through when it was about fifty years old and was hung inside the church on the wall.
One of the noblest graves to grace the cemetery is that of Tamati Waka Nene. It is situated near his old friend Dr Ford, “for if I am sick,” said the old chief, “I shall knock and you will come as you do now, and make me better”. One of the truly great chiefs of his day, Nene helped to weigh the balance in favour of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.
The Māori and Pakeha who died in here in Kororāreka.
Much misinformation has been published about Hannah King Letheridge. She was the second, not the first, white girl to be born in New Zealand. When she died, her family tried to verify the dates of the births of these first New Zealand born European children, but in those days research was not easy. Sometimes, as in this case, the necessary records were held in Australia. At other times there were none at all, so the above mistake is perfectly excusable. Mrs Letheridge was born Hannah King Hansen, daughter of Thomas Hansen and his wife Elizabeth. Granddaughter of Thomas Hansen Senior, captain of the brig Active when she brought the Rev Samuel Marsden on his first visit to New Zealand in 1814; and niece of John and Hannah King, the missionaries, who accompanied him.
It is acknowledged that the first white girl to be born in New Zealand was Dinah Hall, daughter of William Hall and his wife, who had also been passengers on Active. Dinah left for Australia at the age of seven and never returned, but, Hannah was born, raised, married and died in the Bay of Islands, so she should hold a special place in local history.
The plan of the cemetery.
ALL IN ALL SUCH AN INTERESTING WALK IN THE PAST