Benjamin GIBBON & Lydia PIZZEY - Southland New Zealand
BENJAMIN GIBBON (1852-1924)
... married in 1878 to
LYDIA PIZZEY (1861-1922) from Felsham, Suffolk
- (Lydia came to NZ at the age of 7)
Benjamin & Lydia are buried in:
PLOT 1, BLOCK IV, SUBDIVISION A at Wairio cemetery
the HEADSTONE reads:
Benjamin son of Benjamin and Lydia GIBBON
died 7 May 1907 age 9 years
also their daughter Lydia Mary (Lily)
died 11 Sep 1907 age 22 years
also their mother Lydia GIBBON
died 13 May 1922 age 61 years
and their father Benjamin GIBBON
died 21 Aug 1924 age 71 years
BENJAMIN & LYDIA had 13 children:
1/ 1879 - 1962 Eliza Maude Gibbon
- married James ARTHUR in Dunedin in 1897
2/ 1881 - 1943 Thomas Spencer Llewellyn Gibbon
- married Mary Margaret CARR in 1910
3/ 1883 - 1954 John Frederick Augustus Gibbon
- married Jean FOSTER in 1913
4/ 1885 - 1907 Mary Lydia 'Lily' Gibbon
- Mary was a victim of a murder/suicide committed by Henry REID (from Tasmania) at Nighcaps, Invercargil on 3 Sep 1907 in a fit of jealousy
- He died on 8 Sep 1907, Lydia died 3 days later. They were 22
... see the story below
5/ 1887 - 1959 Edith Bertha Gibbon
6/ 1888 - ? Christina Gibbon
7/ 1890 - 1968 Lucy Gibbon
- married John Edward DOCKERTY in 1913
8/ 1892 - 1979 Catherine Gibbon
- married James GRANT in 1930
9/ 1894 - 1944 Robert Evan Gibbon
- married Annie Mary IRWIN in 1925
10/ 1896 - 1954 Esther Margaretta Gibbon
- married Edmund Samuel BREWSTER in 1921
11/ 1897 - 1907 Benjamin Gibbon
- died aged 9
12/ 1899 - ? Isabella Elizabeth Gibbon
13/ 1901 - ? William James Ransome Gibbon
TRAGEDY AT NIGHTCAPS
... the following accounts were taken from newspapers of the day ...
5 September 1907 - INVERCARGILL
... Shortly after 11 o'clock on Tuesday evening a shocking scene took place at the little coal mine town of Nightcaps.
Henry Reid, a miner, 22 years of age, was the principal participant. He is a Tasmanian, came to live at Nightcaps about seven or eight months ago, he was hale and hearty in his habits, and was well liked. He lodged with Mrs Gibbons (sic) nearly the whole of that time and, as is not unntaural, it seems that he fell in love with Miss Lydia Gibbon, 22 years of age. She, however, did not encourage his attentions, being engaged to another, a flax-miller, in the district.
About a month previous to Tuesday night's occurrence she told Reid finally how she was placed, and that she could not and would not have anything to do with him.
Jealousy appears to have been working till last night, when Reid could contain himself no longer. He had been working in the mine till 8 0'clock. He came home, dressed, went to receive his pay at about 9, and returned at 10. One of Miss Gibbons' sisters, aged about 14, (Catherine) gave him supper, and a few minutes later Lydia herself came in. Her sister retired, leaving the two alone, the rest of the family being in bed. The only sound audible in the house was the quiet talking of the man and girl in the kitchen. Not long after 11, F. Gibbons, who is a carpenter, was startled by hearing two shots in quick succession, and another, apparently muffled, a few minutes later. At first it did not strike him that the sound was from firearms, and he concluded it was the banging of a door, but presently he heard groans, and rose to find out the cause, but hearing nothing more returned to his room, thinking that the groans came from some o the younger members of the family, who were suffering from whooping cough.
It was not until J. Foster, a miner, who slept in an adjoining room, awoke him that he became alarmed. Foster cried, "Whatever is the mattter?" and both men got up without delay. There were lights burning in both dining room and kitchen, and on opening the door leading outside from the kitchen they stumbled across the prostrate body of Miss Gibbon, lying in a pool of blood. The two men carried the girl into the house, and Dr. Baird and the police were at once summoned. The young woman's face was blackened with the smoke from the powder; and a bullet would was seen just above the right eye. She was quite unconscious.
About a chain away from the house in an adjoining section is a well, about 25ft deep, holding four or five feet of water. Here Reid was found groaning and clutching the rope. He was all but unconscious having shot himself through the palate.
This morning both sufferers were taken to Riverton hospital. The doctor reports that both cases are very serious. Reid is shot through the palate, and the bullet has lodged in an inaccessible place at the base of the brain. The condition of Miss Gibbon is, if anything, more serious. She was also shot in the thigh. Thd doctor holds out little hope of recovery in either case. So far neither has been able to speak.
A packet of strychnine purchased from an Invercargill chemist, was found in one of Reid's pockets.
The latest news from Nightcaps is to the effect that there is a chance of recovery for both Reid and Miss Gibbon. She was able to say "No, thank you" when asked if she wanted a drink of water. It is stated that if she survives she will lose the sight of the left eye, under which the bullet entered.
9 September 1907 - INVERCARGILL
... Henry Reid, who shot Lydia Gibbon in a fit of jealousy, died on Sunday night. The girl recovered consciousness, and though her mind is a blank regarding the tragic occurrence, there is every hope that she will make a good recovery
11 September 1907 INVERCARGILL
... Lydia Gibbon, the victim of the recent Nightcaps shooting tragedy, died this morning.
Miss Lydia Gibbon, who was shot in the head at Nightcaps on Tuesday, the 3rd inst., died at the Riverton Hospital at 3.30 o'clock this morning. She became deeply unconscious on Tuesday evening, and was unable to speak or recognise anyone subsequently. All Tuesday she was becoming weaker, until in the evening the end was seen to be near. A message was sent to her family at Nightcaps, and immediately her father and mother commenced the 35 miles drive to Riverton to see their daughter before she passed away. They were accompanied by the girl's brother and two sisters; also by Mr John Syvret (a boarder), who was present when the young woman was picked up after being shot. They reached Riverton at about 2 a.m., but could not speak with the dying girl. The case was exactly similar to that of Reid, the only difference being that Miss Gibbon's wound was more easily dressed, and life lasted longer in consequence. The death waa reported to the coroner (Mr S. E. M'Carthy, S.M.), who has decided that an inquest is unnecessary, Dr Trotter supplying the certificate as to the cause of death.
13 September 1907 - FUNERAL OF MISS GIBBON, RIVERTON
... The last stage in the pathetic tragedy which so deeply shocked the mining community at Nightcaps last week was reached to-day, when the body of the unfortunate girl Mary Lydia Gibbon wse buried. From 2 till 5 o'clock the mine was shut down, and the flag flown at half-mast. Not an equal was at work, either above ground or below ground. All the miners and, indeed, practically every able-bodied man and woman, boy and girl in the district attended the funeral to pay the last sad tribute of respect to the murdered young woman. The melancholy procession which followed the body to its final resting-place left the house of the bereaved family at 3 o'clock. The coffin, covered by a white pall, and almost buried beneath beautiful floral wreaths, crosses, and anchors, was conveyed in a two-horse waggon. The principal mourners were the four brothers and six sisters of the deceased. Then followed old friends, members of the local Tennis Club (Miss Gibbon was a fine athletic girl, expert in tennis and popular among ail the tennis players in the neighbourhood), and of the Nightcaps Presbyterian Church, in which the deceased was a chorister active worker. All classes were represented in the cortege, which formed a long, sombre line. At the cemetery, which is situated on the top of a bleak hill, many miners and others were awaiting the funeral procession. It was a chilly afternoon, and the sight of the snowtopped Takitimu Range in the distance made the scene appear even more bleak. The service at the grave was conducted by the Rev. T. Tait, pastor of the Presbyterian Church. Not a few women and girls wept bitterly throughout the proceedings, and it was pathetic to witness the distress of the young sawmiller to whom the deceased was betrothed. The coffin plate bore the simple inscription: "Mary Lydia Gibbon. Died September 11, 1907. Aged 22 years."
Away in a corner of the cemetery lies the body of Henry Reid, who was buried on Wednesday last.
the Takitimu Ranges