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Suicides, New Zealand - January 1923

Journal by ngairedith

the known January 1923 suicides, or attempted suicides, in New Zealand
The objective here is to record names and the districts they lived in and to present the facts surrounding their reasons as they were presented at the time (as opposed to notoriously incorrect stories that families have passed down through generations - aka Chinese Whispers).
Please be aware that in those days, unlike today, the newspapers reported the events very graphically, just as they happened. Links have been provided to read the details of such stories. Caution is recommended for those who are sensitive.

As at time of writing Papers Past is experiencing problems loading pages (sometimes due to traffic overload) and the links may take forever to open or not open at all. Try again at a later time

Evening Post, 3 January 1923 at WAIPAWA PA
Puhi MAIHI aged over 50, quarreled with his wife Linda Maihi, aged 22 after he learned she was leaving with a younger man

Evening Post, 3 January 1923 at OTAIO
James MacCORMACK, a blacksmith, about 45 years of age, committed suicide to-day by cutting his throat at Otaio. Deceased, a widower, leaves seven young children
BDM has recorded him as James McCORMACK aged 50

Auckland Star, 5 January 1923 at WARKWORTH
Richard Derwent HOLLINGSWORTH, a young man (1890-1966), was remanded for a week on charges of having attempted suicide at Warkworth and with having unlawfully discharged a loaded firearm at another man

NZ Truth, 6 January 1923 at AUCKLAND
Sad and sore with the tribulations of the world, its poverty and hard work, an elderly woman, who was stated to be employed as a cleaner at the G.P.O. threw herself into the harbour last week and was rescued just in the nick of time. After being two days in hospital the unfortunate woman was brought before the Police Court and stood, weeping, in the dock to answer a charge of attempted suicide. She pleaded guilty, when it was stated by the police that she told them she had been greatly worried and so had striven to drown it all in the waters of the Waitemata. She was convicted and discharged, and afterwards conducted to her home in Grey Lynn by the police

Evening Post, 8 January 1923 at DUNEDIN
Andrew CRAIG, 60 years of age (1863-1925), attempted suicide last night by placing a gas tube in his mouth, but, becoming unconscious, he slid from his chair, thus removing the tube. He is now recovering in hospital. He has had poor health for some time.

Evening Post, 8 January 1923 at HOKITIKA
Robert H. HALLIGAN, aged 29 (Robert Henry Halligan aged 36), who had been missing for eight days, was found hanging in the bush. He served at Gallipoli, winning the D.C.M., and was wounded in the head. He leaves a widow and four young children
he married Maude FOSTER in 1919

Auckland Star, 9 January 1923 at AUCKLAND
Verdict of suicide by coal-gas poisoning followed death in hospital of Joshua LAZAR, a crippled second-hand dealer of middle age. John HISCOTT, tobacconist, said that the deceased occupied a second-hand shop adjoining his, at 110 Hobson Street. Lazar had talked about suicide for the last five years ...

Auckland Star, 10 January 1923 at AUCKLAND
"I don't know what to do about this case just now" said Sergeant Rowall, "This man, Ernest George BOVIS (1890-1970, married Dorothy Eileen Smith in 1933), is not usually given to drink. He had been keeping company with a young girl, but the girl had decided she would have nothing more to do with him. The man purchased a razor yesterday with the expressed intention of committing suicide because of his rejection. He was found sitting on the side of the road in Belgium Street, weeping and he had this razor in his possession". "Oh! he wants attention," said Mr Poynton, S.M. Accused was remanded for a week for medical observation

Evening Post, 15 January 1923 at MILTON
A man named William David CHEYNE (1863-1923), was found drowned in a well at the back of his residence at Milton this morning. Suicide is suspected

Evening Post, 16 January 1923 at WELLINGTON
The inquest concerning the death of James Duff CRUICKSHANK 67 years of age, (1855-1923, land agent), who was found hanged in his office at 18 Grey street yesterday, was conducted at the magistrate's Court to-day by the Coroner (Mr W. G. Riddell, S.M.) Sergeant O'Neill appeared for the police. Evidence of identification was given by John Gwyneth Stevens, a land agent, who said he had last seen Cruickshank alive a week previous to last Sunday. The deceased owed some money, not a great deal, but this seemed to prey on his mind and depress him. He had mentioned in a general way, that things were not going too well. Sergeant O'Neill stated that he had found a note in the office of the deceased which showed that he was in financial difficulties. Other evidence having been given, the Coroner found that the deceased committed suicide by hanging himself while mentally depressed
James was a son of James Duff Fyfe CRUICKSHANK & Christina MOUAT. He married married Harriet Elizabeth MALCOLM (1865-1905) in 1885. They didn't have children. He was 'from Masterton' when he married Jane Mary MALCOLM 'of Wellington' 17 April 1907. He is buried Plot 217 G, CH ENG2 at Karori

New Zealand Herald, 16 January 1923 at AUCKLAND
Distressing circumstances attended the death of Mrs Elsie Rhoda JAMES, aged 43, of Franklin Road, Ponsonby, whose body was found yesterday morning floating near the shore in St Mary's Bay. At an inquest held yesterday afternoon, John Charles James said his wife had been in failing health for about six months, being at times rather strange in her manner. She had periods of rather severe depression. When he awoke at about 6.15 a.m. yesterday he missed her from the room. He went down to St Mary's Bay, in company with Mr P. A. Smith, a motor-engineer, and they found the body of his wife in the water. On January 10 she left home about 9 p.m., and he found her about 1 a.m. the next morning wandering on St Mary's Beach. She said she was watching the moon. She was then in a demented condition. Dr W. H. Horton said he had attended the deceased since the middle of October. She had been mentally depressed, but was not sufficiently ill to be sent to a mental hospital. She was very well taken care of and was improving. The coroner returned a verdict of suicide by drowning while mentally depressed
Elsie Rhoda nee MURRAY, married John Charles JAMES in 1914

Auckland Star, 17 January 1923 at AUCKLAND
James MONTAGUE, an old man, a Niue Islander, who appeared in Court the other day in a weak condition charged with attempted suicide was further remanded to appear again on January 24, Senior-Sergeant Rawle stating that accused was still under medical observation at Mount Eden gaol

Auckland Star, 18 January 1923 at PAHIATUA
Ernest John MEADE, a lorry driver, aged about 45, married, was found this morning hanging on a beam in a storeroom adjacent to the stables where he was employed, The circumstances point to suicide
Ernest married Sara ANDERSEN (1886-1965) in 1908
their known children:
1910 - 1985 Charles Arthur Meade


Auckland Star, 19 January 1923 at GISBORNE
Frederick George CHAPMAN (1871-1923), an inmate of the public hospital was found dead at 2.10 o'clock this morning with his throat cut by a razor. Deceased was a married man with five children, residing at Muriwai
Frederick married Julia Elizabeth ROBERTSON (1876-1955) in 1902
their children were:
1902 - Reginald Herbert Frederick Chapman
1903 - Ivy Ethel Julia Chapman
1905 - Myrtle Catherine Alice Chapman
1908 - Harold Wilfred George Chapman
1912 - Mona Frances Evelyn Chapman


Evening Post, 23 January 1923 at WELLINGTON
An Australian, named Joseph BARDEN, 33 years of age, (1893-1952), who was recently found on the outskirts of Lyall Bay with his throat cut, appeared on a charge of having attempted to commit suicide. On the application of Senior Sergeant Lander, the accused, who pleaded guilty, was remanded until Friday for sentence
he served as Rifleman 15324 with the 9th

Evening Post, 24 January 1923 at FEILDING
A number of suspicious outbreaks of fire have recently been causing concern amongst business men. Last week an attempt was made to set fire to business premises occupied by a Chinese fruiterer. Police investigations resulted in the arrest of Clive Joseph NOBLE, aged 17 (1906-1984), a messenger in the Feilding Fire Brigade. Noble was before the Court this morning, and was remanded till next Thursday. The accused's father applied for bail, and in the course of a speech to the Bench said the boy had admitted to the police having committed the deed which was the subject of the charge. The police opposed the application, partly on the ground that the accused had threatened to commit suicide, and the Magistrate refused to grant bail
Clive married Daisy Irene Linda McEwan (1905-1977) in 1927

New Zealand Herald, 24 January 1923 at AUCKLAND
An elderly man, James G. Cummings, pleaded guilty to a charge of having attempted to commit suicide. According to the police evidence accused had said he was going to commit suicide and had drunk a bottle of chlorodyne. He was taken to the hospital. Accused seemed to have periodic attacks of this kind, and it was feared that one day he would succeed in his suicidal attempts. The magistrate, remarking that liquor was the cause of the trouble, sentenced accused to six months imprisonment

Auckland Star, 24 January 1923 at TAIHAPE
The body of a man named George WISELY, aged 40 (1883-1923), single, a ploughman of Ruanui station, was found floating in a dam a mile from the homestead yesterday. He returned from a holiday on the 13th., and was missed next day. An exhaustive search made failed to locate him till yesterday, when the body was found as stated. At the inquest a verdict of suicide whilst temporarily insane was returned

Auckland Star, 25 January 1923 at CHRISTCHURCH
Mr Scott BAKER (John Scott Baker, 1873-1923), a well known commission agent, of Christchurch, shot himself on Mr T. Croft's farm at Onuhi this morning

Auckland Star, 26 January 1923 at AUCKLAND
Frederick BUTCHER, a bluejacket from the New Zealand Squadron, admitted having attempted to commit suicide by cutting his throat. It was stated that the man - a smart-looking young sailor - had been most peculiar and had attempted his life in a sudden fit of dementia. However, he was now apparently normal

Northern Advocate, 1 February 1923 at WELLINGTON
A tragedy occurred at 38 McFarlane Street, yesterday, when Mrs Mary Elizabeth BELLHOUSE, wife of the Rev Harold Bellhouse, leaped from an upstairs window of their residence to the asphalt path below, a distance of about 25 feet. She received such severe injuries that she died before medical aid could be summoned. Deceased was 56 years of age and resided with her husband and family. For four years past she had been mentally depressed and had been attended by Dr Elliott for nervous troubles.
Mary Eliza nee TURNER married Harold Edward Bellhouse in 1898
their children were:
1899 - Geoffrey Turner Bellhouse (see note at end)
1901 - 1985 Lesbia Charlotte Grace Bellhouse
1903 - 1940 Lionel Edward Bellhouse
1906 - 1990 Basil Charles Bellhouse
the Rev Geoffrey Turner Bellhouse was born at Christchurch 21 July 1899 and was educated at Christchurch Boys' High School. He graduated master of arts at Auckland University College and began study for the ministry at Knox College, Dunedin. He went to Edinburgh University to complete the course, graduating bachelor of divinity. He was ordained in 1926 at Regent Square Presbyterian Church, Glasgow, since when he has been at St. Andrew's, Eastbourne. He served a term as moderator of the Presbyterian Church of England, 195859, and has been special preacher on many occasions both in the United Kingdom and in the United States. The Rev. Bellhouse has done a considerable amount of broadcasting and published a number of books, including Thinking it Out, Immortal Longings and These are Thy Wonders

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on 2013-12-29 00:14:10

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