1917 Timaru Quilt

1917 Friendship Quilt -

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Timaru to England and back!

Trinity Red Cross Guild's annual report of 1918 mentions that an autograph quilt and four pounds were sent to Walton-on-Thames hospital in 1917-18. This unfinished calico quilt top with hand embroidered messages turned up in a second hand shop in Brighton, England about 1990. It was intended for New Zealand soldiers in the First World War and donated by members of the Timaru Church Guild in July 1917. Walton-on-Thames is an hour's drive, 52 miles or 83kms from Brighton. It has now found its way back to New Zealand. 

Timaru Herald, 10 August 1916, Page 7
The Ladies Red Cross Guild in connection with Trinity Church have a large quilt which it intended to send to one of the Hospitals where our soldiers are located. The quilt has been very neatly worked with a Red Cross in the centre, and further funds for the Red Cross are being raised by working on it- the name of every person who pays one shilling (or as much more as may be offered. A large number of names are already on the quilt, but there is room for more. It is thought that the soldiers who get the use of the quilt at Home will be more than interested in reading the names which are worked into it.

Timaru Herald, 27 April 1916, Page 6
Mrs. Priest wishes to think the patriotic workers for £2 6s for her guild for Red Cross proceeds from autograph quilt. The quilt has been given to the Red Cross for a soldier's bed, and is on view in the Red Cross window in the Arcade.

"Quilts are more than just plotted art forms, they contain important links to our history and heritage."

A "Friendship Quilt" was a traditional presentation gift.

Please help decipher the names and addresses. Email me if you are able to help with correcting the spelling of the names and addresses and history of the contributors. Thanks, Olwyn. Posted November 8 2005

6 columns -9 rows

Mac Lowry

L G Price
There is no day as dark;
But though the mist some ray of
Hope way steal.


Mrs J Avery
Emmie Hillery
11 Mackenzie St
North Dunedin

Joan Sands
Keep Smiling
Mary McVey
Rest in the Lord
from Maoriland

Mary McKay
Albury, N.Z.

D. Piddington?
North St
Greetings from Timaru
E. S. McSweeney
M. Carling
Marie C. Martin
Ida Cuthbert All's well
that ends well

When you are down in the
mouth think of Jonah
He came out alright

Our thoughts
and prayers
are with you all

?John Wilson
10 or 18 William St

Lucy Huddleston
Avenue Rd
?Jamie ?Rosingson??
Orangi-Kaupapa Road
Stand up-stand up
- for Jesus Ye soldiers of the world

J M Murray
Albury, N.Z.
Agnes McLachlan
Trinity    Church    Guild B. Menzies
God ___ ____ and you

And God shall wipe
away all tears from
their eyes
Helen M. Cotterill
100 Wai-iti Rd
Timaru, N.Z.
The Prayer
of Faith
Shall save
the Sick,
And the Lord
Shall raise
him up
'England expects every man
to do his Duty"

Violet G. Martin
Sea View Terrace

Mrs G. Pearson

I was sick
ye visited
Marie R. Watt


Timaru         N.Z.      July 1917

E.M. Askin
Courage Brother
God Bless our ----
One and all

Bella Wilson
10 or 16 Alliance St
Timaru, N.Z.
N. J. Kerr Ethel Davey
Kept by
The Power of God

Anna Fraser
Kate Gillies
E.W. Hewson
A. Glass
Be Strong
?Quit ye
like men
Mollie Raymond
Beverley Road
Timaru, N.Z.
Margaret B Martin Don't cry over spilt
milk, sonny. Take your jug and get
after another cow

M Isbister Dunback
Jack Edgar Dorothy Hunt
L??----- Downs
New Zealand
A Robertson
11 Mechanics Rd
NE Valley
I unis Tluat????
D. Dent
How'er it be it seems to me
Tis only noble to be good

E Askin
ye Brave

Joyce McKay
Mrs Workran
God is Love!
The Cow Spanker!

A friendship quilt: The ladies of the church would get together and each would piece a block of a mutually selected design; each block would also be embroidered with the lady's name and the date that it was pieced.  The ladies would then put all the blocks together to form the "top." Once this was done, they would have a quilting bee to finish the gift. I'm sure this project created social occasions for the ladies and was a way of showing their appreciation, as well as a keepsake for the pastor, bride, needy family, soldier, teacher, or whoever, with the names of the families of that congregation. The quilt was presented and displayed for all to admire at a farewell service.

Timaru Herald, Oct 18, 2005 Quilt mystery unravelled
A Chalmers Church guild appears the likely source of a quilt which has turned up in a Wellington exhibition being staged by the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. A story in Saturday's Herald told of a quilt owned by academy council member Carole Hartney, which was on display as part of the Solo 21 exhibition. The unfinished quilt, made from calico squares, was purchased in Britain 15 years ago. It appears to have been created by a Timaru church guild, probably for soldiers serving overseas, in 1917. Temuka woman Betty Bisdee recognised her aunt Ida Cuthbert's signature on the quilt. Checking with other family members she established Ida would have been only 10-years-old back in 1917. She wonders whether the young girl stitched her own name, or simply signed it with an older guild member embroidering it. Knowing her relatives' church affiliations, Mrs Bisdee is confident the quilt was stitched by those associated with Chalmers Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth Street.

Quilts teach us about friendship and patience, tradition and heritage.

St. Mary's on Church Street, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.
An annual service and parade of commemoration is held on the Sunday nearest to ANZAC Day at St Mary's. The High Commissioner of New Zealand attends, together with local dignitaries; wreaths are laid and a small reception is held after the service. By the west door of the St Mary’s Church is the ANZAC Memorial.  In the cemetery adjacent to the church in Terrace Road there are nineteen NZEF servicemen including the grave of Charles Mackie Begg, M.D., NZMC, from Dunedin, a NZEF field surgeon, who saw action at Gallipoli and France and was promoted to director of medical services in London, England.  He died in Twickenham on 2 February 1919 and on 5 February was buried with full military honours in Walton-on-Thames.  27,000 injured New Zealand servicemen were cared for either at No 2 General Hospital at Mount Felix in Walton or at Oatlands Park in Weybridge.  All the New Zealanders are commemorated on a Screen Wall Memorial near their two plots, at the North entrance.  There is another commemoration to two New Zealand soldiers, McDiarmid and Ward, who were patients at the N.Z. Hospital and whose graves are not known. 

The New Zealand War Contingent Association under its Chairman, Lord Plunket, opened a civilian hospital at Walton-on-Thames in 1915 to care for New Zealand wounded from Gallipoli.  In 1916 with the move of the New Zealand Division to France, the NZ Medical Service of the NZEF set up its base in the UK with Colonel W. H. Parkes as Direction of Medical Services. Walton-on-Thames Hospital became No. 2 New Zealand General Hospital staffed by New Zealand nurses and doctors.  Dr. Hugh Thomas Dyke Acland was said to have performed some 4,000 operations during the war.

The Times, Thursday, Jul 29, 1915; pg. 10; col C
New Zealand Hospital On The Thames. Canadian and Australian Hospitals have already been established at various points both in this country and France. It is therefore fitting, in view of the splendid work accomplished by the New Zealand men in the Dardanelles, that a New Zealand Hospital should be added to the number. Wounded men seek above all things a home atmosphere; in a hospital conducted by their fellow countrymen, in the narrower sense, they find comfort and cheer. The new hospital, which is to be opened on Saturday afternoon, is situated at Walton-on-Thames, on a beautiful site overlooking the river. A private house has been rented and it is surrounded by wide gardens. There will be 150 beds and more may be added later. The first patients will be admitted on Monday next. They will come, for the most part, from other hospitals in this country to which they were taken in the first instance.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission provides personal and service details and places of commemoration for the 1.7 million members of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First or Second World Wars. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2326546

Walton and Weybridge (Walton-on-Thames) Cemetery
Surname		First Name		Rank		Service No.	Regiment			DOD	Age
BAKER 		Montrose Arthur Private 	10/2846 Wellington Regiment, N.Z.E.F. 	12/10/1916 21 
BEGG	 	Charles Mackie 	Colonel 	3/306 	New Zealand Medical Corps 	02/02/1919 39 Croix de Guerre (France)
BLACK	 	Frederick Robert Private 	19109 	Wellington Regiment, N.Z.E.F. 	05/04/1917 36 
BLINKO	 	Roland George 	Rifleman 	22717 	New Zealand Rifle Brigade 	06/01/1917 31 
DALTON	 	John Brian 	Serjeant 	9/903 	Otago Mounted Rifles, N.Z.E.F. 	02/12/1915 35 X Gallipoli d. of wounds 
FLEMING	 	Jack 		Sapper 		4/2083 	New Zealand Engineers 		08/10/1916 39  
FOX	 	William 	Private 	6/1848 	Canterbury Regiment, N.Z.E.F. 	26/10/1915 22  
HALL	 	Alfred Henry 	Driver 		5/236 	New Zealand Army Service Corps 	08/06/1916 32 
HAMANA	 	Kingi 		Private 	16/6 	NZ Maori (Pioneer) Battalion 	03/10/1916 22 
HUDSON	 	Thomas Henry 	Corporal 	10/727 	Wellington Regiment, N.Z.E.F. 	18/05/1916 21  
McDIARMID	William Orr 	Private 	10/1890 Wellington Regiment, N.Z.E.F. 	07/04/1916 26 
PHILLIPS	Thomas Wallace 	Corporal 	13/728 	Auckland Mtd Rifles, N.Z.E.F. 	18/10/1915 20 
PORTER	 	James Livingstone Private 	8/787 	Otago Regiment, N.Z.E.F. 	26/10/1915 24 X Gallipoli, d.of wounds
RISHWORTH	William Henry 	Private 	11340 	Otago Regiment, N.Z.E.F. 	04/11/1916 25 
ROUT	 	Edward 		Rifleman 	23/1168 New Zealand Rifle Brigade 	03/10/1916 22 
RUSSELL	 	William Henry 	Driver 		2/2714 	New Zealand Field Artillery 	20/09/1916 40  
TAURA	 			Private 	16/1202 NZ Maori (Pioneer) Battalion 	07/01/1917 23  
WAIRAU	 	Raniera 	Private 	16/779	NZ Maori (Pioneer) Battalion 	30/10/1916 21 
WARD	 	Charles Kay 	Captain 	3/71 	New Zealand Dental Corps 	18/01/1918 33 

Tom Phillips was badly wounded at Gallipoli on the 9 August 1915. He was wounded by one of our own shells falling short. First New Zealand soldier to die at the Walton-on-Thames Hospital.

Armistice Day: Wreath-laying ceremonies mark Armistice Day at the National War Memorial in Wellington, N.Z. and at many local War Memorials throughout New Zealand. A two minutes silence is observed at 11 am on 11 November in memory of those New Zealanders who died while serving their country at these services.

The Times, Thursday, Oct 07, 1915; pg. 5; col E News in Brief
Lance-Corporal Alexander Grant, a New Zealand international footballer and a member of the New Zealand Contingent, was married yesterday to Miss Rosewell, of Shepperton. Mr Grant was wounded at Gaba Tepe, and was sent home to Mount Felix Hospital, Walton-on-Thames. There he met Miss Rosewell. Their courtship began over an ivy-clad wall, and all the New Zealand soldiers attending the wedding wore an ivy leaf. Private A.W. Smith, who has played with Grant in international football, and who was also wounded in Gallipoli, was best man. The bridegrooms has been passed for home service during the war.

The Times, Wednesday, Jan 19, 1916; pg. 12;
The Malta Hospitals., New Zealand Gift., More Private Donations.
Another splendid gift of £4000 comes today from Timaru, NZ., for the work carried on in Malta and the Near East. Malta is one of the busies centres of the Red Cross work. The island is dotted over with hospitals in which the medical and nursing staffs and the V.A.D.'s of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St. John are actively engaged. Not only do they supplement the work of the Army Medical Service in essentials, the two societies are eager to supply comforts to the wounded. On Christmas Day every patient on the island received a present. It consisted of a canvas bag filled with things such as a pair of socks, a Christmas card, sweets, and a silver safety-pin bearing the Red Cross and St John's Cross on a silver disc. Other things like Christmas pudding, fruit and crackers were distributed to all.

Poverty Bay Herald, 22 June 1918, Page 4
The joy and surprise of the, men may be imagined when the other day, they found the N.Z. Y.M.C.A. handing round in muddy trench and damp bivouac in the middle of the great battle some excellent New Zealand cakes sent by the patriotic women of Timaru. Many of the men wrote post-cards expressing their thanks to the donors, but these suffered badly in the rain, and many of them may never reach their destination. Under the circumstances it gives great pleasure to be the medium of conveying the thanks of all concerned to these kindly and thoughtful Timaru women.

Evening Post, 14 April 1915, Page 9
Sock Pattern: Cast on 64 stitches. Knit 4½ inches of 2 plain and 2 purl. Knit 5 inches plain, then take 2 together at the end of one needle, and 2 together at the beginning of the next. Knit 6 rows and take in again. Do this 3 times. Then plain till 11 inches down. Should then have 56 stitches. Where you have taken in should be the middle of the back needle, 28 on back needle and 14 on both fronts. Heel : Knit back needle 1 plain row and return knitting inside,, and slipping 1 and knitting 1 alternately, return plain and so on till you have knitted 13 lines of purl. Knit plain till 8 stitches left and knit 2 together. Return plain till you come to space, and knit I each side of space together, and so on till you have 16 on needle. Then pick up 13 on each side, and knit 2 rows plain.. Then take m 2 every other row till you have 56 stitches left. Then plain for 8 inches from back of heel. Then decrease 4 every second row till 24 stitches are left. Then finish off. (This is an excellently proportioned sock.)

Whitefairs window from James Powell and Sons.
1951: The people of Timaru in New Zealand donated food parcels to the people of Worthing, Sussex during the 2nd World War. After the war, the people of Worthing donated a stained glass window, 'triumph of right over wrong',  to the people of Timaru in thanks for their efforts. The central light window is in St Mary's Anglican Church in Timaru, in the Chapel of St. Michael to commemorate those who died in World War One and Two, and the outer light windows were given by St. Mary's Sewing Guild and the other by the parish. The windows have their base the insignia of the NZ Army, the RNZAF and Royal NZ Navy.

From Glenavy and back - WWI counterpane
North Otago Museum signature quilt

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project 

Edith Maud Askin lost two sons during WW2.

'All I possess' the mother said 'and mine the woman's part,
In agony that none may see to hide a breaking heart.
But I gave my all for should they fall with none beside to heed,
Can one give more than the sons she bore, for England's need?'