Topic: Charles Vincent Garmonsway (1890-1968)

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Charles Vincent Garmonsway served in France during World War I (1914-1918). He was my second great uncle - Debbie McCauley.

Tauranga Wreath Laying Ceremony to Mark the Start of World War One (4 August 2014). Photographer: Debbie McCauleyCharles Vincent Garmonsway was born on 20 October 1890. His parents were Thomas and Albertina Garmonsway (nee Meyer) who married in St John's Church, Te Awamutu, on 14 August 1880 (reg. 1880/1949).

Charles worked for himself as a horse breaker and farmer before being called up for Military service in World War I (1914-1918). The Waikato Times reported on 14 March 1917:

To Finish His Contract. C. V. Garmonsway, Ohaupo, labourer, asked for time to complete a draining contract, and was granted until 17th April.

On 4 April 1917 the Reverend Seaton married Charles to Margaret Alice Galvan at Te Mata (reg. 1917/3361). The wedding was reported in the Waikato Times on 12 April 1917:

TE MATA. An exceedingly pretty wedding, of considerable local interest, took place in the hall on Wednesday of last week, the contracting parties being Miss Maggie Galvan, eldest daughter of Mr Charles Galvan, of Te Mata, and Mr Charles Garmonsway, of Ohaupo. A general invitation of all friends had been issued, and by 2 p.m. the hall was well filled with friends and well-wishers of both parties. Mr Robertson's motor car had been requisitioned for the occasion, and the bridal party entered the hall to the strains of the "Wedding March," played by Mrs Leech. The bride, who was given away by her father, looked very sweet in a gown of ivory stain and shadow lace, with embroidered veil and the customary orange blossoms, and carried a lovely shower bouquet. She was attended by five bridesmaids: Miss Gray (her cousin), chief bridesmai, and the Mises Edith, Dora, Martha and Violet Galvan, sisters. Miss Gray was attired in a becoming white embroidered dress with white panama hat; Miss Edity Galvan, figured lustre and white satin hat; Misses Dora and Martha Galvan, white crepe de merle; and last, but not lease, Miss Violet Galvan, the tiny sisters of the bride, looking very sweet in creme silk voile. All carried shower bouquets of white flowers. Mr W. Baker officiated as best man. The ceremony was performed by Rev. J. Seton, in a very impressive manner, after which the usual congratulations followed. A very dainty breakfast had been set in the hall, to which full justice was done to all, accompanied by much merry chat and laughter. Mr Seton proposed a toast of "The King," which was followed by the singing of "God Save the King." He next said he was entrusted with the very important toast of the day, "The bride and bridegroom." He felt sure this was going to be a happy marriage, and was pleased that everything had gone off "without a hitch" and proceeded to explain in a most amusing manner how hitches could and did occur. The bridegroom in responding, thanked them all for their kindness and good wishes, on behalf of his wife and himself, but said he was no orator. He proposed the health of the bride's mother and father. This was duly honoured, after which Mr Galvan, in a very hearty manner thanked his friends for their attendance and said he was pleased to see so many old friends at his daughter's wedding. Later on the bridal party were photographed by Mr Albert Cornes, being well showered with rice both before and afterwards, and left for a spin in the motor before the dance in the evening. This was well attended and much enjoyed by all present. The bride and bridegroom opened up the festivities, leaving later by motor for Raglan, en route for the honeymoon. The bride was the recipient of many useful and valuable presents.

Charles had been in the home guard, listed as a farmer from Kaipaki as the Kaipaki Platoon Commander before being posted as a private on 30 May 1917. He embarked on board the Mokoia from Wellington on 13 August 1917 with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, 29th Reinforcements E Company.

They arrived in Glasgow, Scotland, on 2 October 1917 and marched into Sling on 3 October. On 26 October they proceeded overseas, Charles joining his unit on 8 November 1917 in Rouen, France.

On 31 January 1918 he was admitted to the 18th General Hospital, the cause of his admission unknown.

He was dispatched to the base depot in France on 25 March 1918,

His older brother Harold Gordon Garmonsway (1889-1918) was killed on 27 March 1918 during the Battle of Somme.

Charles rejoined his battalion on 10 April.

On on 9 May 1918 another older brother Edward Watt Garmonsway (1885-1967) received a gunshot wound to the abdomen whilst fighting in France.

On 8 July 1918 he was sent to Paris on duty. He rejoined his battalion on 19 July.

On 22 April 1919 he was in trouble for being absent without leave from Larkhill, being admonished and forfeiting two days pay. On 28 April the same occurred and another two days pay were forfeit.

He embarked for New Zealand the following month aboard the Wimana on 10 May 1919. Charles was discharged from the army on 21 July 1919.

The four children of Charles Vincent Garmonsway:

  1. Violet Alice Joan Garmonsway (1920-2009). Born on 23 June 1920. She married Joseph Frederick Collins (1908-1986). She died in 2009 (reg. 2009/14105).
  2. Galvan Gordon Garmonsway (1921- ). Born in Cambridge on 1 September 1921. He served during World War II (1939-1945). He married Annie Elizabeth Courtman (1920-1988).
  3. Raymond Harry Garmonsway (1924-2013). Born on 25 March 1924. He married Edna Mary Rossiter (1923-1990). Raymond died in Waikato Hospital on 14 March 2013 (reg. 2013/6961).
  4. Mervyn Charles Garmonsway (1926- ). He married Thelma Eva Bell.

Charles died on 2 November 1968 (reg. 1968/39688). He was buried in Pukerimu Cemetery, Cambridge.

Margaret died on 2 November 1975 (reg. 1975/47234). She was buried in Pukerimu Cemetery, Cambridge.



Births, Deaths & Marriages Online (New Zealand).

The Cambridge Home Guard Roll Index

Cenotaph Record (Auckland War Memorial Museum).

Edward Garmonsway and Letitia King: Their descendants. A booklet to commemorate the Garmonsway family reunion held 16-17 April 1983 in Cambridge, N. Z. (1983) by Barbara Kelly, Julie Fox and Peter Wood.

Family Records.

Military personnel file (Archives New Zealand).

Pukerimu Cemetery (Cambridge Museum).

Waikato Times (14 March 1917, p. 5).

Waikato Times (12 April 1917, p. 6).

Waipa Cemetery Records Online.

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Charles Vincent Garmonsway (1890-1968)

Note:Service Number: 56581
First Names:Charles Vincent
Last Name:Garmonsway
Date of Birth:20 October 1890
Date of death:2 November 1968
Place of burial:Pukerimu Cemetery, Cambridge
Occupation:Farmer and Horse Breaker
Spouses name:Margaret Alice Galvan
Spouses date of birth:6 August 1895
Spouses date of death:2 November 1975
Spouses place of burial:Pukerimu Cemetery, Cambridge
Date of marriage:4 April 1917
Place of marriage:Te Mata
Fathers name:Thomas Garmonsway
Fathers date of birth:12 June 1843
Fathers place of birth:Stockport Barricks, Lancashire
Fathers date of death:23 June 1918
Fathers place of death:Paterangi, Te Awamutu
Mothers name:Albertina Meyer
Mothers date of birth:9 October 1863
Mothers place of birth:Germany
Mothers date of death:10 March 1940
Mothers place of death:Leamington, Cambridge