Monday, 24 February 2014

War Correspondence 1914-1918

2014 brings with it a significant commemoration of the Great War. 
There are now thousands of images available depicting the theatre of war, but still very few which illustrate the means by which families and friends maintained relationships during the years of conflict. 
The postcards illustrated below were all sent to family members in New Zealand by fathers, brothers and uncles serving in Europe during the years 1914-1918. 
Censorship operated during this period, as well as the natural restraint of men making light of their situation to shield their loved ones from care and anxiety, but it was the point of contact represented by these post cards which was so important to those at home.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Bertha Bartley - fifth child of Edward Bartley and Elizabeth Hannken (1869-1944)

Emily Bertha Bartley (Tottie)

Emily Bertha Bartley was born at home in Union St, Auckland on May 9, 1869.[i]
She was the fifth child of the family and the eldest surviving daughter. She was known to family and friends as Tottie.
When she was still a toddler the family moved to Devonport on the North Shore, where the Bartley children enjoyed a seaside environment away from the public health issues of Auckland itself.
Devonport was a fledgling rural community at that time, but still a commutable distance for her father’s work and social engagements.
Like her siblings, Tottie was a talented musician. She enjoyed performing, was a gifted soprano, and was often in demand as keyboard accompanist or for string ensembles with her violin or viola.

[i] Daily Southern Cross 7 June 1869 page 10

Tottie photographed by her brother Fred, about 1890

In February 1884 SS Doric berthed in Auckland. Amongst the new immigrants on board were Philip Hawe MASON and his wife Martha ROBINSON. Coming from Swindon, Wiltshire in England, they brought all their surviving children with them. The Masons settled at Kerr St Devonport where their similarity of social circumstances, religious and political views laid the ground for a solid and lasting friendship with the Bartley family. Their ninth child was Frank Ernest Mason. He was three years older than Tottie Bartley and a best friend of her older brothers. Frank was especially close to Fred Bartley, sharing his interest in the new dance music and new technology of photography.

Frank Mason about the time he arrived in Auckland, aged 17, in 1884

NZ Herald 2 March 1891

Frank trained as an accountant. From the beginning of his adult life and continuing into old age, he was active in church, school and district affairs. Both he and Tottie were so community focused there was hardly an organisation, interest group or charity in Devonport deprived of their energy. In this they were following the example of their respective parents, who were of a generation to whom community service was grounding principle of daily life.

Devonport School Committee Meeting Auckland Star 28 April 1891

Tottie and Frank had five children, all born at Devonport. They were Bertha Eileen 1892; 
Dorothy Hazel 1894; Marjorie Estelle 1897;  Norah Kathleen 1903 and Philip Hawe 1909.

Tottie died 27 May 1944 and was interred in the Mason family plot at O'Neills Point Cemetery, North Shore, Auckland.

Hazel photographed by her cousin George Bartley about 1913

Hazel in costume as an Egyptian Princess, from the album of George F Bartley

Marjorie Mason photographed by her cousin George Bartley about 1913

Marjorie Mason, from the album of George F Bartley

Nora Mason about 1913 from the album of George F Bartley

Frank's sister Ada married Bill Barrach in 1890

Frank's sister Ellen married Samuel Craig in 1889
the Mason plot O'Neills Cemetery North Shore Auckland New Zealand