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OBITUARY

C. W. HURSTHOUSE. The death'is announced of Mr. Charles Wilson Hursthouse, at Wellington. The late Mr. Hursthouse came to New Zealand in 1843 with his parents, landing ut Xew Plymouth from the barque Thomas Sparkes on May 28 of that year. The other members of the family to arrive were his grandfather (Mr. John Hursthouse), his parents, and two sisters (who later were married to Mr. H. R. Richmond and Mr. MiDonnald), also his uncle, Mr. Charleß Hursthouse (the author of "Xew Zealand, the Britain of the South," "The Settlement of New Plymouth, Xew Zealand," and several other works beariug on New Zealand and its colonisation), and Mr. and Mrs. John Stephenson Smith, Mrs. Stephenson be-, ing an aunt. By this it will be seen that the late Mr. C. W. Hursthouse was linked up with the very early beginnings of New Plymouth and with one of its best known and respected families. The Thomas Sparkes was six months on the voyage from London, but a considerable portion of that time was spent at the Cape of Good Hope, whither she had put in for repairs. Whilst still in his teens, Mr. Hursthouse joined the Survey Department, and was a member of the party which surveyed the Waitara block—the land concerning which there was so much bloodshed and strife in the years that followed. On the outbreak of hostilities the subject of this notice joined the Taranaki Rifle Volunteers, with whom he saw service at Waireka, Mahoetahi, and in other engagements. He was afterwards appointed an ensign in the Taranaki Military Settlers' Company, and was later a lieutenant in the Militia. Promotion in the provincial service came rapidly, and in 1875 he was made resident engineer of the Public Works Department. He was one of the men who took part in the march on Parihaka, where Te Whiti was arrested in 1881. He was one of the pioneer explorers of the North Island Main Trunk railway, and from then onwards, after being for some years in charge of road surveying in the Kawhia district, he was promoted to the post of chief engineer of the Roads Department, a position which he held until Hint department was merged into the Department of Public Works. The late Mr. Hursthouse was a most valued servant, and a man much esteemed by all who knew him.

I AN INCIDENT OF THE WAR. The late Mr. Hursthouae was a contemporary and a very great friend of Mr. Thos. Humphries, the late Sur-veyor-General. In the course of an interview with a Dominion representative, embodying experiences in the Taranaki campaign, Mr. Humphries told the following incident, in which the deceased figured prominently. It dealt with the stirring times when New Plymouth was seriously threatened by the Maoris. Messrs. Ilursthouse and Humphries were sentries between two of the forts that ringed New Plymouth in 18G0. Their duty was to pace through the fern and underscrub to see that no hostile Maori came too close. On this particular night young Hursthouse told young Humphries that he intended to have a shot at something, but the latter thought nothing of the remark at the time. Both went on duty, and were keeping a watchful eye on the dim billowy fern, when Hursthouse was heard giving the sharp challenge: "Who goes there?" No answer. Then again through the night: "Who goes there?— speak, or I fire!" A silent moment, then a flash and a crack. A shot at midnight! It was real cause for alarm, find soon every window was alight in the township, as the order was, that, on an alarm, all windows should be illuminated to light the roads in order that the troops could be assembled. The military turned out, and the '-Staff" came galloping along the line. "Who fired that shot?" he asked Humphries. '•Hursthouse. sir!" Hursthouse obstinately stuck to the statement that he had seen something suspicious moving in the fern. A picket was turned out to skirmish through the fern, and eject all intruders—if any were still ' alive. Amidst excitement the scareh was made, and it was gloriously successful, for they found a dead horse. Ilursthouse said that it might have been the rise and fall of the horse's bend as he was feeding that led him into liring. The story passed.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TDN19110228.2.80

Bibliographic details

OBITUARY, Taranaki Daily News, Volume LIII, Issue 250, 28 February 1911

Word Count
718

OBITUARY Taranaki Daily News, Volume LIII, Issue 250, 28 February 1911

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