Topic: 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Tauranga

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The devastating Influenza Pandemic (Spanish 'flu) of 1918 that swept the world struck New Zealand between October and December 1918 following World War I. Tauranga was certainly affected, but got off lightly compared to some other New Zealand towns. The first to succumb in Tauranga was Katerina Asher (nee Te Atirau) on 3 November 1918. She was followed by George Pruden on 15 November 1918. The last to die were Maori at Papamoa in mid-December. Story by Debbie McCauley.

Victim's of the pandemic (in date order) include the following from Tauranga:

3 November 1918: Katerina Asher (nee Te Atirau) (1855-1918). Born at Maketu on 1 December 1855 to  Hone and Rahera Te Atirau (nee Te Kahuhiapo). Katerina married David Asher (1850-1919) in Tauranga on 27 November 1894 (reg. 1894/3069). She died in Tauranga on 3 November 1918. Katerina was buried in Ngapeke Cemetery at Welcome Bay  in Tauranga. A sufferer for years from asthma, Mrs Asher succumbed to this slight afflication, her end being hastened by a slight attack of influenza [see Obituary, Bay of Plenty Times, 4 November 1918, p. 2].

4 November 1918: Warena Mokopapaki Tapsell (1899-1918). Died at the Narrow Neck Military Camp Hospital in Devonport, Auckland on 4 November 1918. Buried in Welcome Bay, Tauranga.

13 November 1918: Harry Dickson Rikihana (1894-1918). Harry Dickson Rikihana [aka Rongoihaere Rikihana] worked as a labourer for Gamman's Mill at Omanawa Falls in Tauranga. While serving in Étaples in northern France during World War I he contracted tuberculosis (TB) and was deemed unfit for service. Harry returned to Tauranga where he died suddenly upon his arrival at the Tauranga wharf on 13 November 1918 during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. He was aged 24. His cause of death is given as tuberculosis and influenza.  Harry was buried in the Matapihi Urupa.

13 November 1918: George Pruden (1842-1918). Born in Bethnel Green, London, on 2 August 1842, George died in Tauranga Hospital on 13 November 1918 and was buried in Tauranga Anglican Cemetery on 15 November 1918 [see Bay of Plenty Times, 15 November 1918, p. 3].

17 November 1918: William Croft Tutchen (1898-1918). Born in 1898 (reg. 1898/796) to Josiah and Marian Sarah Tuchen (nee Dawson). Died in Tauranga Hospital on 17 November 1918, aged 20. Buried in Tauranga Methodist Cemetery. William worked at the Tauranga Dairy Factory [see also Bay of Plenty Times, 18 November 1918, p. 2].

19 November 1918: Ronaki Kissling (?-1918) He was from Matapihi and died during the 1918 Influenza Epidemic on 19 November 1918. The death occurred at Matapihi yesterday of the well-known native Ronaki Kissling, who succumbed to an attack of influenza [Bay of Plenty Times, 20 November 1918, p. 2].

19 November 1918: Henrietta Emma Maltby (1848-1918). Henrietta was born in Brixton, Surrey, England in October 1848 to Thomas and Emma Carter Maltby (nee Jellicoe). She moved to New Zealand in c.1878 and her brother Thomas Crichton Maltby lived in Otumoetai. Henriette died on 19 November 1918 at her home in 1st Avenue, Tauranga, during the 1918 Inflenza Pandemic (reg. 1918/9569). Henrietta was buried in Tauranga Prebyterian Cemetery.

20 November 1918: Newspaper Report: Three Maori from Maungatapu are reported to have died over the past few days during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. They were said to have been an elderly man, a young woman and a child.

20 November 1918: Louisa Brown (nee Blissett) (1898-1918). Born in Cave, Canterbury, New Zealand on 28 March 1898 (reg. 1898/5744) to Henry George and Eliza Blissett (nee Burgess). Louie married Herbert Henry Brown on 9 September 1918 (reg. 1918/5101). Two months later, at the age of 20, she died during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic on 20 November 1918. Louie was buried in the Tauranga Presbyterian Cemetery [see also Bay of Plenty Times, 20 November 1918, p. 2].

22 November 1918: Newspaper Reports: The death of a native is reported from Maketu. Deceased was brought very ill from Matata & A well-known elderly navie named Tokena died at Wairoa a few days ago (Bay of Plenty Times, 22 November 1918) - are these deaths from Influenza?

22 November 1918: Frederick George Dorrington (1856-1918). Born on 17 May 1856 in Digswell, Hertford, England to William Howitt and Maria Dorrington (nee Westrop). On 22 December 1874 he arrived in New Zealand on board the Lady Jocelyn. Frederick married Catherine Ann Brown in Greymouth in 1886 (reg. 1886/3060). He was 60 years old when he died in Tauranga on 22 November 1918 during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic (reg. 1918/9573). Frederick was buried in Tauranga Anglican Cemetery [see also Bay of Plenty Times, 25 November 1918, p. 2].

22 November 1918: Gilbert Alexander Gillies (1881-1918). Born on 4 December 1881 to Donald and Fanny Louisa Gillies (reg. 1882/4694). On 20 March 1913 he married Alice Burfield Miller in Dunedin (reg. 1913/2577)Gilbert was aged 37 when he died during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic on 22 November 1918 (reg. 1918/9575). He was buried in Tauranga Anglican Cemetery.

22 November 1918: Mary Mudgway (nee Whitiki) (c1890-1918). Mary married George McGivern Mudgway (1879-1969) in 1916 (reg. 1916/3256). She died during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic on 22 November 1918, aged 28 and was buried in Tauranga Presbyterian Cemetery. Her death notice appeared in the Bay of Plenty Times on 25 November 1918 (p. 2): MUDGWAY Mrs M Mudgway, wife of Mr George Mudgway, succumbed on Friday night to the prevailing epidemic. Much sympathy will be felt for Mr Mudgway and family in their irreparable loss.

23 November 1918: Josephine Irene Beston (1918-1918). Josephine was just one month old when she died in Tauranga on 23 November 1918 during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic (reg. 1918/9571). She was buried in the Tauranga Anglican Cemetery. Josephine was possibly the daughter of Ernest Stephen Beston (1886-1946) and Mary (nee Plummer) and sister of Beatrice Olive Trainor (nee Beston) (1914-?).

23 November 1918: Martha Lynch (c.1892-1918). Died, aged 26, in Tauranga Hospital on 23 November 1918 during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic (reg. 1918/9574). She was buried in the Tauranga Roman Catholic Cemetery [see Bay of Plenty Times, 25 November 1918].

24 November 1918: Kathleen Davie (c1902-1918). Died at Maungatapu. Aged about 16 years old.

24 November 1918: Mrs Kissling (?-1918). Died at Matapihi. The wife of Ronaki who died a week previously.

25 November 1918: Newspaper Report: An elderly Maori man is reported to have died at Maungatapu (see Bay of Plenty Times, 25 November 1918).

26 November 1918: Hemi Davie (c.1912-1918) DAVIE The influenza epidemic claimed three more victims at the Maungatapu native settlement yesterday …a child named Hemi Davie, six years of age…died ] [Bay of Plenty Times, 27 November 1918].

26 November 1918: Nga Ngatai (?-1918) NGATAI The influenza epidemic claimed three more victims at the Maungatapu native settlement yesterday …Nga Ngatai, a well known native died… [see also Bay of Plenty Times, 27 November 1918].

26 November 1918: Mrs Ngawhare (?-1918) NGAWHARE The influenza epidemic claimed three more victims at the Maungatapu native settlement yesterday when a married woman named Mrs Ngawhare died [see Bay of Plenty Times, 27 November 1918].

27 November 1918: Walter Young Ormsby (1900-1918). Born at Wairoa near Tauranga on 21 June 1900 to Arthur Henry and Mary Eliza Ormsby (nee Johnson). Walter died at Te Puna on 26 November 1918 during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic at age 17. ORMSBY Walter Ormsby, a lad of seventeen years, died at Te Puna this morning. [Bay of Plenty Times, 27 Nov 1918] (reg. 1918/16042). QUERY: Walter's brother Richard George Ormsby (1903-1918) also died in 1918 - was this the Influenza Pandemic also?

28 November 1918: Alfred George Faulkner (1904-1918) Born in 1904 to Alfred Arawhenua Jarvis Phineas and Emily Faulkner (nee Thompson). Alfried was just 14 years old when he died in Tauranga during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic (reg. 1918/9576)FAULKNER On November 28th, at the residence of his parents, at Gate Pa, Alfred George, second son of Mr and Mrs A P Faulkner from pleurisy following influenza, aged 14 years and 5 months. / In Memoriam - In loving memory of our beloved son Alfred who died from influenza on November 28th 1919 (sic) aged 14 years see [Bay of Plenty Times,28 November 1919, p. 4 & 29 November 1918, p. 2]. He was buried in Tauranga Anglican Cemetery. 

29 November 1918: Newspaper Report: Four Maoris in this district died on Sunday night (Bay of Plenty Times, 29 November 1919).

18 December 1918: Newspaper Report: Maori at Papamoa have died during the Influenza Pandemic [see Bay of Plenty Times, 29 November 1918, p. 2].

22 January 1919: Te Mangu Kuka (1898-1919). Born on Matakana Island, Tauranga on 14 August 1898. He enlisted to serve during World War I on 31 October 1918, but died at Auckland Hospital on 22 January 1919. The Dominion reported: Advice has been received by Base Records Office from Auckland that 92095 Te Mangu Kuka, of Narrow Neck Camp, died at the Auckland Hospital on January 22 from influenza and acute tuberculosis (28 January 1919).

 

References:

Bay of Plenty Deaths 1875-1920: A-D

Bay of Plenty Deaths 1875-1920: E-G

Bay of Plenty Deaths 1875-1920: H-L

Bay of Plenty Deaths 1875-1920: M-O

Bay of Plenty Deaths 1875-1920: P-S

Bay of Plenty Deaths 1875-1920: T-Z

Kean, Fiona (2014). From Tauranga to the Trenches (p. 58-59)

Rice, Geoffrey (2005). Black November: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in New Zealand.

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1918 Influenza Pandemic: Tauranga


Year:1918