George "Bart" Baker had his own motto "we will get the last rabbit"

George Bartrum Baker also known as "Bart" was a very important man in South Canterbury in the late 1940 and 50s for his achievements towards his greatest pleasure - farming. A big rock, "the monument", sitting on the corner of the Limestone and Pareora Gorge Road is a landmark of Cannington, Motukaika and Maungati districts. He wanted to destroy the rabbit. Bart Baker was born 28 November 1895 in Hororata to George Tom Baker and Fanny M Baker (nee Bartrum). He was educated at Timaru Boys' High School. He married Gwendolen Maude Isabelle Osmond 23 April 1919 at Alderbury, Wiltshire, England. They had four sons and two daughters. Bart died - 27 August 1971 at Timaru. His wife G.M.I. Baker born 22 August 1894 died in 1972. His father, George T., was the s/o George Stothert Baker (1827, Sion Hall, Bath, Somerset) (died 16 Nov. 1916 ChCh).  George Tom Baker married Fanny Matilda Bartrum in 1892 at St. Michaels in CHCH. Children. Only two out of six in the NZ BMDs. Born 1893 Rata Wells Baker and in 1901 Marjorie Ethel Baker. 

Timaru Herald 17 January 1920 Page 8
BAKER — On January 13th, 1920 at Nurse Laurie's, 10 Elizabeth St., to Mr and Mrs G. Bartrum Baker, Cave — a son.

Timaru Herald 2 January 1923 Page 6
BAKER. At Whare Nana, on Christmas Day, 1922, to Mr and Mrs G. Bartrum Baker, “Kainga,” Cave — a son.

Gisborne Herald 21 April 1948 Page 6 RABBIT DESTRUCTION
WELLINGTON, April 21. The personnel and functions of the Rabbit Destruction Council, established under the Rabbit Nuisance Amendment Act. 1947. have been announced by Mr. E. L. Cullen. Minister of Agriculture. Members of the council have been appointed by the Governor-General as follows: Messrs. Eric Bertie Baker and Charles Athol Williams nominated by the North Island Rabbit Boards’ Association: Messrs. George Bartrum Baker, Thomas McKenzie and Cyril Douglas Matthews, nominated by the South Is and Rabbit Boards’ Association; Mr. John Arthurs, nominated by the N.Z. Federation of Labour; Mr. George Franklyn Yerex. representing the wild life branch of the Internal Affairs Department and Mr. Gerald Millar, representing the Department of Agriculture. The general functions of the council are to investigate the extent of the rabbit nuisance in New Zealand, to devise and promote measures for the purpose of destroying rabbits and generally to promote the control of the rabbit nuisance in New Zealand, to coordinate and generally to guide and supervise the activities of rabbit boards, to make recommendations to the Minister in relation to all or any of foregoing matters, to make recommendations to the Minister as to the constitution, alteration union or abolition of rabbit districts, to make recommendations to the Minister as to the rates of levy on rabbit-skins provided for by this Act and as to the disposal of the proceeds of the levy. The first meeting of the council, which will be held in Wellington on Wednesday, April 21, will be formerly opened by the Minister.

  Recommendation for good health: Practice optimism, altruism and volunteerism.


George Bartum Baker
C.B.E., D.C.M., M.M., J.P.,
1895 -1971
A tribute to a man who devoted his energy, enthusiasm and leadership to the task of ridding the land of rabbits. As chairman of the Rabbit Destruction Council 1948 -1965 he led the battle to free this country from a dangerous pest to the great benefit of all New Zealand and the land, which he recognised as the nation's greatest asset.

To all who follow, and will also love this land
Think not of now, but of how it may have been
Trust not the present state, better the past to take a hand
To guide, to lead t'ward the Goal of one man's dream.

Initiated by the late Melville Turton and erected by the North and South Island Pest Destruction boards Association 1978.

Waimate District Council Map.
Map. This is at a T intersection. Someone has been having some fun here. Pareora Gorge Rd and Timaru have been bent the same direction as Limestone Rd. Wrong way. They should be pointing where St. Andrews is pointing. Beautiful country side. Go for an early morning drive and watch the sunrise Craigmore Hill Road - by 2nd hairpin bend on left side - Moa Valley - limestone, Maori Rock Art, sunrise over Mt Cook (if sunny), cabbage trees. The Pareora Huts near junction of Craigmore Valley road and Pareora River Rd for morning tea. Taiko (Limestone Valley Road, Sutherlands Road, Cliffs Rd) - landscape paradise!  Waimate DC list the monument as Heritage Class C. Bart Baker Memorial, Pareora River and Limestone Valley Roads. To commemorate Mr Baker for services to the rabbit destruction council of which he was Chairman for many years.


Timaru Herald, 8 December 1876, Page 3 Waimate Road Board
A meeting of this Board was held on Wednesday last. The members present were — Messrs Lees (Chairman), Elworthy, Miller, Manchester and Loudon. Mr Lees tendered his resignation as Chairman of the Board. Mr Loudon was proposed and seconded as Chairman of the Board. From Mr Moody, of Kakanui, applying to have a road made, to give access to his property near Pareora Gorge, the road referred to running up the East side of Little River, crossing Limestone Range near Trig 59, to Limestone Road also suggesting that a better gradient could be found than the one pegged out, and with less expense of cutting, and stating that he is willing to consent to any deviation the Engineer may approve.

See the Pareora Dam. Opens up in a new window. See the remains of the old water race. Near
Mt. Horrible. photo geology. What is on top? There are micro wave repeaters and television repeaters around. Photos taken 25th April 2014.  In the foreground is a mullein an introduced weed which favours poor, stoney, disturbed ground and dry soil and is often to be found growing on roadsides.

Limestone escarpments and cabbage trees abound. What is on top?

Positions held by Bart Baker
Farmed at Cannington, Cave from after World War I
A pioneer of modern grassland methods
Chairman Upper Pareora Rabbit Board
First Chairman of New Zealand Rabbit Destruction Council 1948-65
Chairman Canterbury Farmers Co-operative Association Ltd 1955-69
Electoral Committee of New Zealand Meat and Wool Boards 1949

Sergeant George Bartrum Baker Serial No. 24844
Occupation before Enlistment Farmer
NoK G.T. Baker (father), P.O. Box 19, Albury, South Canterbury
Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Embarkation Unit 14th Reinforcements New Zealand Cyclists Corps
Embarkation Date 26 June 1916
Place of Embarkation Wellington, New Zealand
Destination Devonport, England

Military Honours
Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) 1918
Military Medal (MM) 1917
(Army) Commissioned 1919
War Medal 1914-1919
Victory Medal
MBE Military Division 1944
Coronation Medal 1953

JP CBE 1961
Special Award New Zealand Grasslands Association 1959
Royal Agricultural Society, gold medal, bronze medallion
Hon Life Membership 1960

4 Nov. 1918 Distinguished Conduct Medal ( D.C.M.)
24844 C.S.M.  George Bartum Baker, M.M. 23rd July, 1918, for action at Marfaux. New Zealand Cyclist Corps  (Mr G. Baker, Albury, f)
Military Cross. 10743 Lieut. H.C.J. Knubley of Timaru ( New Zealand Cyclist Corps) 23rd July, 1918 Marfaux, S.W. of Rheims
Military Cross 25/651 2/Lieut. W. H. Yorke 23rd July, 1918 Marfaux, S.W. of Rheims
The officers who went forward with the advance and arrived at their objectives, Lieuts. Knubley, Blomfield and Yorke (the latter wounded but carried on) worked very hard, and were most energetic in caring for the wants of the men, caring little for themselves in their desire to see the job through.
C.S.M. Baker, M.M., was also conspicuous in his fine leadership after all his company officers became casualties.

Service Number: 24844 No. C.S.M. George Bartrum Baker, MM
New Zealand Cyclist Corps, attd. 22nd Corps Cyclist Bn.
For gallantry and devotion to duty during operations S.W. of RIEMS, 23rd July 1918 and subsequent days. When all officers in his Company had been killed or wounded before attainment of first objective this Warrant Officer assumed command and with great courage and ability handled the Company with complete success. He superintended the consolidation of the final objective, and throughout the attack and subsequent garrison duty did not spare himself in his eagerness to do his duty. He was already wounded during the attack but despite pain and inconvenience 'carried on'. He showed skill as a leader and by his example of fearlessness was a tower of strength to his unit.

Timaru Herald, 8 January 1918, Page 5
Mr G. T. Baker, "The Brothers," Albury, has received word from the Minister of Defence that his son, Sergeant Bartrum Baker, has been awarded the Military Medal.

Timaru Herald, 10 August 1918, Page 7
Slightly wounded remaining, with unit. Baker, George Bartrum (M.M.) L- Sergt., July 23 (G.F. Baker. Albury, f.).

Timaru Herald, 25 April 1918, Page 4
Mr Harry P. Baker of Albury intends to proceed to England to join the Royal Flying Corps. His initial training will be at the Stockburn Flying School. Mr Baker's eldest brother, Sergeant Major G. B. Baker, is in the Cyclist Corps in Flanders. [Harry was too late for the RFC, having only graduated at Sockburn in June 1918 (by which time the RFC and RNAS had been merged to form the RAF) and then arriving in UK end Oct 1918 to enter the RAF. The Armistice came along a few weeks later and put paid to the rest of his training. So he never did get to fly with the RAF.]

Timaru Herald, 12 April 1919, Page 3
The engagement is announced of Lieutenant G. B. Baker, eldest on of Mrs S. T. Baker [sic]. The Brothers, Albury, to Miss Gwendoline Osmond, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Osmond, Cherringhowe, Salisbury.
Mrs Oswald Bartrum and family have returned to Christchurch after visiting friends in Albury and Fairlie.

Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) June 1961 Queen's Birthday Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: To be Ordinary Commanders of the Civil Division of the said Most Excellent Order George Bartrum Baker, Esq., M.B.E., D.C.M., M.M., J.P., of Timaru for services to the farming community.

BARTRUM - cousins

Benjamin Packer BARTRUM born in 1855 in Bath, England arrived in Canterbury in 1877 and settled in Geraldine. He married Charlotte Amy Hayden in 1882 in England. They had close ties with St. Mary's in Geraldine and Ben helped to establish St. David's at Raincliff.  Ben had a wool scour at Geraldine and he knew the district as he had worked on farms woolclassing. By this time he had a farm down Gudex Rd. Their daughter, Agnes May, married John Brownlee in 1910 and moved across the road. Their son Cyril died during WW1. Arthur was a professor of geology at Auckland. One died young of illness and another drowned. Oswald on returning from the war was allocated a property up the Wanganui River. Ben was visiting another brother up the Wanganui River and was killed by a falling tree at age 57. Ben and Amy are buried at Raincliff. Amy died from typhoid in 1918 probably contracted on a voyage back to NZ. She had gone to England ca1914. Ben's sister Fanny Matilda Bartrum married George Thomas Baker in 1892. John and Agnes Brownlee sold out in 1929 due to poor product prices and drought. Reference: The Raincliff Story, Y2K.

June 1911 the Wanganui property of B.P. Bartrum was on the market. He had 1644 acres in the Aotea lease, 700 acres felled, of which 600 acres was in grass and 100 acres just sown. Situated at Matahiwi, 4 miles from a good landing on the Wanganui River. The price was £4 10s for the felled country, the bush given in.

Corporal Cyril F. Bartrum 24/40
, 30 September 1916, Page 13
Rifleman Cyril Frederick Bartrum (wounded) was educated at the Waitaki Boys' High School and later followed farming joining the Rifle Brigade from Wanganui early in 1915. He was an excellent swimmer, and 20 years of age. His brother,
Mr J.A. Bartrum, is lecturer on geology at the Auckland University, and his parents have for some years resided at Fairlie.

Timaru Herald, 23 May 1917, Page 6
The friends and neighbours of Mr and Mrs Oswald Bartrum, "Puke Tohu," Raincliff, paid them a surprise visit on Friday night to wish God speed to Mr Oswald Bartrum, who has enlisted, and leaves for Trentham this week. After a pleasant evening interspersed with songs and recitations had been spent Mr Buckley, on behalf of those present, handed Mr Bartrum a radium wristlet watch, as a small token of the esteem in which he was held. He emphasised the fine spirit of Mr Bartrum, a Second Division man, in volunteering, and the self sacrifice of Mrs Bartrum in allowing him to go. He spoke of his many good qualities as a neighbour, and said if he brought the same energy to bear on military matters as he did on farming. He would make a fine soldier. These remarks having been endorsed by Messrs Wareing, Geddes, Gudex and Isitt Mr Bartrum suitably replied. He said that though he had been in a position to volunteer he did not like the distinction between a conscriptionist and the former, as the latter was more often than not probably deterred by business obligations. When he look at their gift in far distant lands, he would be reminded of the friends of his youth and manhood. Mr Buckley then called for three cheers for their host and hostess, and three more for Private Cyril Bartrum, a brother who is "Somewhere in France." The singing of the National Anthem brought a successful little function to a close.

Miss Bessie Mansell, eldest dau. of Mr and Mrs W. Mansell married Mr Oswald Bartrum of Puke Tohu, Fairlie at St. Augustine's Cashmere Hills, Sept. 1916. Gertrude Bartum younger sister of the groom was a bridemaid. The bestman was Mr Bartrum Baker of Albury.

Press, 25 April 1918, Page 10
Corporal Cyril F. Bartrum (killed in action) [ in France] was the youngest son of late B. P. Bartrum, of Puketohu, Fairlie. He was educated at Waitaki High School, and while there he excelled in swimming. He enlisted on attaining his twentieth birthday with "Lord Liverpool's Own," with whom he had been serving continuously. He was previously wounded.

Press, 17 April 1918, Page 7
Mrs Oswald Bartrum, Cashmere Hills, has been advised that her husband, Private Oswald B. Bartrum, has been severely wounded in the left eye, and was admitted to hospital in England, on April 6th. He is the second son of the late Mr B.P. Bartrum, of South Canterbury and prior to enlisting in the 25th Reinforcements was farming in the Fairlie district. Private Bartrum was educated at the Christchurch Boys' High School and Lincoln College. His younger brother left with the 2nd Reinforcements, and has seen continuous lighting.

Cyril Frederick Barrtum (KIA) age 23
Oswald Benjamin Bartrum (Wangnui)
John Arthur Bartrum (Takapuna)
sons of Benjamin Packer Bartrum
the boys were first cousins of Marjorie Baker of Albury, South Canterbury


Sun 22 September 1919 Page 4
The wedding of Lieutenant. Georce Bartrum Baker, D.C.M., M.M., New Zealand Expeditionary Force, son of Mr and Mrs George Baker, Albury, South Canterbury, took place in England lately, the bride being Miss Gwendolen Maude Osmond, daughter of Mr and Mrs W. W. Osmond, of Clarendon, Salisbury. Lieutenant Harry P. Baker, N.Z.E.F. and R.A.F. (brother of the bridegroom), was best man, and the Misses Joycelyn and Mary Osmond (sisters) and Phyllis and Mary Osmond (cousins) acted as maids of honour. After the reception Lieutenant Baker and his bride left for their honeymoon, which was spent in Bournemouth and London.

Press, 4 July 1918, Page 8
Mrs O. B. Bartrum, Hatherley, Cashmere Hills, has received information that her husband, Mr Oswald Bartrum, of Puke-tohu, Fairlie, will return at an early date. He has been severely wounded in the left eye. He left with the 28th Draft in July, 1917. Mr Bartrum's brother, Cyril, was killed in action.  

June 12th 1924 Miss Constance Sylvia Amyes, younger daughter of Mr and Mrs A. Amyes, was married Arthur Bartrum Baker, son of Mr and Mrs G. T. Bartum, Cave.  They made their home at "Motukaika."

Timaru Herald 19 April 1928 Page 4
A wedding took place at St. Martin’s Church, Albury, on the evening of April 11, when Moira, third daughter of Mr and Mrs G. T. Baker, Cave, was married by the Rev. Stanley Hinson, assisted by the Rev. C. C. Oldham, to Peter, only son of Mrs and the late Mr Chapman, of Wanganui. The church had been prettily decorated by friends of the bride, who entered it with her father to the singing of “The Voice That Breathed o’er Eden.” After the service Mr and Mrs Baker held a reception at their residence, “Deep Deene,” Cave.

Way up the gully the rabbits still play.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project  

Geraldine 11 Dec. 2017

Rabbit Boards