Topic: Joseph Livingstone Frazer-Hurst (1873-1954)

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Doctor Joseph Livingstone Frazer-Hurst was on board the 'Marquette' when it was torpedoed by a German submarine on 23 October 1915. He was one of the survivors. Two other people connected with Tauranga, nurses Jeanne Spiers Sinclair and Catherine Gibbons Blackie, also survived the sinking of the 'Marquette'.

Joseph Livingstone Frazer-Hurst (1873-1954)Joseph Livingstone Frazer-Hurst was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, on 14 August 1873. At the age of seventeen he joined the Northumberland Hussars.

He trained in medicine at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin.

In 1899 he became medical officer to the Imperial Chinese Railways and medical superintendent of the Railway Hospital in Shanhai Kwan in northern China. When the Chinese Boxer Rebellion (1899-1900) began he managed to escape the country.

During the South African War (Boer War) (1899-1902) Joseph served in a Mounted Infantry Regiment.

From his arrival in New Zealand in 1903 until 1907 he worked as a doctor in Te Puke. He often rode long distances over roads that were little more than dirt tracks. On 30 March 1903 the Bay of Plenty Times reported:

TE PUKE Dr Fraser Hirst has arrived. He was under the impression that he would have a short spell and a look around the country before settling down to work, but when just arriving in a buggy he was bailed up by a resident of Maketu who had come up to look for him with the remark  "Are you the doctor? I want you to attend my little daughter, whom I have here".

On 25 September 1903 he was made Lieutenant in the New Zealand Defence Forces. During this time he became active in the Te Puke Mounted Rifles as a surgeon, rising to the rank of Captain and taking command of the unit after he was unanimously elected on 24 September 1904. He built up the Mounted Rifles until their membership was around seventy to eighty men. Many of these men would go on to join up in 1914 for World War I (1914-1918).

Joseph married Constance Marie Bulman in Auckland on 5 November 1903 (reg. 1903/5202). She was born in Hexham, Northumberland in 1884. They had four children together:

  1. Hugh Dennis Frazer-Hurst (1904-1972). Born in Te Puke on 17 October 1904. Terence married Winifred Agnes Jones (1905-1998). She was born on 2 June 1905.  He died in Auckland in 1972 (reg. 1972/33978) and was buried in Purewa Cemetery. Winifred died in 1998 (reg. 1998/8827) and was cremated in Whangarei.
  2. Terence Simon Frazer-Hurst (1906-1970). Born in Te Puke on 27 August 1906 (reg. 1906/13818). Terence married Mary Godwin Smith in 1939. He served during World War II (Service No: 2670). Terence died, aged 64, on 25 May 1970 (reg. 1970/41283) and was buried in Whangarei
  3. Conan William Frazer-Hurst (1910-1945). Born in Hamilton on 10 September 1910 (reg. 1910/2501). Conan became a medical student. He was killed in Cracow, Poland during World War II (Service No: 31154) on 10 March 1945 (reg. 1945/61362).
  4. Kevin Livingston Frazer-Hurst (1913-1975).  Born in Whangarei on 7 December 1913 (reg. 1913/22665). He married Sylvia Constance Needham in 1945. He died in Auckland in 1975 (reg. 1975/44937) and was buried in Purewa Cemetery.

In 1907 Joseph and family left Te Puke for Tauranga after a farewell in Te Puke attended by over two hundred people (Bay of Plenty Times, 6 May 1907).

Joseph kept his horses in the paddock next to the McRobert's place. There they were trained by William McGregor Simpson (c1866-1929) [notes from Joan Simpson].

 After a year living in Tauranga Joseph went to England to further his studies.

On his return to New Zealand he worked at Waihi as a locum from 1911 to 1912, and then at Whangarei from 1912 to 1922. In Whangarei he started the first maternity annexe in New Zealand.

During World War I Joseph served in Egypt, Salonika and France with the 1st New Zealand Stationary Hospital. He was one of those who survived when the 'Marquette' was torpedoed by a German submarine on 23 October 1915. On 8 November 1915 the Bay of Plenty Times reported:

Captain J L Frazer-Hurst and Nurse C Blackie, who are well-known in Tauranga, are amongst the survivors from the British transport Marguette, which was torpedoed and sunk in the Agean Sea on October 23rd (p. 2).

He was discharged from the army on 3 June 1917, returned to Whangarei until 1922.

In 1924 Joseph officially changed his hyphenated last name to Frazerhurst. 

From 1925 to 1926 he was medical superintendent of Palmerston North hospital.

From 1929 to 1935 he was head of the medical service of the New Zealand Army and for the same period he was honorary physician to the Governor-General.

In around 1934 to 1938 he was medical superintendent of Whakatane hospital.

On 8 September 1937 Joseph shortened his last name by deed poll to Frazer.

His son, Conan William Frazer-Hurst, was killed in action during World War II on 10 March 1945.

By 1938 he was back in Tauranga, where in addition to his practice he was medical examiner of personnel entering the armed forces. After two years in Tauranga he moved to Katikati, and then back to Tauranga. 

Constance died, aged 62, in 1945 (reg. 1946/30058).

Joseph moved to Hastings in 1946 and there he married Annie Douglas Wilson in 1947.

Joseph died in Hastings, aged 88, on 21 May 1954 (reg. 1954/22167). He was cremated at Hastings and remembered on a headstone at Ormondville Cemetery.

Annie died in Hastings in 1989.



Bay of Plenty Times (30 March 1903, p. 2).

Bay of Plenty Times (6 May 1907, p. 2).

Bay of Plenty Times (8 November 1915, p. 2).

Births, Deaths & Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Cenotaph Record (Auckland War Memorial Museum).

Hastings Cemetery Records.

Hawke's Bay Herald Tribune: Obituary (22 May 1954).

Military personnel file (Archives New Zealand).

More Maketu Notes: Not the Only Maketu by Alister Matheson.

The 'MARQUETTE' Angels - 23rd October 1915 - Aegean Sea.

The Pioneers, Settlers and Families of Te Puke and District (2011) by Christine Clement.

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Joseph Livingstone Frazer-Hurst (1873-1954)

Note:Service Number: 3/579
First Names:Joseph Livingstone
Last Name:Frazer-Hurst
Date of Birth:14 August 1873
Place of Birth:County Tryone
Country of birth:Ireland
Date of death:21 May 1954
Place of death:New Zealand
Spouses name:Constance Marie Bulman
Spouses date of birth:1884
Spouses place of birth:Hexham, Northumberland
Spouses date of death:1945
Spouses place of death:Tauranga
Spouses place of burial:Tauranga
Date of marriage:5 November 1903
Place of marriage:Auckland, New Zealand
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)