Topic: Francis Garmonsway (1876-1958)

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Francis Garmonsway departed from New Zealand aboard the 'SS Knight Templar' on 17 February 1900 to fight in the 'Boer War'. He was my first cousin thrice removed - Debbie McCauley (2012).

Francis Garmonsway (1876-1958)Francis Garmonsway was born in Alexandra [now Pirongia] in the Waikato on 28 July 1876. His parents were John Henry and Crichton Garmonsway (nee Petrie) who married in Auckland on 19 December 1859 (reg. 1859/1379).

Francis worked as a shepherd before he departed from New Zealand aboard the 'SS Knight Templar' on 17 February 1900 to fight in the South African War (Boer War) (1899-1902). He received the Queen's South Africa Medal with the following clasps:

  • Diamond Hill
  • Johannesburg
  • Orange Free State
  • Cape Colony.

Francis was described as having 'very good character' on his discharge on completion of service on 11 August 1902.

Francis married Lilian [possibly in South Africa?] who was born c1881. They had three children together:

  1. Ethne Dorothea Garmonsway (1910-1985). Born on 6 June 1910 (reg. 1910/12753). She died in 1985 (reg. 1985/37486).
  2. Francis Ronald Noble Garmonsway (1911-1988). Born on 29 June 1911 (reg. 1911/16786). He died in 1988 (reg. 1988/39629).
  3. Talbot Garmonsway.

Lilian died, aged 39, on 16 October 1920 (reg. 1920/1435). She was buried in Taihape Cemetery.

In 1930 Francis married Lylie Vickery (reg. 1930/3344). Lylie was born on 6 October 1898.

Francis died in Taihape, aged 82, on 21 November 1958 (reg. 1958/25729). He was buried with Lilian in Taihape Cemetery. His death was reported in the Wanganui Chronicle on 22 November 1958:

DEATH OF WELL KNOWN FARMER The death occurred in Taihape early yesterday morning of Mr Francis Garmonsway, a well respected pioneer who had farmed a property at Rangiwaea for a great many years until advancing age and ill health caused him to retire and live in town. Mr Garmonsway was one of the earliest settlers in the Rangiwaea district and was a South African War Veteran and past president of the Rangitikei A & P Association. He was in his 83rd year. He is survived by his wife two sons and one daughter. The funeral will take place at Taihape this morning.

His obituary appeared in the Wanganui Chronicle on 15 December 1958:

OBITUARY. COLORFUL CAREER OF THE LATE MR F GARMONSWAY. The late Mr Frank Garmonsway who died at Taihape recently, was born at Alexandra (now Pirongia) on July 28 1876, and started work at the age of 12 years at the Taupiri flax mills. From there he went as a teamster to Woodlands station and later accepted a job as a shepherd. He worked at Waihi during the first ecomonic slump, splitting wood for the battery that was used for gold mining. December 1895 saw him riding from Waihi to Nuanui-Taihape- a journey of three days during which he saw only roadsmen. He arrived at Ruanui with a horse saddle, bridle and a few personal possessions in a sugar bag, and as he so often said,‘without a care in the world’. He had practically no money at that time. Ruanui Station was then owned by Mr J F Studholme, with Mr Ledward as manager. Mr Garmonsway shephered at Ruanui for several years, and amongst his associates were Messrs Gowdy, Gresson, J.McMahon, Canterbury Brown and Geordie Brown. In 1898 Mr Garmonsway drew a section in the Rangiwaea block and the following winter cut a track a mile long through the bush and spent the winter months alone cutting bush. His nearest neighbour was eight miles away. Mr Garmonsway served with the Third Contingent, Rough Riders in the South African War, and was a distant relation of General Gordon. His grandfather was a Sergeant-Major in the famous 68th Regiment which came to New Zealand in 1851. An Uncle served all through the Waikato Wars. Mr Garmonsway was always interested in news concerning South African war veterans and deeply regretted that of late years he was unable to attend meetings. He read with great interest tales concerning the adventures of the Third Contingent in South Africa and experienced sadness at the passing of his old comrades. Mr Garmonsway retired from active farming in 1955 and came to Taihape to live.

Lylie died on 28 October 1976 (reg. 1976/52676). She was buried with Lilian and Francis in Taihape Cemetery.



Births, Deaths & Marriages Online (New Zealand).

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.

Military personnel file (Archives New Zealand).

Wanganui Chronicle (28 November 1958).

Wanganui Chronicle (15 December 1958).


How to cite this page: McCauley, Debbie (2012). Francis Garmonsway (1876-1958). Retrieved from (Tauranga Memories, last updated: *insert date*). In-text citation:(McCauley, 2012).

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Francis Garmonsway (1876-1958)

Note:Service Number: 731
First Names:Francis
Last Name:Garmonsway
Date of Birth:28 July 1876
Place of Birth:Pirongia, Waikato
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:21 November 1958
Place of death:Taihape, New Zealand
Place of burial:Taihape Cemetery
Family Surname:Garmonsway
Spouses name:Lilian
Spouses date of birth:c1881
Spouses date of death:16 October 1920
Spouses place of death:Taihape
Spouses place of burial:Taihape Cemetery
Date of marriage:c1909
Fathers name:John Henry Garmonsway
Fathers date of birth:3 June 1835
Fathers place of birth:Shoreditch, London, England
Fathers date of death:29 July 1915
Mothers name:Crichton Petrie
Mothers date of birth:c1847
Mothers date of death:14 August 1885
Mothers place of death:Pirongia, New Zealand
Name of sibilings:John Henry Garmonsway, Charles Thomas Garmonsway, James Garmonsway, Helen Blair Garmonsway, and Letitia Garmonsway
Name of the children:Francis Ronald Noble Garmonsway, Ethne Dorothea Garmonsway, and Talbot Garmonsway
Military Service:South African War (Boer War) (1899-1902)