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Showing posts from March, 2013

Flight Lieutenant Eric Norman Percival ARMSTRONG DFC

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This year sees the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters

I discovered last year that my partners* great uncle was one of the amazing men in this elite group.

I don't really know a lot about him, nor does my partner, who was born late 1960's in New Zealand and whose parents immigrated to New Zealand  in the very early 1960's.  Family anecdotes are sketchy.  I don't have a photo of him.  Maybe one will appear one day! 

Eric Norman Percival was born in 1909 in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Ireland to William ARMSTRONG and Annie nee BUTTLE [1874-1960] - one of their seven children.

He married Olive Glass REID [sic] in the third quarter of 1936 Dublin South, Ireland and information I have come across on Ancestry.com states he was a shopkeeper. They lived across the road from where their parents had always lived.

Ireland was neutral in the war, no national service so he volunteered to join and went to the U.K. to train.  Military service number 126555.

Eric commenced flying on the 24…

The STRATFORD family

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[Apologise for the abominable formatting on the blog.  The software refuses to budge when I edit even when editing HTML]

Once again I set off on doing a 'quick' biography for a headstone I snapped in February.  Every time I say this I end up jinxing myself and it turns into a long snaking journey around many more members of the same family.  This time was no exception with the STRATFORD family.
I had originally spied Charles Edward STRATFORD's headstone at Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch on 27 February.





 In loving memory of
A beloved husband & father Charles Edward STRATFORD Died 3rd August 1956 – Aged 58 years Late No. 7/2157 World War 1 Also Agnes Mary STRATFORD A beloved wife & mother Died 1st February 1976 – Aged 75 years R.I.P. Block 23 Plot 139 [3] 

Charles was living at 24 Baker Street, Christchurch at the time of his death and was an upholsterer.




Plaque to right of headstone: Maurice Joseph STRATFORD [Mossie]
1929 – 1934
Died 4 August 1934 [1] Block 23 Plot 138

Born: …

Carlo BERGAMINI - an unassuming grave for a sculptor

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Often as I'm walking around a cemetery, I come across graves that I think may hold a story solely due to the persons name... Carlo's grave was one of those and what a story I found!

Carlo's headstone belied what an amazing talent he had in his trade as a stonemason and the designer of 5 major South African War memorials in New Zealand. Those at Dunedin, Waimate, Palmerston, Riverton and Oamaru.









His unassuming headstone in Bromley Cemetery at Block 23 Plot 135, Christchurch states:



Carlo BERGAMINI
1870 - 1934
R - I - P






He had resided in New Zealand 47years at the time of his death and he lived at 50 Buckleys Road, Linwood.  This in itself was a fascinating thing to find out, because for many years being a citizen in Avondale, Christchurch, I often passed this run down house situated beside Eastgate Mall on the way to my grandparents house and wondered what its history may have been!