ASHLEY - Man Swept Down River in NZ
This is the report of how my grandfather died. My father was 7 at the time.
from the Patea & Waverly Press - August 19, 1932:
WAITARA FARMER DROWNED
HORSE IN FLOODED RIVER
Mr. George Ashley, A Tarata farmer, was seen to be swept downstream when he was swimming his horse across the Waitara River beyond Huiroa on Tuesday. His wife was on the riverbank at the time.
Mr. Ashley was thrown into the river, was caught by the current, and carried into the stream. He called out, "The gum boots have got me" as he sank. Mrs. Ashley was nearly frantic by this time, and would have jumped into the river had she not been restrained by Mr. J. Jacobs, a neighbouring farmer, who was waiting with her for Mr.
Ashley to return.
Mr. Ashley was wearing thigh gum boots and had a heavy pack of stores on his back.
Though he was a strong swimmer he had no hope once his boots filled. He was carried across the river and was on the outside of the bend below the ford when he disappeared.
His body has not been found.