Knowing that young Daisy was born in August 1892, it is reasonable to suppose the "1894" written on the front was accurate. What was not so accurate was the name "D'Arcy", probably written by someone else from a later era, below the young lad whose name was in fact William Duvall Wareham (the boy on the right in the photograph). I think the confusion may have arisen because Norman's middle name was D'Arcy. William was my 1st cousin twice removed on my father's side on my adopted tree.
I will tell you a little more about George and Jessie Wareham in a future blog as they deserve their own story which is fascinating in its own right. However, this week I want to tell you about William and how his life was cut short by a terrible accident.
William was born in 1883 in Tataraimaka, Taranaki, a year after George had brought his new wife over from England to New Zealand on board the "Lady Jocelyn". He was the oldest of five children, all of whom you can see in the photo. Tataraimaka is roughly 12 miles south of New Plymouth on the west coast of North Island. It is predominantly a rural coastal area with a lot of dairy farming.
William was felling a tree with a lot of supplejacks round it and a little distance away was a dead tree. When the 20 foot hinau tree he was felling began to fall it caught the dead tree and knocked a branch off which hit William across the back of his head. This doubled him up in such a position that he was found with one limb across his thighs and another across the back of his neck. William was unable to speak coherently. The two farmers with him lifted the branch off him, one stayed with him while the other went for help. He was later carried out of the bush, a man having to go ahead to cut a track.
He was taken to hospital in New Plymouth where the Hospital Surgeon gave him chloroform and did all he could for him. William was suffering from partial concussion of the brain; contusions about the face and head; several ribs were fractured and driven in; there was injury to a lung; a lacerated wound on the upper right arm; and an incised wound extended from the back of the right ankle right through the joint, almost severing the limb. How this last injury was received is not known, but it is surmised that William saw his danger and tried to throw his axe away but only injured himself while doing so.
He died the following day. Death was caused by shock to the system and loss of blood. The jury returned a verdict that the deceased had met his death through injuries received in a bush felling accident.
Young William died aged just 19.