The New Zealand Line - 1815 to 2008


This family line commences with Elizabeth Collett & Henry Collett from Part One


Updated June 2017


The information provided for the previous update of this file

was gratefully received from Ron & Sue Payne in Perth, Australia


The information provided for the previous updates was gratefully received

from Tania Bryant whose mother was Janis Patricia Collett (Ref. 6R5) of New Zealand


This is the family line of Jennifer Alison Collett (Ref. 6S2) whose

husband Martin Gregory kindly provided details of their family




ELIZABETH COLLETT (Ref. 1N57) was born on 10th February 1817, and was baptised at Leonard Stanley on 20th March 1817, the daughter of James Collett and Hannah Land.  She later married her cousin Henry Collett (Ref. 1N65) on 13th July 1840 at St Mary de Lode Church in Gloucester, Henry having been born at Leonard Stanley on 27th April 1818.

These pictures of the couple, taken much later in their lives, are from a collection at the Lower Hut City Library, about a mile from where they were living at Petone, in New Zealand, towards the latter part of the nineteenth century.         Supplied by Ron Payne.




One month after the wedding day the couple emigrated to New Zealand when they sailed out of Gravesend on the British barque HMS London on 13th August 1840.  The London was chartered by the New Zealand Company and sailed from England, bound for Port Nicholson with 228 emigrants aboard.  The voyage took four months to complete and the ship eventually arrived at Port Nicholson in New Zealand on the 12th December 1840.  There had been four infant deaths during the voyage and six new births.  Astonished by the number of settlers arriving on their shores, the local Maori asked if the 'whole tribe' had come out from England, not realising that this was only the beginning of the settlement of New Zealand.




One account of the ship’s arrival, given by one of the passengers on board the London, was as follows: "Rising at dawn, we crowded the ships rails, anxious to get a first glimpse of the land which was to be our new home.  The sea was calm as we sailed into Port Nicholson on that warm sunlit December morning in 1840 and soon shelters and shacks could be seen dotted along the waterfront.  Presently, native canoes came paddling out from the shore; there must have been a score or more coming to greet us.  Our long journey from England was coming to an end."


Historical Note: It was at Petone [Pito One], a former borough on the north side of Wellington Harbour and now a suburb of the City of Lower Hutt, on Petone Beach that the first settlers of Wellington landed in 1840.




Twenty years after their arrival in New Zealand, Elizabeth and Henry and their family were living at 81 Hutt Road in Petone, near Wellington, where their last child was born.  Many homes were erected along Hutt Road for various members of the Collett family.  The photograph below was taken in 1874 and shows the Collett farm.  It was also on this day that the first railway train ran between Wellington and Napier, along land previously owned by the Collett family and purchased from them in 1873.




From 1842 Henry Collett was an established wheelwright and had associations with the company of Collett, Styles and Dean of Lower Hutt in Petone, which was formed by his son Aaron Collett (below). 


Two of Henry’s other sons eventually took over the family business which became Collett Brothers in 1887, of which further details are provided under Edward Henry Collett and Albert William Collett.


Henry was also acknowledged as one of the early pioneers and even had pride of place in the Pioneer Muster Roll celebration (the Jubilee of Colonisation) that was held in Wellington on 22nd January 1890.




An announcement in the Evening Post on 13th December 1876 stated “The Treasurer of the St James’ Church in Lower Hutt Building Fund desires to acknowledge the receipt of the following amounts towards the Fund”.  Included in the long list were the names of seven members of the Collett family.  They were Mr H Collett - 5 guineas, Mrs Collett – 1 guinea, Mr Edward Collett - £5, Mr Jas Collett - £1, Mr Aaron Collett – 1 guinea, Mr C S Collett - £1, and Mr A W Collett - £1.




Elizabeth Collett died five years later at the family home on the Old Hutt Road in Petone on 25th October 1881 at the age of 63.  An announcement in the local newsletter read as follows: “The friends of Mr Henry Collett are respectfully invited to attend the funeral of his late wife, which will leave his residence in Petoni on Thursday 27th inst, at half past 3 o’clock.  Joseph Hall, Undertaker.”  A later obituary in the Petone newspaper read as follows:  “Collett – on 25th October at Petone, after a long and painful illness, Elizabeth, the beloved wife of Henry Collett, aged 63 years”.




A copy of the death certificate for Elizabeth Collett has been generously provided by Diane Margaret Evans Fussell from Tamatea, Napier in New Zealand which provides some interesting family details.  Diane is the great great granddaughter of Elizabeth Collett and the granddaughter of Mabel Elizabeth Jane Collett, the daughter of Elizabeth’s son Aaron, and her husband William Grant Deville Evans of Petone.  The death was registered at Wellington and the certificate confirmed that Elizabeth died at Petone on 25th October 1881 at the age of 63, and that she was buried at St James’ Churchyard in Hutt (Lower Hutt) on 27th October.  She was last seen by Doctor Wilford the day before she died, and it was he who confirmed the cause of death as being obstruction of the bowels and natural decay.




It also confirmed that she had been living in New Zealand for forty-one years, and that she had been born in England, the daughter of wheelwright James Collett.  What is curious, and to which there is no answer except to say it must have been an error made by the informant of her death, her mother’s maiden name was given as Elizabeth Moss and not Hannah Land.  It is known that her mother Hannah was sometimes referred to as Elizabeth, so Elizabeth Land would have been acceptable, but not Moss unless that was her first married name.  So it is very interesting that Hannah Land, who was baptised at Leonard Stanley on 26th October 1787, the daughter of Thomas and Hannah Land, also had a sister Elizabeth Land who was also baptised at Leonard Stanley on 8th November 1785.  This therefore raises the question, did James first married Hannah and later married her sister Elizabeth, who was Elizabeth Moss through marriage by then.




In the final section of the certificate it stated that Elizabeth had married Henry Collett when she was twenty-years of age, and that the marriage had produced seven sons and three daughters, all as confirmed in the list below.  Two years prior to her death, the following article was published in the Wanganui Chronicle on 22nd September 1879.  “A serious accident occurred at the Hutt yesterday. Henry Collett and his son Albert were erecting a house, and owing to want of sufficient precaution while raising the framework it fell on father and son, the latter having both thighs fractured.  The father had his leg broken below the knee, and his back so badly injured that he is not expected to recover.  Both besides were dreadfully cut and bruised.  Another son was also struck by the falling timber and much hurt, while his sister escaped by a miracle.”  However, despite the serious nature of his injuries, it was almost fifteen years to the day when Henry eventually passed away from an attack of bronchitis.




It was thirteen years after the death of his wife that Henry Collett died at Petone on 12th September 1894 at the age of 76.  Three days later he was buried in the graveyard at St James Church in Lower Hutt on 15th September 1894, where Elizabeth had been buried, the two of them having both been staunch supporters of that church.  A similar newspaper announcement for Henry read: “The friends of the late Henry Collett are respectfully invited to attend his funeral, which will leave his residence at Hutt Road, Petone on Saturday afternoon at 2.30 o’clock for St James Cemetery, Lower Hutt.  Joseph Hall, Undertaker, Lower Hutt.”




A more extensive obituary was also published in the Evening Post on 13th September 1894, as follows: “We are sorry to report the passing away of another old settler, Mr Henry Collett, who died at Petone yesterday aged 76.  The deceased arrived in Wellington by the ship London in 1840 and followed for many years the occupation of a wheelwright.  He was an excellent workman, and about ten years ago was able to retire on a competence.  For some years he had been in delicate health.  The immediate cause of death was an attack of bronchitis.  The funeral takes place on Saturday afternoon.  The deceased, who was highly respected, leaves seven sons, three daughters, and a large number of grandchildren”.  




After his funeral the following article was printed in the same newspaper.  “The mortal remains of the late Mr Henry Collett, who was one of Wellington’s oldest identities, were interred in St James’ churchyard, Lower Hutt, on Saturday afternoon, a large number of relatives and friends attending.  The Rev J Jones officiated at the grave.  Amongst the mourners was the Ven. Archdeacon Fancourt, a very old friend of the deceased.  Wreaths were sent by the Mayor and Mayoress of The Hutt (Mr & Mrs W A Fitzherbert), the employees of the firm of Collett Bros, and many others.” 




The Will of Henry Collett was made by him on 14th August 1894 in which his estate was divided between his daughter Mary Jane Collett, who inherited the land to the west of Hutt Road, and his son Albert William Collett who inherited the land to the east of Hutt Road.  See Will in legal Documents.  Following the death of their parents, the children of Henry and Elizabeth Collett sold off the paddock land to the rear of the family homestead in 1901, and this ultimately became part of the Riddlers Crescent development.




It is well established that Henry and Elizabeth had with them on their sea voyage from England on board the barque London, some rose plants which they planted in the garden of their home on the old Hutt Road in 1841, and which survive at the Collett home to this day.  This is at 36 Riddlers Crescent in Petone, formerly 81 Hutt Road and in 2000 the house was placed on the New Zealand Historic Places Register.  The Collett family remained living in properties divided from the original 9.5 acres at 28 and 34 Riddlers Crescent until 1989, the occupant of No 28 being Ete Terry Evans the son of Mabel Elizabeth Jane Collett who died in 1973.  From 1933 Doris and Robert Leslie, who were friends of the Collett family, settled in Riddlers Crescent and first lived in a self-contained flat on the property and later moved into a cottage and in 1935 were residing at 34 Riddlers Crescent. 




In 1948 Doris and Robert purchased the homestead at No 36 Riddlers Crescent and the aforementioned Mabel E J Collett moved into the adjacent No 34 Riddlers Crescent.  The fence was removed and the furniture was exchanged between the houses.  This home has held many weddings, family gatherings and had children playing in the attics and the garden.  River stones were sieved through a wire mattress to provide a cottage flower-garden and a vegetable garden.  On the garden trellis were the roses 'Captain Blood' and 'Devon Cream' brought from England by Henry and Elizabeth over one hundred years earlier.  See further property notes under Mabel Elizabeth Jane Evans nee Collett (Ref. 6P17).




The following is an extract taken from The Chairman’s Report for the Petone Community Board which was presented at a meeting of the board on 6th April 2009.  The same report also included a reference to Francis Brown, the daughter of Mabel Elizabeth Jane Evans nee Collett, who died at Palmerston North on 10th February 2009 at the age of 95.




“The Colletts are one of Petone’s founding families and came to Petone in 1845, having purchased land on the Hutt Lane.  Henry Collett was in business as a wheelwright.  The family business closed in 1895, following his death a few months earlier.  At that stage it operated as a partnership and was based in Petone and Lower Hutt under the trading name of Collett Brothers.  The partners were two of Henry’s sons, Edward Collett and Albert Collett.  Besides wheelwrights, Collett Brothers also were general blacksmiths and undertakers.  The undertaking business was continued by Edward Collett, although the Lower Hutt business in Railway Avenue (then Main Road) was leased to Messrs Purser & Ridley, taking effect on 1st April 1895.  A 1897 report published in the Cyclopedia of New Zealand stated that the former Collett business in Lower Hutt traded under the name of Purser & Co.  The business was described as coach builders and general smiths.




In 1873 the Government took part of the Collett property of nine acres for the Napier to Wellington railway, together with a strip of flat land between the railway and the hill which was later leased to Sir James Hector.  The first sub-divisions on the Collett property were along the Hutt Road where a number of houses were erected for members of the Collett family.  The Colletts sold the remaining piece of paddock land behind the homestead in 1901.  This was subsequently included in the Riddlers Crescent sub-division.  Other pieces of the homestead block were sold or built on for family members in the next thirty years or so.  Collett House, at 36 Riddlers Crescent, now on a much reduced section, went out of the Collett family in 1989 and eleven years later was placed on the New Zealand Historic Places Register.” 




The above reference in the report to the Collett family in 1989 is an error, since it actually refers to Ete Terry Evans the son of Mabel Elizabeth Jane Collett, who lived at 28 Riddlers Crescent – which was not the Collett House, who died on 28th August 1989 at Kairangi Private Hospital in Lower Hutt.




In a subsequent report by the same Chairman, Gerald Davidson, in August 2009, he made reference to the need to protect trees and shrubs on various properties in Riddlers Crescent, two of these being former homes of the Collett family.  The first of these was 28 Riddlers Crescent, which contained a magnolia grandiflora and a mulberry tree, and the second was Collett House, which had two rose bushes brought over from England and planted in the 1840 and an escallonia hedge along the length of the driveway which was planted in 1874.




A tribute to pioneer Henry Collett was printed in the Evening Post on 13th July 1939 and read as follows:  One hundred years ago today the wedding took place at St Mary de Loque (sic), the Anglican Church in Gloucester, England, of Mr and Mrs Henry Collett, who embarked immediately afterwards on the sailing ship ‘London’ for New Zealand and became prominent among the pioneer settlers in the Hutt Valley.  They landed at Petone beach early in 1840 and lived in the Hutt Valley all the rest of their years.  They had seven sons and three daughters, the sole surviving member of that family being Mr Albert W Collett, who now resides in Taumarunui.  Grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren of Mr and Mrs Henry Collett are resident in the Hutt Valley, Masterton, Dannevirke, Waipawa, Gisborne, and several other New Zealand towns.  Mr and Mrs Collett were two of the foundation members of St James Anglican Church at Lower Hutt and they and their family were noted for their hospitality, having always kept open home in those days for travellers.  Everyone of Mr and Mrs Collett's sons bore their share of the troubles in the early days of the Maori risings, and always took an active part and a keen interest in the promotion of any of the activities of those early days in this country which is so soon to celebrate its centenary as a British Dominion.”





Edward Henry Collett

Born on 17.04.1841 at Petone



Thomas George Collett

Born on 22.03.1843 at Petone



Elizabeth Collett

Born on 05.05.1845 at Petone




Born on 25.10.1847 at Petone



Martin Collett

Born on 31.10.1849 at Petone



Mary Jane Collett

Born on 02.12.1851 at Petone



Aaron Collett

Born on 02.01.1854 at Petone



Charles Samuel Collett

Born on 09.01.1856 at Petone



Albert William Collett

Born on 31.12.1857 at Petone



Ellen Maria Collett

Born on 01.05.1860 at Petone






Edward Henry Collett was born at Petone, Wellington on 17th April 1841 almost exactly nine months to the day after his parents Henry and Elizabeth had married.  However, a newspaper report at the time of his death – see below – stated that he was seventy-five on Monday 10th April 1916.  He never married and was a founder member of the Manchester Unity Loyal Petone Lodge and in his early days he was an enthusiastic church worker. 




Together with his brother Albert (below), Edward took over his father’s business in 1887 and founded Collett Brothers, a wheelwright, general smith, and funeral business at Lower Hutt, the premises of which are shown in the photograph on the right.


The brothers’ partnership was dissolved in early 1895, and this may have directly related to the fact that their father Henry, who had established the original wheelwright business in 1842, had died during September of the previous year. 




A formal announcement to this effect was placed in the local newspaper and read as follows:




“We, Edward Henry Collett and Albert William Collett, trading as Collett Brothers at the Lower Hutt and at Petone, a wheelwrights, general smiths, and undertakers, hereby give notice that we have this day dissolved the partnership.  Edward Henry Collett will carry on the undertaking business and Albert William Collett will carry on the wheelwright and general smith business at Lower Hutt and pay and receive all debts due to and by that branch of the business.  Dated this day 29th March 1895.”




An earlier announcement in the Evening Post referred to the establishment of the company in 1887 as follows:  “To the residents of Lower Hutt and district.  E H & A W Collett beg to notify that, having taken over the business carried on by Mr A Collett [their brother Aaron] near the Hutt Railway Station, they have opened a Wheelwright’s Shop in connection therewith, and hope to receive a continuation of past favours.  The business will in future be carried on under the style of Collett Bros Lower Hutt and Petone.”




Edward Henry Collett died at Petone on 12th April 1916 and was buried at Lower Hutt in New Zealand.  His obituary published in the Evening Post on 14th April 1916 and in the Dominion issued on Saturday 15th April 1916 stated:  There died on Thursday at the Wellington Hospital one of the oldest residents of the Hutt Valley, Mr Edward Henry Collett.  Mr. Collett was born in Wellington in 1841, his 75th birthday being last Monday.  His parents, Mr and Mrs Henry Collett, arrived in Wellington in December 1840 by the ship ‘London’.  The deceased took a great interest in the Oddfellows' Lodge and was the second oldest Oddfellow in the Hutt Valley.  He had been a semi-invalid for the last two years.  He never married, but is survived by eight brothers and sisters, six of whom are in or about the district, one at Waipawa and one at Dannevirke.”






Thomas George Collett was born at Petone, Wellington on 22nd March 1843, the son of Henry and Elizabeth Collett.  It was on 2nd October 1866 that he married Mary Ann Russell of Mangaroa, who had been born at Lower on 14th August 1846 Hutt, and with whom he established a farm on the eastern side of the Mangaroa Valley.  The farm was later worked by Thomas’ daughter Elsie and her husband.  Mary Ann Collett nee Russell died at Lower Hutt on 22nd April 1902 at the age of 55.  Curiously there are records for another Mary Ann Collett, the former daughter of John and Mary Russell but, whilst she too died in 1902, she was born in 1852.




Only thirteen days prior to her death she had made a Will leaving her estate, of approximately £300, to be divided equally among Thomas, her husband, and their four sons.  By that time her three surviving daughters were married, and were not mentioned in her Will.  The Will, signed and dated on 9th April 1902, only gave the names of her four sons, who were Henry Edward, Albert George, Charles William, and William Herbert.  Prior to the discovery of the document only the last two sons were previously known and listed here with their sister Elsie who did not survive.




Having lost his wife, Thomas Collett made his Will in June 1903 in which the beneficiaries were his daughter Ellen Mary Dick, the wife of Richard Dick of Mangaroa, and his four sons Henry, Albert, Charles and William, each of whom would receive one-fifth of his estate.  Why his two older surviving daughters were not named is unknown.  However, Elizabeth and Emily were added by way of a codicil in 1908, but only to each receive £25.  A second Codicil was added to the Will of Thomas George Collett upon the death of his son Charles William Collett in France during 1918.  That Codicil prepared in 1919 continued to name his three surviving sons as Henry Edward , Albert George, and William Herbert, and his three surviving daughters as Elizabeth Sarah Goss, Emily Alice Benge, and Ellen Mary Dick.




In a third Codicil drawn up in 1920 reference was made to the to any of his children who might predecease him, in which case their share of the estate would automatically pass on to any issue they might have had, that is to the grandchildren of Thomas George Collett.  A fourth and final Codicil was issued during 1921 and related to the appointment of a new executor, Alfred Kingston Jowitt, following the death of the previously named executor who was Thomas Edwards.




Thomas George Collett out-lived his wife by over twenty-eight years, when he died on 25th June 1930, following which he was buried at Trentham (Upper Hutt) in New Zealand.  During the following his death his Will was proved through the probate process on 30th July 1930, when it was noted that the executor, Adam King Jowitt, had been erroneously named as Alfred Kingston Jowitt in the Fourth Codicil.  The two surviving daughters, E M Dick of Upper Hutt and E A Benge also of Upper Hutt, were sworn in, as was the aforementioned Adam King Jowitt.  It the end the estate of Thomas George Collett was valued at £2,077 on 24th October 1930. 





Elizabeth Sarah Collett

Born in 1868 at Lower Hutt



Henry Edward Collett

Born in 1870 at Lower Hutt



Emily Alice Collett

Born in 1872 at Lower Hutt



Albert George Collett

Born in 1874 at Lower Hutt



Charles William Collett

Born on 22.04.1876 at Lower Hutt



Elsie Collett

Born on 16.11.1878 at Lower Hutt



Ellen Mary Collett

Born on 17.01.1881 at Lower Hutt



William Herbert Collett

Born on 08.11.1881 at Lower Hutt






Elizabeth Collett was born at Petone, Wellington on 5th May 1845, the eldest daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Collett.  She married William Butler Buick on 25th April 1865 and started her married life and her family at Buick Farm.  A total of six children were born to Elizabeth and William, as follows.  Agnes Buick born in 1866, William Henry Buick born in 1867, Elizabeth Buick born in 1870, Alexander Buick born in 1872, Robert Buick born on 2nd May 1880 who died during 1954, and Frank Buick who was born on 9th March 1884 was only twenty-four when he died in 1908.  Elizabeth’s husband William was born in 1840 and he died at Wairarapa, to the east of Wellington, on 27th May 1903.  Elizabeth Buick nee Collett died on 29th July 1926 and was buried at Masterton in New Zealand on 1st August 1926.  During her married life she was known as Mrs W Buick of Petone, and Elizabeth Street in Petone is named after her. 






JAMES COLLETT was born at Petone in New Zealand on 25th October 1847, the son of Henry and Elizabeth Collett.  James was nearly thirty-four when he married Elizabeth Fox of Taita, who was born around 1859, on 18th August 1881 (Ref. 1881/1799).  That date corresponds with the birth of their first child during the following year.  The couple lived all of their life at 89 Hutt Road in Petone with James’ brother Charles Collett (below) living right next door.




James worked at Percy’s Flour Mill and later worked as a quarryman at Ngahauranga.  His last job was with Petone Borough Council.  James Collett lived a very long life and died at Petone on 25th July 1930 aged 84, following which he was buried at the Christ Church Cemetery in Taita, Lower Hutt, where his wife Elizabeth was also buried, following her passing on 28th July 1925.  James’ obituary, published in the Evening post on 26th July 1930 reads as follows: 

COLLETT - on 25th July 1930, at 89 Hutt Road, Petone, James Collett, relict of the late Elizabeth Collett; aged 84 years.  There died yesterday at the residence of his daughter, Mrs, Bull, Hutt Road, Petone, Mr James Collett, who has been a well-known resident of Petone for many years.  He was born in 1846 (sic) within a stone’s throw of the place where he died and so must have been among the first white children born in the district.  During the whole of his life he never left Petone.  He was best known as the borough foreman, a position which he held about twenty year ago, since when he has lived in retirement.  His wife predeceased him, and he leaves two sons Messrs J Collett and H Collett, and two daughters, Mesdames Bull and Hansen, all of Petone.  There are ten grandchildren.”




On 5th December 1870, when James was around twenty-three years old, he had the honour of being a drummer in the band that played at the historic funeral of the Maori chief Honiana Te Puni at Pito-one (which later became Petone).  Thirty years earlier, at the time of the arrival of James’ parents at Port Nicholson in 1840, Honiana Te Puni and hundreds of Maori natives with tattooed faces were anxiously awaiting the arrival of six pioneer vessels from a far off land.  Over the following years, chief Honiana Te Puni became an old and well tried friend to many of the 1840 settlers, and it was he who was one of the signatures to the Treaty of Waitangi which was signed in 1840.  A memorial to the great Maori chief can be found today on the beachfront at Petone.





Ethel Ellen Collett

Born in 1882 at Petone



Ernest James Collett

Born in 1884 at Petone




Born in 1886 at Petone



Elsie Jane Collett

Born in 1893 at Petone






Martin Collett was born at Petone on 31st October 1849, the son of Henry and Elizabeth Collett.  An alternative source gives his date of birth as 25th October 1849, so it may have been on the thirty-first of October that he was baptised.  At some time in his life he lived at Waipawa where he was a woodworking tradesman.  He married Mary Ann Catts in 1875, following which the couple initially made their home at Waipawa, where all of their children were born.  According to an advertisement in the Hawke’s Bay Herald of 13th September 1888 Martin Collett of Waipawa was an agent for the South British Fire & Marine insurance Company of New Zealand.  It was also at Waipawa where Martin Collett died on 1st February 1936 at the age of 87, and was buried at the Waipawa Cemetery on 3rd February 1936.  After nearly five years as a widow Mary Ann Collett nee Catt died on 4th January 1941 and was buried beside her husband at Waipawa Cemetery on 6th January 1941 at 86 years of age.




Seventeen years before he died Martin Collett made his Will on 19th October 1918 in which he stated that he was a retired blacksmith of Waipawa.  His entire estate was left to his wife Mary Ann Collett and it was she also who was appointed the sole executor of his Will.  It is therefore possible, towards the end of his life, that Martin worked for his younger brother, Albert William Collett (below), who had various blacksmith and shoeing branches around the Hawkes Bay area, as well as his main business in Dannevirke.  The same Will was proved at Waipawa by the Supreme Court of New Zealand, Wellington District, Napier Registry, on 18th March 1936 in favour of his widow Mary Ann Collett in the sum of £1,600.




During his life Martin was a founder member of the Oddfellows, his eldest brother Edward Henry Collett also being a member.  The Daily Telegraph on 2nd August 1886 reported that a very interesting event had occurred in the Abbotsford Lodge of Oddfellows on Saturday night, when there was a summoned meeting and an unusually large attendance.  After the ordinary lodge business had been finished, the N.G, Brother A Guy presented a handsome gold medal to Past Grand Master, Martin Collett, in accordance with a resolution of the lodge ‘for meritorious services’.  In doing so Brother Guy expressed the great pleasure it gave him to carry out the behest of the lodge towards one of its worthiest Past Grand officers as a token of the esteem in which he was held.  He added his personal congratulations on the honour and hoped Brother Collett would long live to wear it.  Brother B B Johnson added his congratulations and referred to Brother Collett as one of the founders of the lodge, its father and first chairman, and to the active part he had always taken, and the zeal he had shown in promoting its interests and welfare.  Among other benefits it was indebted to him for obtaining from Mr Abbott the free grant of the site on which their hall was built.  Brother Collett returned thanks briefly, and expressed his intention of, in the future as in the past, doing all that he could to improve and assist the lodge.  The medal is of massive gold, bearing on one side, the heart on hand, and on the other, the lamb and cross.  It is suspended from a flat bar on which is engraved ‘I O O F, M U - Presented to P P G M  Collett by his lodge – 1886’ and it was made to order by Mr Williams, jeweller of Waipawa.




Two years later Martin Collett was a member of the vestry of St Peter's Parish at Waipawa in 1888 and as such was present at the Annual General Meeting of that year, while three years earlier, in April 1885, Martin Collett, along with Thomas Cowper, was nominated to fill vacancies on the Waipawa Town Board.  It was also in 1888 that the Daily Telegraph published an item on 13th April, in which it was reported that Martin Collett of Waipawa had met with an accident yesterday, through falling against the knife of a reaping machine, thereby cutting his hand severely and slightly injuring his leg.  Four years later in 1892 Martin Collett was listed as being an agent for the Waipawa branch of the South British Fire and Marine Insurance Company of New Zealand and at the annual meeting of the Waipawa Rifle Volunteers held in March 1899 Mr Martin Collett was elected a life member in consideration of the numberless services to the corps including the range, targets, camp, &c.  Lieutenant Collett returned thanks to his father for the unexpected honour.





Henry Charles Collett

Born in 1876 at Waipawa



Albert Edward Collett

Born in 1879 at Waipawa



Ernest Martin Collett

Born in 1886 at Waipawa



Alfred Alexander Collett

Born in 1891 at Waipawa






Mary Jane Collett, who was known as Jane, was born at Petone on 2nd December 1851, the daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Collett.  When her mother knew she was dying, she made Jane promise to look after her father, and that may well have been the reason why she never married.  Her mother died in 1881 and for the next thirteen years Mary looked after her father, who eventually passed away in September 1894.  Mary Jane Collett and her brother Albert William Collett (below) were the only beneficiaries under the terms of her father’s Will, Mary inheriting his land on the west side of Hutt Road, and Albert the land on the east side.




She lived at Riddlers Crescent in Petone and was a staunch supporter of St Augustine’s Church and a Sunday School Superintendent until she was 60 years of age.  She died at Petone on 21st October 1916 and was buried at Lower Hutt.  The announcement of her death was printed in the Dominion newspaper on 23rd October, which read as follows: “On October 21 1916, at her late residence, 28 Riddler’s Crescent, Petone, Mary Jane Collett, aged 64 years, deeply regretted.  Private interment.”  Her Last Will and Testament was made on 4th June 1914 and signed that day at the Wellington office of Solicitor J W McLeod, who also signed the document, as did civil servant M W Watson.  A full transcript of the Will can be found on the website in the folder Legal Documents.




A clause in the Will enabled the house in Riddlers Crescent to be occupied by her married niece Mabel Elizabeth Jane Evans nee Collett, the eldest child of Mary’s younger brother Aaron Collett (below).  Prior to her marriage to William Evans in 1901, Mabel had lived for many years with Mary in the house at Riddlers Crescent.  Other beneficiaries under the terms of the Will were her nephews William Aaron Collett (Ref. 6P18) and his brother Augustus Henry Collett (Ref. 6P19), and their cousin Albert Edward Collett (Ref. 6P24).






Aaron Collett was born at Petone on 2nd January 1854, the son of Henry and Elizabeth Collett.  He later married Eliza Jane Mason, of Middlesex in England, at St James Church in Lower Hutt on 13th March 1877 and after they were married Aaron and Elizabeth lived in a property close to his business.  Eliza was born in London with her birth recorded at Stepney (Ref. 1c 471) during the third quarter of 1854, the eldest daughter of Mr J A Mason.  During his life Aaron was a blacksmith and builder of horse-drawn coaches for which he entered into a partnership with his brother Charles (below).  However, on the first day of 1886 a public notice in the Evening Post announced that the partnership had been ended.  This read as follows:




‘The partnership hitherto existing between the undersigned, as Blacksmiths & Co, is this day dissolved by mutual consent.  All accounts owing to the late firm to be sent to the Hutt Shop at once.  Mr Wiles is authorised to receive all accounts owing to the late firm, or they may be paid at the shop.  As witness our hands this day 1st January 1886 – Aaron Collett of Hutt and Charles S Collett of Petone.  The Hutt branch will still be carried on by Mr Aaron Collett, and the Petone branch by Mr Charles S Collett.  In reference to the above notice, Mr Aaron Collett begs to thank his numerous friends and public generally for the support given in past time, and hopes that he will get a fair share of support in future.  Patrons may depend upon everything being done in a workmanlike manner.  Orders for wheelwright work taken as usual and punctually attended to.’




During the following year the separate business that Aaron had established was taken over by his brothers Edward and Albert when it became Collett Bros, at which time there was an announcement to that effect in the local newspaper – see under Edward Henry Collett (above).  At one time the company set up by Aaron was called Collett Coachbuilders, and this later became Collett, Styles and Dean on the site of Dux Engineering in Railway Avenue at Lower Hutt. 




Aaron Collett died on 4th December 1901 at the age of 57, and was buried at Lower Hutt on 7th December 1901, and it was around fifteen years later that his wife passed away on 30th May 1917.  Her obituary published in the Evening Post read as follows:  COLLETT - at the residence of her daughter (Mrs W. G. D. Evans of 36 Riddlers Crescent, Petone), Eliza Jane, wife of the late Aaron Collett of Lower Hutt; aged 64 years. Private interment.”  It is interesting that two weeks later, at the time her son William Aaron Collett applied to join the army during the First World War, he stated on his entry form that he was a self-employed coachbuilder working out of premises in Railway Avenue in Lower Hutt.





Mabel Elizabeth Jane Collett

Born in 1878 at Lower Hutt



William Aaron Collett

Born in 1879 at Lower Hutt



Augustus Henry Collett

Born in 1881 at Lower Hutt



Ellen Eliza Collett

Born in 1884 at Lower Hutt



Edgar Arnold Collett

Born in 1890 at Lower Hutt






Charles Samuel Collett was born at Petone on 9th January 1856, the son of Henry and Elizabeth Collett from Gloucestershire in England.  Charles married Ruth Eliza Archer at Lower Hutt on 6th May 1885 and he built his home at 87 Hutt Road alongside that of his brother James Collett (above).  The house was still in good order in the early days of the 21st Century.  He was paralysed for much of his life which, it was rumoured, was due to competition amongst the brothers to lift the family anvil.




It seems very likely that he became paralysed in 1885 and was unable to work, at a time when he was in partnership with his brother Aaron (above).  On the first of January in 1886 the partnership between the two brothers was dissolved through an announcement in the local newspaper, as detailed above.




Charles Samuel Collett died at Masterton on 1st October 1929 where he was buried the following day.  His wife Ruth, who was born in New Zealand during 1876, died at Petone on 19th November 1918 during the influenza epidemic while she was working as a volunteer nurse, so was sadly not alive to witness her daughter being married in Wellington one month later on 23rd December 1918.  Ruth Eliza Collett nee Archer was buried at Lower Hutt on 20th November 1918.




Details of another Charles Collett (Ref. 13P6), who was born at Invercargill in 1862 and the son of another Collett family from the Stroud area of Gloucestershire, can be found in Part 13 – The Stroud to South Africa and New Zealand Line.





Winifred Myrtle Collett

Born in 1888 at Petone






Albert William Collett was born at Petone on 31st December 1857 and was baptised there on 6th June 1858, the youngest son of Henry and Elizabeth Collett.  In September 1879 Albert was assisting his father in the building of their home when the framework they were raising collapsed on top of them with Albert fracturing both of his thigh bones.  However, he recovered from his injuries and six years later on 28th November 1885 he married (1) Henrietta Gover who was known as Ettie, the English born daughter of farmer Henry Gover and his wife Beatta who had emigrated to New Zealand in 1882.  Ettie had been born at Bishop Sutton near Bath in Somerset, and had been baptised at St Augustine of Hippo’s Church at Clutton on 7th November 1858.  Albert Collett was an engineer, and once they were married, the couple lived at Petone for some years.  Tragically the first of their three sons did not survive.




Albert followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a wheelwright and, together with his older brother Edward (above), established Collett Brothers, a wheelwright, general smith and funeral business.  Albert William Collett and his sister Mary Jane Collett (above) were the executors for the Will of their father made in 1894 and also proved in September that year, the same month that he died.  They were also the only beneficiaries, with Albert inheriting his land on the east side of Hutt Road, while Mary was presented with the land to the west.




Six months after the death of his father during the autumn of 1894, the business of Collett Brothers was dissolved and was accompanied by an announcement in the local newspaper, the article being reproduced here but under the name of Edward Henry Collett (above).  Despite the announcement stating that Albert would continue with the wheelwright business, only two days later he had changed his mind when the following announcement was printed in the newspaper:




‘I, Albert William Collett hereby give notice that I have leased my wheelwright, general smith and farriery business at Lower Hutt to Messrs Purser & Ridley.  I take this opportunity of thanking the public for their liberal support in the past, and trust that it will be extended to my successors.  Dated this day 1st April 1895.’  The item was signed by Albert Collett, and Cruwys Dee Purser and William Vincent Ridley




It was perhaps at that time in his life that he became involved in the making and supplying of timber-milling equipment.  The companies with which he was involved were (1) Colletts and (2) Dannevirke & Colletts of Taumaranui.  While at Petone he was a member of the first Petone Borough Council, and in 1889 he was a member of the Council that voted in favour of a new property tax of one shilling in the pound which was introduced on the first of June that year.  He was also an organist at the Taumaranui Anglican Church. 




On 29th January 1902 the newspaper the Bush Advocate printed the following under the heading Mr Collett’s Engineering Works:

“The town of Dannevirke is fortunate in possessing such an enterprising tradesman as Mr A W Collett, whose engineering business is considerably larger than most people imagine.  So far as the public are aware the greater portion of Mr Collett’s attention is devoted to the construction of vehicles, and no doubt they are correct in their belief that he has a large turnover in this branch, for he constructs a great many vehicles of all descriptions.  But what is of considerable importance to the town is his engineering plant which enables him to undertake the repair and even construction of machinery.  With a view to still further meeting the requirements of the district Mr Collett has just had completed a furnace and other appliances for making iron castings.  A test was made yesterday of this new plant and for the first time in the history of Dannevirke iron castings were successfully made here.

For this class of work Mr Collett has engaged an expert in the person of Mr Cox, who has a thorough knowledge of this business and is capable of making his own patterns for castings, so that in the future there will be no necessity for this class of work to be sent out of Dannevirke.  The furnace is not a large one as it only melts sufficient iron to make castings up to 1½ cwt, but as the necessity arises Mr Collett will construct a larger one.  Yesterday fourteen different castings were made – one being for a part of a steam hammer and it weighs about on hundredweight.  Other castings include gratings for stoves, plates for tie rods used in the construction of buildings, and pulleys for wire ropes.  Newcastle coke was used as fuel, while the sand used for moulding and procured locally was found to be admirably adapted for the purpose.  The castings were undoubtedly well made and Mr Collett is to be congratulated on his enterprise.”




Five days later the following article appeared in the Bush Advocate on 3rd February 1902, under the headline Mr A W Collett’s Coach Factory:

“There are on view in Mr A W Collett’s showroom, amongst other vehicles, five which will be taken to the Woodville A and P Show on Wednesday.  As they would do credit to a much larger town than Dannevirke, they are worthy of more than passing notice.  One is a double-seated buggy made to the order of Mr R J Hunter of the Masonic stables, whose monogram and motto it bears on either side.  The body is black and the undergear in a shade of green, while the wheels are English-lined in vermillion colours.  The seats and cushions are in leather to match.  The buggy is also silver-mounted.  It is in fact, built in the most up-to-date style, is very compact and finely finished, being very creditable to Mr Collett and his workmen.

Another vehicle which attracts attention is a ‘doctor’ gig, made to the order of a local resident, and a style which is in great demand of late.  The body is black, with green undergear and panelling, the trimmings and cushions being to match.  A third is a neat gig the body of which is painted black with varnished ‘Venetian’ panels.  The seat is what is known to the trade as a ‘spindle’ design.  An American buggy, the parts of which were imported and put together here, also looks well, while a strongly built grocer’s cart is also a most creditable job.  The whole of the vehicles have been well constructed and are very serviceable.  These vehicles will be on view in the showroom tomorrow, and are worthy of inspection.”




Henrietta Collett nee Gover from Dannevirke passed away while attending Porirua Mental Hospital on 22nd August 1916 at the age of 58, and was buried at Dannevirke Cemetery, Mangatera on 25th August 1916.  She died intestate and it was determined that the value of her estate was under £1500.  She was survived by her husband Albert William Collett (who was also the informant) and her sons Albert, age 28, and Frederick who was 26.  The cause of death was reported by the Coroner, W G Riddell, as "Death from Cerebral Haemorrhage".  Four years after the death of his wife Albert married (2) Mary Jane Langmuir (Ref. 1920/11057).  It was nearly twenty-one years later that Albert William Collett died on 3rd February 1941, following which he was buried at Taumaranui.  Despite being seriously injured in two separate incidents he lived to see his eighty-third birthday.




The obituary for A W Collett appeared in the Evening Post on 8th February 1941, as follows:  “The death has occurred of Mr Albert W Collett, of Taumarunui.  Mr Collett was the last surviving member of the first Petone Borough Council.  His father, Mr Henry Collett, arrived in New Zealand in 1840 in the ship ‘London’ and shortly afterwards took up land in Petone where he remained for the rest of his life.  Mr Albert Collett was born in 1857 and went to school in the stockade which had been shifted to a site behind the present Lower Hutt Post Office and was used as a school.  He served his apprenticeship as a wheelwright under his father.  Later, he went to Dannevirke, where he founded the firm of Collett and Son, iron founders and millwrights.  Branches were formed in Ohakune and Taumarunui, and the firm played a leading part in the development of the timber industry in the King Country.  In Dannevirke Mr Collett was a member of the Borough Council and for a long time was Deputy-Mayor.  Mr Collett took an active interest in the Anglican Church and was organist and choirmaster at Dannevirke and organist and a member of the church committee at Taumarunui.  In the early years of the Taumarunui Winter Show Association he was an active worker and later was made a life member.  He was also connected with many other organisations.  In Dannevirke he was a prominent member of the Masonic Lodge.





Henry Collett

Born in 1886 at Petone



Albert Edward Collett

Born in 1887 at Petone



Frederick John Gover Collett

Born in 1889 at Petone






Ellen Maria Collett was born on 1st May 1860 at 81 Hutt Road in Petone, the youngest child of English cousins Henry Collett and his wife Elizabeth Collett.  She was approaching twenty-four years of age when she married William Henry Greenfield at Wellington Registry Office on 14th January 1885.  William was a labourer and was slightly older than Ellen, having been born at Grove Lodge in Kingsbury near Hendon, North London, on 10th June 1854, the son of toll collector James Greenfield and Mary Stoner.  Curiously on his marriage certificate his place of birth was stated in error as Plymouth, with his mother named as Jane.  On the day they were married both of them were recorded as being residents of Petoni (Petone).  The marriage produced four known children for the couple, and all of them were born at Petone.  It is possible there was a fifth child who did not survive, Harold Greenfield, who may have been the twin brother of James Henry.




For many years Ellen and William lived at 48 Richmond Street in Petone, from where William was a labourer for much of his life, but in 1889 when his third child was born his occupation was that of a ganger.  It was at their home in Richmond Street that William died on 3rd April 1904 when his place of birth was more accurately described as being London.  He was forty-nine and was buried at Taita Cemetery in Lower Hutt two days later.  It was also while she was living at Richmond Street that his widow Ellen Maria Greenfield nee Collett died on 22nd September 1924 at the age of 64.  It is also understood that she was not buried with her late husband, but instead was buried at the new Taita cemetery in Wellington, although no record to confirm this has yet been found.





Hilda Maria Greenfield

Born on 20.08.1886 at Petone



James Henry Greenfield

Born on 14.08.1887 at Petone



Frederick William Greenfield

Born on 24.07.1889 at Petone



Alfred John Greenfield

Born on 30.05.1893 at Petone






Elizabeth Sarah Collett was born at Lower Hutt in 1868, the eldest child of Thomas George Collett and his wife Mary Ann Russell.  She was in her late twenties when she married William George Goss at Wellington on 29th June 1898.  The marriage produced two known children for the couple, a son and a daughter.  Their son Frederick George Goss was born on 7th June 1899 and in 1919 he married Lydia Maud Taylor.  Frederick George Goss was ninety-four when he died on 1st January 1994.  Their daughter Ellen Elizabeth Goss was born on 20th January 1906 and she married Theodore Basil Huia Clark in 1926.  Theodore was born on 6th December 1904 and died in 1984, surviving his wife by twenty-seven years following her death in 1957.




In seems odd that both Elizabeth Sarah Goss and her sister Emily (below) were not named as beneficiaries under the terms of their father’s Will of 1903, although both of them were later added in 1908 by means of a Codicil.  However, the Codicil only made provision for them to receive £25, rather than an equal share like their other siblings.  On that occasion in 1908, Elizabeth’s husband was referred to in the Codicil as William Goss of Nireaha near Eketahuna within the provincial district of Wellington.  Elizabeth Sarah Goss nee Collett died at Upper Hutt on 1st July 1928, two years before her father passed away.  It was just over twenty years later that William George Goss died on 30th May 1949.






Henry Edward Collett was born at Lower Hutt during 1870, the eldest son of Thomas George Collett and his wife Mary Ann Russell.  The registration of his birth was recorded as 1870/19613.  It was in 1895 that he married Martha Louisa Eades who was born in New Zealand in 1877, the daughter of John Eades and his wife Caroline Sylvia Clemston.  Martha presented Henry with four children, the third child carrying her mother’s maiden name.  Before the couple had been married for twenty years, and when her youngest child was only ten, Martha Louisa Collett nee Eades died in 1913.  What happened to Henry and his young family after 1913 is not known, except that his first child had died very shortly after he was born.




What is known is that Henry Edward Collett was a billiard saloon proprietor at Owhango, a small timber mill town situated near Taumarunui in the North Island of New Zealand, when he died on 13th May 1921 at the age of 51.  The only other thing known about Henry is that he was named in his father’s Will of 1903, and again in the later Codicils of 1908, 1919, 1920 and 1921, although by the time of the death of his father in 1930, it was Henry’s two surviving sisters, Emily Alice Benge and Ellen Mary Dick (below), who were sworn in at Wellington Court during the probate process.




Henry died without leaving a Will and therefore it was his eldest child, his married daughter Gladys Myrtle Ingram, who managed his affairs through the probate process at the Supreme Court of New Zealand Wanganui District.  Her application for Letters of Administration is re-produced below:




I, Gladys Myrtle Ingram, wife of Albert Ingram of Owhango, a farmer, make oath and say as follows:


1.       That I knew Henry Edward Collett of Owhango, now deceased, when alive, and that the said Henry Edward Collett was resident or domiciled at Owhango within this Judicial District and that the nearest Registry Office of this Court to the place where the said Henry Edward Collett resided or was domiciled is at Wanganui

2.      That the said Henry Edward Collett of Owhango on or about the 13th day of May 1921 as I am able to deposed having seen his dead body after death

3.      That the said deceased was my natural and lawful father and that he left him surviving the following children namely myself this deponent his daughter and two sons namely:

        John Climston Collett, 19 years of age, of Owhango, a saw-miller and

        George William Collett, 17 years of age, of Owhango

4.      That my father the deceased was married once only and that his wife my mother, predeceased him

5.      That since the death of the said deceased I have had access to his papers and repositories and that I have searched diligently for any Will or Testamentary writing made or signed by the said deceased and that I have been unable to find any such Will or Testamentary writing

6.      That I have made enquiries of the solicitor who acted for the deceased during his lifetime and of the banker with whom he banked and of all persons likely to know if the said deceased had made or signed any Will or Testamentary writing and I have been unable to learn that the said deceased ever made or signed any such Will or Testamentary writing

7.      That I do verily believe that the said deceased died intestate and that I am one of the next of kin of the said deceased

8.      That to the best of my knowledge information and belief the estate effects and credits of the said deceased to be administered by me are under the value of £1,200-0-0

9.      That the above named deceased was born at Lower Hutt in the Dominion of New Zealand and was of British Nationality

10.   That I the said Gladys Myrtle Ingram the Applicant for Letters of Administration was born at Mangaroa in the Dominion of New Zealand and am of British Nationality

11.   That I will exhibit unto this court a true full and perfect inventory of all the estate effects and credits of the said deceased within three calendar months after the grant of Letters of Administration thereof to me and that I will file a true account of my administrationship within twelve calendar months after the grant of such letters


Sworn at Taumarunui this 26th day of May 1921

before me a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand signed by G M Ingram and A E Seaton





Ernest Collett

Born in 1895 in New Zealand



Gladys Myrtle Collett

Born in 1896 in New Zealand



John Clempston Collett

Born in 1901 in New Zealand



George William Collett

Born in 1903 in New Zealand






Emily Alice Collett was born at Lower Hutt in 1872, the daughter of Thomas and Mary Collett.  She was eighteen on 9th July 1890 when she married John Thomas Benge, who was born in 1870.  The marriage produced a total of five children for the couple, all born in New Zealand, as follows.  Elizabeth Alice Benge (born 1890) married Andrew David Gillies (born 1880) in 1911, who had one child David John Gillies (born 26.03.1912), Eva Maud Benge (born 23.01.1892, died 1972) married William George Toms (born 26.11.1892, died 1976) in 1919, Sydney John Benge (born 1893, died 1894), Albert George Benge (born 1898, died 1943), and Harold Percy Benge (born 04.12.1903, died 1987) who married Irene Alice Prouse (born 1901, died 1963) in 1926.  It may be significant that in 1931 Emily’s niece Elsie Mary Collett (Ref. 6Q6) married Leslie Allan Benge.




Also at an earlier time in their life the surname was incorrectly quoted as being Burge, while it was clearly Benje in the legal documents drawn up by Emily’s father.  The farm set up by her father Thomas Collett on the eastern side of the Mangaroa Valley was later managed by Emily and her husband.  Like her sister Elizabeth (above), Emily was not named in her father’s Will of 1903, but was added by a Codicil to the Will in 1908, which stated she and Elizabeth should each receive £25, rather than an equal share with her other siblings.  At the time of the death of her father in 1930, it was just Emily of Upper Hutt and her sister Ellen (below) who were sworn in during the proving of their father’s Will, with their older sister Elizabeth having died two years earlier.  Emily Alice Benge nee Collett lived well into her nineties, when she died on 15th March 1966 and was buried with her husband at Upper Hutt, following his death on 6th June 1947.






Albert George Collett was born at Lower Hutt in 1874 and was one of the four sons of Thomas and Mary Collett.  Although he was named as a beneficiary under the original terms of his father’s Will in 1903, and was also still mentioned in the following four codicils to that Will in 1908, 1919, 1920 and 1921, he was not sworn in during the probate process following the death of his father in 1930.  Why that was remains a mystery, since it is now known that he had married Mary Emily Smith in 1898, Mary having been born around 1872.  Mary Emily Collett nee Smith died in 1949, and was followed by her husband seven year later, when Albert George Collett passed away in 1956.  Even more curious is why the farm established by his father was passed to Albert’s sister Emily (above) upon his death.






Charles William Collett was born at Naenae in Lower Hutt on 22nd April 1876, the son of Thomas George and Mary Ann Collett, under whose Wills he was named as a beneficiary.  He was thirty-eight at the start of the First World War, and it was during February 1917 that he completed his enlistment form (Attestation for General Service) with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.  At that time he was a labourer with the company of Whiteman Brothers in Akatarawa, and his next-of-kin was named as his sister Mrs C Dicks of Brown Street in Upper Hutt, Wellington.  She was Ellen Mary Dicks nee Collett (below).




Other details included on the form were: his current address, which was simply stated as Upper Hutt, his age at 40 years and 10 months, that he was single, 5 feet 7¼ inches tall, and weighed 161 lbs, with brown hair, blue eyes and of a fair complexion.  The only distinguishing mark noted was a ‘grating right shoulder’, with the result he was passed as ‘Fit A’ on 2nd February 1917.




It was on 9th June 1917 that Charles eventually sailed from New Zealand to join the campaign in Europe with B Company of 28th Regiment NZEF.  The troop disembarked at Devonport on 16th August and on 5th November they set sail for France, marching into camp there, on 8th November.  Over the following months he was treated many times in the field hospital, and in January 1918 he was taken ill while at Rouen in France, and was later admitted to hospital with trench fever.  After a period of two weeks convalescents at the end of February/beginning of March that year, Charles was back on frontline duties by 15th March.




Private C W Collett 47622 was with 2nd Battalion of the Wellington Regiment when he was killed in action in the field on 25th August 1918 at the age of 42.  He was buried at the Adanac Military Cemetery at Miraumont.  His death came during the battle for the villages of Miraumont and Pys which started on 24th August 1918.  The cemetery, the name which derives from Canada in reverse, contains 3186 commonwealth burials.  The award of his medals was completed on 27th September 1923 when they were presented to his executor Mr J W Connell, schoolmaster of Upper Hutt.  Two years earlier his Plaque and Scroll had been sent to his next-of-kin Mr J G Collett at Mangaroa, who signed to confirm receipt.






Elsie Collett was born at Lower Hutt on 16th November 1878, the daughter of Thomas and Mary Collett, and from the records in New Zealand it would seem that she died shortly after she was born.  That would also account for why there was no mentioned of her at the time of the death of her mother in 1902, and later in the Will and Codicils drawn up by her father in 1903 and 1908.






Ellen Mary Collett was born at Lower Hutt on 17th January 1881, the youngest daughter of Thomas and Mary Collett.  She was just twenty years old when she married Robert Charles Dick on 28th January 1901.  Just a few months after they were married Ellen presented Robert with their first child, when Myrtle Mary Dick was born on 23rd June 1901, and she married Frank Jackson in 1923 and died in 1982.  Nine years later in 1910 the couple’s second daughter May Evelyn Dick was born.  Although no birth record for their son has been found, it was his death record in 1999 that stated Leonard Albert Dick had been born on 5th August 1915.




It was in 1903 as Ellen Mary Dick that she was named as a beneficiary under the terms of her father’s Will and, following his death in 1930, E M Dick of Upper Hutt was sworn in as part of the probate process.  Robert Charles Dick also died later that same year, while Ellen Mary Dick nee Collett died at Wellington on 31st May 1935.  It was as Mrs C Dick that she was recorded in the military records of 1917 as the next-of-kin of her brother Charles William Collett (above), who was killed in France in 1918.  However, following his death and at the time of the issue of his Plaque and Scroll a few years later, his next-of-kin was named as Mr J G Collett of Mangaroa, who was mostly likely his cousin Frederick John Gover Collett.






William Herbert Collett was born at Lower Hutt on 8th November 1881 (Ref. 1882/14980), the youngest child of Thomas George Collett and his wife Mary Ann Russell.  Before 1905 he married Agnes Ellen Whiteman, who had been born in 1886, and they had two children.  Their son was born in 1905 (Ref. 1905/4603), but sadly died at the age of only four months, and it was two years later when their daughter was born.  William Herbert Collett died on 24th July 1972 (Ref. 1972/38909), and was buried in St John’s Anglican Church Cemetery at Upper Hutt.  His wife Agnes Ellen Collett had passed away some nineteen years earlier, when she died on 17th May 1953 in New Zealand and was also buried in the St John’s Anglican Church Cemetery.





Leonard William Collett

Born in 1905 in New Zealand



Elsie Mary Collett

Born on 02.07.1907 in New Zealand






Ethel Ellen Collett was born at Petone on 14th July 1882, the eldest child of James Collett and his wife Elizabeth Fox.  She later married George Bull in 1908 who was born in 1880 and with whom she had two children.  They were George Robert Bull who was born on 19th January 1910 and who died in 1996, and Joyce Ethel Bull who was later married to become Joyce Ethel Smith.  Sadly it would seem that Ethel Ellen Bull nee Collett died during 1932 and did not see either of her two children married.






Ernest James Collett was born at Petone on 24th May 1884, the eldest son of James and Elizabeth Collett.  It was originally believed that Ernest married Miss D Richards with whom he had three children, although this has now been disproved.  What is now established from the new BDM New Zealand records office is that Ernest James Collett married Daisy Elise Walton in 1908 (Ref. 1908/5248).  Daisy was born in 1884, the daughter of Thomas Robert Walton and Lucy Kebblewhite.  There then followed the births of three children the first in 1909, with the other two born in 1913 and 1916.  It is also known that Daisy Elise Collett nee Walton died during 1964.





Elsie Tui Collett

Born in 1909 in New Zealand



Velda Elizabeth Collett

Born in 1913 in New Zealand



Ida Vera Collett

Born in 1916 in New Zealand






HAROLD AARON COLLETT was born at Petone on 20th July 1886, the third child of James and Elizabeth Collett.  He married Violet Prince who was also born in 1886 and they had three children.  Harold Aaron Collett died during 1969, his wife Violet having died many years earlier in 1937.  He funeral notice was printed in the Evening Post on 23rd December 1937, as follows: 

“The friends of Harold Aaron Collett are respectfully invited to attend the funeral of his late wife Violet, which leaves the Chapel of J R Croft Ltd, King’s Crescent, Lower Hutt, tomorrow (Friday) December 24th 1937 at 2 p.m. for the Taita Cemetery.”





Ernest Harold Collett

Born in 1911




Born in 1915



Raymond Hector Collett

Born in 1921






Elsie Jane Collett was born at Petone on 12th July 1893, the youngest of the four child of James Collett and his wife Elizabeth Fox.  She later married Arthur Paul Anders Hansen in 1915, Arthur having been born on 4th March 1887, the son of Anders Hansen and Bessie Salisbury.  Elsie Jane Hansen nee Collett died in 1959, and fifteen years later her husband died in New Zealand in 1974.  At the time of the death of her father in 1930, his obituary referred to ten grandchildren which, knowing Elsie’s sister Ethel had two offspring, and her two brothers each had three, then Elsie and Arthur must have had two children of their own.






Henry Charles Collett was the eldest of the four sons of Martin Collett and his wife Mary Ann Catts, and was born at Waipawa on 2nd April 1876 (Ref. 1876/6655).  His father established the family home at Waipawa, where Henry was very likely born.  It is known that he was involved in the Boer War and the recently acquired military records of Captain Henry Charles Collett 27686 of 19th Reinforcement Regiment, A Company, 3rd Battalion of the Auckland Regiment provide some missing details about his life.  Firstly, that he married (1) Rebecca Jessie Dillon at Waipukurau on 3rd May 1910 when he was thirty-four.  His marriage to Rebecca produced four children for the couple, as listed below, and all of them were born at Waipawa, although only three of them survived to adulthood.




In the military records his next-of-kin was named as Mrs H C Collett, wife, while the address was simply stated as Otane, Hawkes Bay, which is 38 km south of Hastings.  Henry’s occupation was given as a clerk, working for brewer A E Jull, while his last address was stated as being Waipawa, Hawkes Bay.  His time with the regiment commenced on 30th May 1916, and was concluded on 17th February 1919.  Of his total service of 2 years and 264 days, a total of 2 years and 67 days were spent overseas, in Western Europe.  His address on discharge from service was again Waipawa, Hawkes Bay.




He arrived in London on 20th October 1917, before being sent to Rouen six days later.  He was made Platoon Commander on 5th February 1918, but on 26th August that year he sustained a severe injury to his abdomen and the following day was placed on the dangerously ill list, resulting in him being removed from the frontline and admitted to hospital in London.  He was still dangerously ill one week later, although his condition had improved slightly, but it was only on 13th September that he was finally removed from the danger list, following which he was returned to France.




After peace was declared, Henry was declared unfit for duty for up to the next twelve months.  That happened on 8th December 1918, but it was not until 20th January 1919 before he boarded the ship ‘Ruahine’ for the return journey back from England to his family in New Zealand.  Sadly, not long after his return home his wife Rebecca Jessie Collett nee Dillon, who was born in 1882 and the daughter of Alfred Dillon and his wife Rebecca Collins, died in New Zealand in 1920 during the birth of a daughter who also did not survive.  It was during the following year that Henry married (2) Annie Mildred Amner in 1921.  She was born on 30th September 1886, one of the five siblings of William Ambrose Amner and his wife Sarah Welch who were married in New Zealand during 1878.




Henry Charles Collett, who served as the Mayor of Waipawa, where he lived, died there on 2nd October 1963, when he would have been 87 years of age and was buried at the Waipawa Cemetery two days later on 4th October.  His widow Annie Mildred Collett nee Amner died thirteen years after, when she passed away in 1976 at the age of 94.





Albert Eccles Collett

Born in 1911 at Waipawa



Gwyneth Mary Collett

Born in 1913 at Waipawa



Jane Dillon Collett

Born on 27.01.1916 at Waipawa



Rebecca Jessie Collett

Born and died in 1920 at Waipawa


The following are the children of Henry Charles Collett by his second wife Annie Mildred Amner:



Henry William Amner Collett

Born in 1922 at Waipawa



Maxwell Amner Collett

Born in 1923 at Napier



Jane Parkes Collett

Born on 01.07.1926; died 07.07.1926



Jocelyn Melva Ann Collett

Born on 24.05.1933






Albert Edward Collett was born at Waipawa in 1879, the second son of Martin and Mary Collett (Ref. 1879/15835).  Little more is known about his early life except that a newspaper article states that Albert and Ernest Collett (his brother below) were among the recipients of book prizes presented at the St Peters' Church in Waipawa at the prize-giving in 1895.




The military details for Albert Edward Collett, both in the military database and also on the first two pages of his personnel file contain an error, insofar as he was named as Alfred Edward Collett.  Albert, who was also known as Tup, volunteered for service in the Boer War of South Africa having been drafted from the Waipawa Rifles (where he had served as a sergeant for five years) into 9th Contingent with the rank of Lieutenant Sergeant, Regimental No. 7278, on 25th February 1902 at Auckland.  Details given by him on his attestation form were that he had been living at Waipawa, Hawkes Bay, where he was working as a clerk for A. E. Jull, brewer, as had his older brother Henry Charles (above).  His age was 22 years, height 5 feet 8½ inches, with a chest measurement of 38 inches and weighing 10 stones 2 pounds.  His next-of-kin was his mother Mary Collett.  He served overseas for 158 days and was discharged at Wellington on 26th August 1902 on completion of service and was subsequently presented with 2nd Boer War Medal and two clasps for South Africa 1902 and Transvaal on 25th July 1904.




Before he left for South Africa, Albert made out a Will which stated "I give and bequeath all my real and personal property whatsoever and wheresoever situate unto my mother Mary Collett absolutely.  And I give and bequeath unto my said mother all insurance policies effected on my life and the moneys payable thereunder absolutely.  And appoint her sole Executrix of this my last Will.  In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name this 12th day of February, one thousand nine hundred and two".  Bachelor Albert Edward Collett was only twenty-eight when he died at the Waipukurau Hospital in Hawkes Bay on 15th December 1907 and was buried at the Waipawa Cemetery three days later.  During the later probate hearing for his Will it was recorded that the amount of the estate did not exceed 800 pounds. 






Ernest Martin Collett was born at Waipawa on 18th September 1886, the son of Martin and Mary Collett, the birth registration being 1886/15856.  At the age of nine years he was presented with a book on the 1895 prize-giving day at St Peter’s Church in Waipawa with his brother Albert (above).  In 1915 he left New Zealand for Canada and it was in Quebec on 6th October 1914 when he completed his attestation papers for the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force which confirmed his date and place of birth in New Zealand, the name of his father, and that his occupation was that of a miner.  Four days later he undertook a medical examination and was approved for military service on 10th October when he was assigned the service number 49081.  The medical record revealed that he was 29 years old, 6 feet and ¾ inch tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes, black hair, and numerous tattoos.




One source claims that Ernest Collett served in 2nd Battalion Canadian Machine Gun Corps as Private 794068 and was killed in action on 8th August 1918 when he was only 20 years of age.  However, this is not true, as that Ernest Collett was born during 1898 and was the son of Mrs Robinson Collett of Eel River in Bridge North County, New Brunswick, while Ernest Martin Collett would have been nearly 32 years old in August 1918.




What is known is that Ernest Martin Collett returned to New Zealand after the First World War where married Jessie Phoebe Judd during the first six months of 1933 (Ref. 1933/836).  Jessie was the daughter of John and Phoebe Judd and was born in New Zealand on 9th December 1897, making her ten years younger than Ernest who was described as a carrier of Swanson in Auckland.  However, some time prior to their wedding day Jessie had presented Ernest with a son who, it is understood was around three years of age when they were eventually married.  Furthermore in 1932 Ernest was fined £10 for being drunk in charge of a motor lorry.  The judge did not cancel his licence as he did not want to deprive him of his means of livelihood.  He was also involved in a more serious motoring offence shortly after he was married (see report below) which, again, was the result an excess of alcohol.  It is possible that his drinking problem was an after effect of seeing the horrors of the trenches in the Great War.




Tragically, not long after the couple’s wedding day Ernest was driving home in his truck with his wife, their three year-old son, and his mother-in-law Phoebe Judd, when Ernest swerved to avoid an oncoming vehicle.   The truck in which they were travelling then hurtled over a bank and hit a pole, tossing the four occupants from the cab.  Fortunately Ernest and his son escaped injury, while Jessie and mother were taken to hospital by ambulance.  Sadly Phoebe Judd later died of her injuries.  At the subsequent Supreme Court trial into the death of his mother-in-law, Ernest was found not guilty of reckless driving by the jury.  It would appear that from that day forward Ernest may have turned over a new leaf, since no further reports of any similar occurrences have been found.  The report on the death of his mother-in-law was printed in the New Zealand Herald on 26th October 1933, as follows:




“The hearing of the charge against Ernest Martin Collett, carrier, of Swanson, of having driven a motor truck recklessly so as to cause the death of Mrs Phoebe Judd, aged 69, was concluded in the Supreme Court yesterday before Mr Justice Herdman.  Mr Meredith appeared for the Crown and the accused conducted his own defence.  The accident causing the death of the deceased, who was the mother-in-law of the accused, occurred near Henderson on July 2, the vehicle driven by the accused crashing into a telegraph pole.  Asked by His Honour if he wished to make a statement the accused said that when near the telegraph pole a lorry came along toward him.  It did not seem to pull over to let him pass after he had sounded his horn.  Knowing the vicinity of the drain and that metal used to lie in heaps among the fern, he thought it too dangerous to pull over on his correct side, and so swerved to the right.  Then another vehicle, a car, came along and the witness had to pull over a little further to the right.  His foot slipped off the brake and his vehicle accelerated.  He must have received a knock and become dazed, for he did not know what happened afterwards.  He had no silencer on his truck, which may have accounted for the noise it made.  As far as he knew his wife found him lying dazed ahead of the lorry.  He had driven for about 20 years and this was the first serious accident he had had.  To Mr Meredith the accused said both vehicles, the lorry and the car, had no lights.  There was loose metal on the road and lorries generally drove down it on the wrong side.  The car was on its correct side.  Addressing the jury His Honour said people driving on the highway must do so with care, as everyone had a right to use the highway.  If a driver became reckless he should be punished.  The onus of proof of guilt was on the Crown.  If the accused's explanation was accepted he must be discharged.  On the other hand, they had the evidence of Platt that there was no other vehicle on the road with which the accused could have collided.  The jury returned a verdict of not guilty and accused was discharged.”




Ernest Martin Collett died in New Zealand during 1951 when he was 64 years of age (Ref. 1951/26847), whilst it was after a further twenty-one years later that his wife Jessie Phoebe Collett nee Judd passed away in 1972 (Ref. 1972/32151).





a Collett son

Born in 1930 at Swanson






Alfred Alexander Collett was born at Waipawa in 1891, the last of the four sons of Martin Collett and Mary Ann Catts, the birth registration being 1891/5049.  He was twenty-one years old when he married Amelia Lydia Rayner in 1912.  She was the daughter of Elias and Harriet Rayner and was born in New Zealand on 5th September 1889.  Amelia Lydia Collett nee Rayner she died during 1983, having outlived her husband who had passed away some 27 years earlier in 1956.  As far as can be ascertained at this time, the couple only had the one son born in 1913.  Alfred Alexander Collett died on 16th November 1956 and was buried three days later on 19th November at the Waipawa Cemetery at the age of 66.  His widow Amelia Lydia Collett nee Rayner was living at 19 Reservoir Road in Waipukurau when she died on 5th August 1983 at 93 years of age and was buried in the Waipawa Cemetery with her husband.




Also within the cemetery records at Waipawa there are listed a number of Collett deaths and burials which are unaccounted for in this particular line of the Collett family.  So, for completeness, they are all included here in order of the date that they passed away.  Note, mother and child buried together on the same day.






Michael Collett of Walpukurau

17th April 1884

19th April 1884


Mrs Collett

28th December 1919

2nd January 1920


Baby Collett

30th December 1919

2nd January 1920


Keith Martin (Corby) Collett

1st November 1984

No date given


Hazel Winifred Collett

29th December 1991

31st December 1991


Terrence Samuel Collett

12th July 1999

15th July 1999




The following is the only child of Alfred Alexander Collett and Amelia Lydia Rayner:



Alfred Ernest Collett

Born on 12.01.1913






Mabel Elizabeth Jane Collett, known as May, was born at Lower Hutt on 11th February 1878, the eldest child of Aaron Collett and Elizabeth Jane Mason.  As a young child she often visited her maiden aunt Mary Jane Collett (Ref. 6O6) – Aunt Jane, where she eventually made her home.  She attended Petone School and became a teacher there after attending Wellington Girls College.




On 23rd October 1901, when Mabel was 23, she married 25 year-old William Grant D’aville Evans at St Augustine’s Church in Petone.  Following the death of her father at the end of that same year, she and William lived in the old Collett home.  From 1933 Doris and Robert Leslie, who were friends of the Collett family, settled in Riddlers Crescent and first lived in a self-contained flat on the Collett property.  They later moved into a cottage and in 1935 were residing at 34 Riddlers Crescent.  In 1948 they purchased the homestead at No 36 Riddlers Crescent and at that time Mabel Evans (Collett) moved into No 34.  The fence was removed to allow easy access for the exchange of furniture between the houses.  Mabel and William Evans remained there until 1951, where William died that same year.  Mabel was often seen attending the graves of her older relatives. 




Her marriage to William produced four children for Mabel who were all born at Petone, and they were Ete Terrance Evans (Terry) who was born on 17th September 1906 who died in 1989, Mary Augusta Evans (Molly) who was born on 12th July 1909 who died in 1974, Francis Irene Evans (Fran) who was born on 18th February 1913 who died in 2009 and Walter John Evans (Jack) who was born on 18th December 1917 who passed away in 1986.  In 1918, when their family had been completed, and following the death of her aunt Mary Jane Collett, Mabel Evans was granted free occupation of the house at 36 Riddlers Crescent, in which she had lived with her aunt before the end of the nineteenth century.




Mabel Elizabeth Jane Evans nee Collett died at Wesleyhaven Eventide Home on Rata Street, Lower Hutt in Wellington on 1st September 1973 when she was 95.  Mabel’s eldest son Terry Evans married Rona Dympna May Hartley on 15th August 1928, and they lived at 28 Riddlers Crescent on the original nine and a half acre Collett estate.  Terry died on 28th August 1989 when at Kairangi Private Hospital in Lower Hutt, Wellington.




It was in 1930 that Mabel’s eldest daughter Mary Augusta Evans married Norton Thomas Buist Smith, whilst Mabel’s youngest daughter Francis Irene Evans was also married to become Frances Irene Brown.  An article published in April 2009 made the following announcement:  ‘The last of the Collett Family who resided at 36 Riddlers Crescent (previously 81 Hutt Road) has died.  She was Francis Brown and was aged ninety-six.  Her [great] grandparents landed in Wellington in 1840.  Mrs. Brown was a third generation Collett and has the distinction of having the first name on the Hutt Valley High School roll when it opened.  Her mother was Mabel Evans nee Collett and her brother was Terry Evans, who died in 1989.’  Francis Brown nee Evans actually died at Palmerston North on 10th February 2009 at the age of 95.  Each of the four children of Mabel Elizabeth Jane Collett and William Grant Deville Evans had two daughters.






William Aaron Collett was born at Lower Hutt on 17th August 1879, and the eldest son of Aaron Collett and Elizabeth Mason.  He was a coach builder at Lower Hutt, and he married Doris Mary Pocknall at the Church of Christ in Lower Hutt on 18th August 1915.  Doris was born on 19th July 1893 and she presented William with the two known children after the Great War, as listed below.  In late 1916, following the death of his aunt Mary Jane Collett, William Aaron Collett was named as a beneficiary under the terms of her Will of 4th June 1914, and through which he eventually received the sum of £400. 




It was during the following year, on 15th June 1917 at Wellington, that William enlisted with the NZEF.  At that time the records show that he was a self-employed coachbuilder, still working from premises in Railway Avenue in Lower Hutt.  Although he was married, he gave his place of residence as Victoria Street in Lower Hutt, while the address given for his wife and their two-month old daughter was William Street in Alicetown, Lower Hutt.  On 9th July 1917 the Evening Post reported that Mr E P Bunny appeared before the Wellington sittings of the Third Military Service Board acting on behalf of William Aaron Collett, coach builder of Lower Hutt.  The appeal was based on the allegation that he was engaged in an essential industry.  In reply, Captain P Baldwin asserted that the industry was not classed as essential and therefore the appeal was dismissed, with leave being granted until 22nd August.




Further information given by William during his medical examination was that he had previously served with No 5 Company Field Engineers, and that his father, Aaron of Petone, and his mother, Eliza Jane from London, were both deceased.  The entry form described him as being 37 10/12 years old, 5 feet 6½ inches, weighing 136 lbs, with brown hair, brown eyes, and a dark complexion.  Upon being pronounced fit for duty he was assigned to the 4th Company, 2nd Battalion of the Otago Infantry Regiment.  He served a total of 1 year and 197 days from 23th August 1917 to 7th March 1919, when he was discharged as no longer physically fit for service on account of wounds received in action, they being to his chest and right leg.




One year and 52 days had been spent fighting in Western Europe, having sailed from Wellington on 21st November 1917, arriving at Liverpool in England on 8th January 1918.  From Liverpool the battalion made their way into France, and it was there during September that he sustained the injury to his chest.  Following the declaration of peace, William returned to Liverpool, where the same ship that had brought him to England, the SS Maungaranui, was waiting to take the men back home to Wellington on 2nd December 1918.  After the war, and at the time he was presented with his campaign medals, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, on 19th May 1922, William was living at Raglan in Waikato.  It was thirty years later that William Aaron Collett died at Wellington on 1st September 1952, and after twenty-eight years as a widow Doris Mary Collett nee Pocknall died in 1980.





Ruby Mabel Collett

Born in 1917 at Lower Hutt



Reginald Arnold Collett

Born in 1920 at Lower Hutt






Augustus Henry Collett, who was referred to as Harry by the family, was born at Lower Hutt on 13th March 1881.  He later married Violet Millicent Glennie on 27th October 1915.  During the following year, and at the announcement of the death of his aunt Mary Jane Collett in 1916, Augustus Henry Collett, an accountant of Lower Hutt, was named as the final beneficiary under the terms of her Will of 4th June 1914.  Augustus Henry Collett died on 23rd December 1969.






Ellen Eliza Collett was born at Lower Hutt on 29th July 1884, the youngest daughter of Aaron and Elizabeth Collett.  Sadly she was only sixteen months old when she died at Lower Hutt on 8th October 1885.






Edgar Arnold Collett was born at Lower Hutt on 8th October 1890, the youngest child of Aaron Collett and his wife Elizabeth Jane Mason.  He was referred to as Jack by the family, and he married (1) Louisa Amy McMahon in 1909, Louisa having been born in 1889.  In August 1940 the couple was living at Gisborne, on the East Coast of the North Island, where they received the sad news of the death of their youngest son Wilfred who was killed in action during the Second World War.  Later on in the war their son Ivan was a prisoner in Germany.  Perhaps because of what had happened to two of her three sons, it was just after receiving that double blow that the death of Louisa Amy Collett nee McMahon was recorded at Rotorura on 21st January 1945. 




The notice of her death was reported in the Evening Post on 23rd January 1945 as follows:  “Louisa Amy Collett, dearly beloved wife of Edgar A Collett (Jack Collett) of 122 Whitaker Street in Gisborne, also the mother of Flight Lieutenant Ivan Collett (prisoner of war, Germany), and of the late Squadron Leader Wilfred Collett killed on operations in August 1940.  After the death of his wife Edgar married (2) Gladys Fannin.  Edgar Arnold Collett died on 27th November 1975.





Henry Edgar Collett

Born in 1910



Ivan Henry Collett

Born in 1911



Wilfred Ira Collett

Born in 1912






Winifred Myrtle Collett was born at Petone on 27th October 1888, the only known child of Charles Samuel Collett and his wife Ruth Eliza Archer.  She was thirty years old when she married Charles Edward Rogers in Wellington on 23rd December 1918, one monthly after her mother had died.  The couple lived all of the life at Masterton where Winifred Myrtle Rogers nee Collett died on 28th September 1975.  The announcement of their marriage in the Evening Post published on 15th January 1919 read as follows:  “ROGERS-COLLETT.  On the 23rd December 1918, at The Terrace Congregational Church Wellington, by the Rev. J Reed Glasson, Charles Edward, the third son of the late J F Rogers, to Winifred, only daughter of C S Collett, Petone.”  Charles Edward Rogers was born at Wellington on 27th December 1884, and he died at Masterton on 5th March 1944.






Henry Collett was born at Petone on 28th August 1886, the eldest child of Albert William Collett and his wife Henrietta Gover.  Sadly he only survived for a week, when he died at Petone on 6th September 1886.






Albert Edward Collett was born at Petone on 8th November 1887, the eldest of the two surviving sons of Albert and Ettie Collett.  On leaving school he worked as an engineer with his father in the company of Collett & Son, originally founded by his father and his uncle Edward Collett as Collett Brothers.  Albert married spinster Jessie Floraline Peebles at Hastings, Hawkes Bay, on 28th November 1916.  Jessie was born on 1st August 1880 so was thirty-eight when she married the younger Albert Collett, hence the reason why the marriage produced no children for the couple.  Albert was also confirmed as being an engineer at Dannevirke, to the north-west of Palmerston North, in the Will of his aunt Mary Jane Collett who died during 1916, and in which he was bequeathed £400




However, at the start of 1915 he had suffered with an industrial accident, when a splinter of manganese steel had perforated his left eyeball, causing the loss of his sight in that eye.  Around the time of his marriage he was undergoing a medical examination with the NZ Expeditionary Force, and the documentation gave his address as Gordon Street in Dannevirke, his occupation as an engineer, and his next-of-kin as his wife J F Collett.




His NZEF Attestation for General Service form included the following personal details.  Born at Petone on 8th November 1887 to parents Albert William Collett of Petone and Henrietta Collett from England.  He was 5 feet 4½ inches tall, weighed 147 lbs, with black hair and blue eyes, and a dark complexion.  His religion was Anglican.  Despite having a glass eye, it was recommended that he was fit for service in the NZEF in and beyond New Zealand.




At the start of May 1917 Albert was assigned to 28th Reinforcement Regiment, and was initially placed with B Company on 2nd May as Private A E Collett 54331, based at Trentham Camp.  Nine days later he was transferred to C Company of the 28th.  After five weeks he was complaining of a frequent pain and impaired vision in his right eye, following which it was recommended that he be transferred to the Home Service.




On 27th June 1917 he was attending Featherston Military Hospital at which time the medical report stated that he had an artificial left eye and only 6/12 vision in his right eye.  The final recommendation was that he be discharged from service with no pension.  Albert Edward Collett died at Hastings, Hawkes Bay, on 15th June 1938 and was buried on 17th June at the Mangatera Dannevirke Cemetery in Hawkes Bay.  His widow Jessie Floraline Collett nee Peebles died many years later in New Zealand during 1980, around the time of her one-hundredth birthday.






Frederick John Gover Collett was born at Petone on 17th March 1889, the younger of the two sons of Albert William Collett and his wife Henrietta Gover.  He later married Beatrice Pearl Robinson on 9th November 1914.  A few years after the death of his cousin Charles William Collett (above) in France during the Great War in 1918, the Plaque and Scroll were given to his next-of-kin, who was named as Mr J G Collett of Mangaroa.  In the absence of any better information, it is assumed that J G Collett was Frederick John Gover Collett, who died at Dannevirke on 20th December 1933 where he was buried the following day.  His wife Beatrice was 41 when she gave birth to the couple’s third child during the previous year, she having been born on 29th September 1891.  Upon being widowed Beatrice raised her three children on her own.  She had lived a long life when Beatrice Pearl Collett nee Robinson died in New Zealand during 1984 at the age of 93.





Nola Marion Collett

Born in 1915 in New Zealand



John Albert Collett

Born in 1922 in New Zealand



David Frederick Collett

Born in 1932 in New Zealand






Hilda Maria Greenfield was born at Petone on 20th August 1886 and very likely while her parents were living at Richmond Street.  She was the eldest child of Ellen Maria Collett and William Henry Greenfield and she married Albert Johnson on 28th August 1907.  Albert was born on 5th November 1883 and their marriage provided them with a total of seven children.  The eldest child, Eric Albert Johnson, was born just two weeks after their wedding day on 4th September 1907 and he married Vera May Tinker in 1939 and died in 1993.  William Henry Johnson was born in 1911, married Doris Emma Smith in 1937 and died in 1980.  Evelyn Marie Ellen Johnson was born in 1912, married John Nelson Talley in 1938 and died in 1989.  Connie Hilda Johnson was born in 1914 and in 1939 she married Clarence Albert Hansfield.  Tragically during 1916 one of their children was stillborn. 




Three years later Hilda presented Albert with another son Reginald Leslie Neil Johnson who was followed by Jean Freda Johnson born in 1927 and Ronald James Johnson who was born in 1931.     Hilda Maria Johnson nee Greenfield died at Lower Hutt on 24th March 1969 aged 82 years and was buried at Taita in Lower Hutt, while her husband passed away on 13th February 1947.






James Henry Greenfield was born at 48 Richmond Street in Petone on 14th August 1887, but sadly he died eleven days later on 25th August 1887.  It is possible, although not proved, that James may have had a twin brother Harold who died at birth.






Frederick William Greenfield was born at 48 Richmond Street in Petone on 24th July 1889.  He married Mabel Annie Bertaud on 7th April 1915 at St James Church in Newtown, Wellington.  At the time of their marriage Frederick’s occupation was that of a painter.  The witnesses at the wedding were Frederick’s younger brother Alfred (below), and Mabel’s older brother David Henry Bertaud.




The marriage produced five children for the couple born between 1916 and 1932 although their second child who was born on 7th May 1918 was stillborn.  The surviving children were Harold William (05.07.1916-10.09.2007), Pearl Hazel (06.01.1920-03.12.2009), Ethel Ellen (06.01.1923-27.04.1991), and Frederick John Greenfield who was born in 1932.  It was on 1st June 1961 that Frederick William Greenfield died at Lower Hutt, with his wife Mabel Annie Greenfield nee Bertaud, who was born in 1893, passing away in 1962.




The couple’s youngest son Frederick John Greenfield married Joan Frances Payne, who was born in 1941, at Lower Hutt on 15th October 1960.  Joan presented her husband with three children, two girls and a boy.  At the start of 2010 the couple lived at Palmerston North in New Zealand.  It was the brother-in-law of Frederick John Greenfield, Ron Payne of Perth in Australia, who kindly provided the information that has enabled this family line to be updated.






Alfred John Greenfield was born at 48 Richmond Street in Petone on 30th May 1893, the youngest son of Ellen Collett and William Greenfield and the only known fact about him is that he died on 22nd May 1976.






Ernest Collett was born in New Zealand during 1895 (Ref. 1895/6391), the first child of Henry Edward Collett and his wife Martha Louisa Eades, but sadly he died when he was only two weeks old.






Gladys Myrtle Collett was born in New Zealand on 28th September 1896 (Ref. 1896/9166), the only daughter of Henry and Martha Collett.  Her mother died in 1913 so Martha, at the age of 17, became the housekeeper for her widowed father and her two younger brothers.  By the time her father died at Owhango in 1921 Gladys was married to Alfred Ingram, a farmer of Owhango.  It was therefore Martha, as the oldest member of her family, who was instrumental in settling her father’s estate through the Supreme Court of New Zealand Wanganui District in the absence of a Will.  In the end the estate was valued at under £1,200.  Gladys Myrtle Ingram nee Collett died in 1985.






John Clempston Collett was born in New Zealand on 18th June 1901 (Ref. 1901/14778), his second name coming from his grandmother’s maiden name.  He became a saw-miller at Owhango, the village being one of the most picturesque in New Zealand with a backdrop of native forest and Mount Ruapehu.  In the spring, the village trees and gardens are alive with native birds, most notably the Tui and the Kereru.  In 1930 John married Annie Elizabeth Victoria Coombes, the daughter of Valentine and Eliza Wilhelmina Alice Coombes who was born in 1911.  Annie died in 1963 leaving her husband John to live the next twenty-four years as a widower.  John Clemston Collett passed away during 1987 at the age of 86.






George William Collett was born in New Zealand on 27th September 1903 (Ref. 1903/21075), the fourth child of Henry Edward Collett and Martha Louisa Eades who died when George was only ten years old.  Not much more is known about him, except that George William Collet died at Hamilton in New Zealand on 30th October 1983 and was buried on 3rd November 1983 in the Hamilton Park Cemetery.






Elsie Mary Collett was born in New Zealand on 2nd July 1907, the only known child of William Herbert Collet and his wife Agnes Ellen Whiteman.  It was during 1931 that Elsie married Leslie Allan Benge in New Zealand, Leslie having been born on 28th August 1904.  Leslie died in 1981, and was survived by his wife for a further twenty years, when Elsie Mary Benge nee Collett died in 2001.  It seems highly likely that Leslie was related in some way to the family of John Thomas Benge who married Emily Alice Collett (Ref. 6P3) in 1890.






Elsie Tui Collett was born in New Zealand during 1909 (Ref. 1909/12627), the eldest daughter of Ernest James Collett and his wife Daisy Elise Walton.  Elsie was later married when she became Elsie Tui McFarlane.






Velda Elizabeth Collett was born in New Zealand on 4th March 1913 (Ref. 1913/8881), the second of the three daughters of Ernest and Daisy Collett.  When she was married later in her life she became Velda Elizabeth Horler and it was as Velda Elizabeth Horler nee Collett that she died in New Zealand during 1998 (Ref. 1998/9217).






Ida Vera Collett was born in New Zealand on 15th January 1916 the last of the three daughters of Ernest and Daisy Collett.  In 1935, while taking a driving lesson, Ida Vera Collett drove off the road onto the footpath and knocked down a woman pedestrian.  She was subsequently charged with driving in a manner that might have been dangerous to the public and received a small fine.  Sometime later she married Maxwell Harry Turvey who was born on 17th February 1914 and had been employed as a carpenter and a farmhand.  Later in her life it is known that Ida and Maxwell were residing at 13 Simla Terrace in Hawkes Bay.  However, it was at Waiapu House, Havelock North in Hawkes Bay where Maxwell Harry Turvey died on 22nd August 2004 aged 90 (Ref. 2004/19807) while, just three months after losing her husband, Ida Vera Turvey nee Collett died at Waiapu House on 20th November 2004 at the age of 88 (Ref. 2004/28893).






Ernest Harold Collett was born in New Zealand in 1911, the eldest child of Harold Aaron Collett and his wife Violet Prince.  He later married Irene Stace with whom he had one daughter.  Ernest Harold Collett died in New Zealand during 1951.





Dianne Collett

Date of birth unknown






EDGAR COLLETT was born in New Zealand on 25th March 1915, the son of Harold Aaron Collett and Violet Prince.  He later married Mavis Reid, their marriage producing three children for the couple.  In 1938 Edgar James Collett, of 86 Ava Street in Petone, was involved in a collision with a motor cycle while out driving and later at the Petone Court received a small fine for failing to signal his intention to make a turn.  Edgar James Collett died in New Zealand during 2003 (Ref. 28696).






Date of birth unknown



Bryan Collett

Born on 10.03.1948



Helen Collett

Date of birth unknown






Raymond Hector Collett was born on 23rd August 1921.  He later married Joan Margaret Hanson who was known as Peggy, who was born on 14th October 1919.  The marriage produced two children for the couple.  The only other known facts are that Raymond Hector Collett died during 1989, and was followed nine years later by Peggy who died in 1998.





Janis Patricia Collett

Date of birth unknown



Clifford Raymond Collett

Date of birth unknown






Albert Eccles Collett was born at Waipawa on 21st April 1911, the eldest child of Henry Charles Collett and his first wife Rebecca Jessie Dillon.  It was in 1941 when he married Muriel Victoria May Cash.  While nothing is further known about their life, Albert was eighty-eight years old when he died on 5th May 1999, following which he was buried at the Manukau Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Auckland.






Gwyneth Mary Collett was born at Waipawa on 24th January 1913, the eldest daughter of Henry and Rebecca Collett.  She never married and died during 1996 in New Zealand (Ref. 1996/41804).






Jane Dillon Collett was born on 27th January 1916 at Waipawa, the third of the four children of Henry and Rebecca Collett.  She was married during 1937 to Eric John Marsden Bibby who was born on 27th August 1914.    Jane Dillon Bibby nee Collett died in 1981, while her husband died later in 1995.






Rebecca Jessie Collett was born at Waipawa the last child of Henry Charles Collett and his first wife Rebecca Jessie Dillon, neither of whom survive the ordeal.






Henry William Amner Collett, who was known as Bill, was born at Waipawa on 16th August 1922.  His parents were Henry Charles Collett and his second wife Annie Mildred Amner, and his father had a military career serving in Africa during the Boer War and in France during the First World War. 


He was a Sergeant 412468 and an observer with 101 Squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force and was killed in action during the Second World War.  He died on 16th November 1942 and was buried at Tywyn Cemetery – Grave 287, Row 6, Class 2.  He was the sole New Zealander killed during the war as listed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 


The name ‘Sgt H W A Collett’ killed in the UK appears immediately above that of ‘Sqn Ldr W I Collett’ also killed in the UK (below), on a memorial stone in New Zealand.




His life story confirmed that he had three sisters, Gwenyth, Jane, and Jocelyn, and two brothers, Albert who was known as Chum, and Max.  At the time of writing his brother Max (below) was still living in New Zealand, at Napier in the Hawkes Bay region.  All three brothers travelled to England during the war, where Max flew Spitfires with Fighter Command, while his other brother Chum was also an Air Force pilot and flew with Coastal Command.






Maxwell Amner Collett was born at Napier on 25th October 1923.  He was a Pilot Flying Officer with 485 NZ Squadron of the New Zealand Air Force which had Spitfires and he joined the Second World War around the time of the D-Day landings and was allocated the service number NZ422260 on enlistment on 4th April 1942.  He sailed out of Wellington on board the ship Matsonia on 2nd October 1942 bound for San Diego in California, where he arrived on 14th October.  He was mentioned in despatches, and on one occasion he and another pilot were credited with the destruction of three midget submarines, believed to be the only midget submarines destroyed by fighter command.  He was discharged from duty on 15th January 1946.  It was after the war that he later married Noeline Culling Robinson in 1950.





William Noel Collett

Date of birth unknown



Rosemary Ann Collett

Date of birth unknown



Vivienne Noeline Collett

Date of birth unknown



Dianne Mary Collett

Date of birth unknown






Alfred Ernest Collett was born in New Zealand on 12th January 1913, the only child of Alfred Alexander Collett and Amelia Lydia Rayner who were married during the previous year.  Nothing further is currently known about Alfred or his life except that he was sixty years of age when he died on 9th September 1973 at Hamilton in New Zealand, where he was buried on 11th September in the Hamilton Park Cemetery.






Ruby Mabel Collett was born at Lower Hutt on 28th March 1917, the daughter of William Aaron Collett and his wife Doris Mary Pocknall.  She was twenty-one when she married John Herbert Pelham on 24th December 1938 and she was the mother of Julia Diane Pelham who married David Forsyth.  And it was Julia Pelham who made contact during 2010, and provide some details about her Collett family.  John Herbert Pelham died on 20th August 1976 at Lower Hut, while Ruby Mabel Pelham nee Collett died at Howick in Auckland, New Zealand on 16th January 2012, just before her ninety-fifth birthday.






Reginald Arnold Collett was born at Lower Hutt on 20th January 1920, the son of William and Doris Collett.  Nothing further is known about him at this time, except that he never married and died on 14th June 2006 while at Waikanae on the Kapiti Coast in Wellington.






Ivan Henry Collett was born on 14th January 1911, the second of the three sons of Edgar Arnold Collett and Louisa Amy McMahon.  He married Ringi May (Jean) Osmond in 1945 after serving in the New Zealand Air Force during the Second World War.  Prior to his marriage he also spent a period of time as a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft 2 in Germany, which was reported in the following way in the Auckland Star on 30th October 1941.




“AIRMAN MISSING - FLYING-OFFICER COLLETT - younger brother killed in 1940.  This day, news that their elder son, Flying Officer Ivan Henry Collett, was reported missing as the result of air operations on Sunday last, has been received by Mr and Mrs E A Collett of Gisborne.  Flying-Officer Collett was their second son to join the Royal Air Force and had been in active operations for the past three months.  He was a member of a bomber squadron and had taken part in raids on enemy occupied territory on a number of occasions.  His promotion from the rank of pilot-officer flying-officer was made on the day prior to the operations from which his machine failed to return.  Flying-Officer Collett gained honours in Rugby Football and represented Hawkes Bay.  He received his preliminary air training in New Zealand and then proceeded to Canada for advanced instruction under the Empire Air Training Scheme, after which he was transferred to the United Kingdom.  His younger brother, Squadron Leader W I Collett, had long service with the Royal Air Force prior to the war and took part in the earliest raids on German territory and also on later counter bombing work over the North Sea.  He was killed as the result of air operations early last year.”




One month later on 24th November 1941 the following item was printed in the Evening Star.  COLLETT, Pilot Officer Ivan Henry, R N Z A F, now reported prisoner of war in German hands.  Mr E A Collett, 122 Whitaker Street, Gisborne.”  Ivan Henry Collett died on 7th July 1988 at Havelock North.






Wilfred Ira Collett was born in 1912.  He was Pilot Squadron Leader 34232 with 75 Squadron of the Royal Air Force.  On 4th April 1940 the squadron was transferred to the Royal New Zealand Air Force as 75 (NZ) Squadron and was based at Feltwell in Norfolk, England where it was equipped with Wellington Bombers.  And as such, it was the first Commonwealth squadron to be formed in Bomber Command.


Tragically while on a bombing offensive against enemy-occupied territories Wilfred was killed on 4th August 1940 and was buried at St Nicholas Church in Feltwell.  Before the war Wilfred had married Doreen Williamson who was listed as his next-of-kin, along with his parents Edgar and Louise Collett of Gisborne in Auckland.




It was possibly around five years or so before the war that Wilfred had learned to fly at the Hawke's Bay Aero Club under Squadron Leader T.W. White, following which he been a pilot officer with the RAF and had served for four years in Egypt and the Middle East.






Nola Marion Collett was born in New Zealand on 11th June 1915, the daughter of Frederick John Gover Collett and his wife Beatrice Pearl Robinson.  She later married Douglas James Munro Riddell in 1947 and they had two children.  It was as Nola Marion Riddell nee Collett that she died many years later during 1996 in New Zealand (Ref. 1996/55927).






John Albert Collett, who was known as Jack, was born in New Zealand on 19th July 1922, was the son of Frederick and Beatrice Collett.  All that is currently known about him is that he died in New Zealand during 1975.






David Frederick Collett was born at Dannevirke on 10th November 1932, the youngest of the three known children of Frederick John Gover Collett and his wife Beatrice Pearl Robinson.  He was only one year old when his father died, following which he was raised by his mother.  It was also at Dannevirke that David first married (1) Maureen Ethel Haines on 17th September 1955.  Maureen was born at Dannevirke on 22nd June 1936, the daughter of Oswald Wilfred (Darky) Haines and Jessie Reid.  The marriage of David and Maureen produced three children who were all born after the couple had settled in Pukekohe within the Auckland district of North Island.  Sadly, when their youngest child was around fourteen years of age David and Maureen were divorced, with both of them remarrying sometime after 1978.




Eleven years after being divorced, Maureen married Graeme Arthur Langford at Auckland on 10th December 1989 while, according to the electoral roll of 1981, David was already married for a second time and was living with his new wife at Albany in Auckland.  So sometime between 1978 and 1881 David Frederick Collett had married (2) Carol Margaret Ashton, with whom he had another daughter.  In addition to this, the electoral rolls for those two years placed David’s two eldest children Russell and Sherylyn as residing within the Papakura district of Auckland, just north of Pukekohe.




The death of David Frederick Collett was recorded in New Zealand during 2003 (Ref. 2003/6780).  The new details of this family were kindly provided by Toija Crooks of Kaiparoro, New Zealand in December 2016, a descendent of Maureen Ethel Haines.





Russell David Collett

Born on 27.06.1956 at Pukekohe



Sherylyn Maureen Collett

Born on 20.08.1957 at Pukekohe



Linda Louise Collett

Born on 08.06.1964 at Pukekohe


The following is the child of David Frederick Collett by his second wife Carol Margaret Ashton:



Julie Collett

Date of birth unknown






Dianne Collett, whose date of birth is not known, married Mr Pavent.






BRUCE JAMES COLLETT, whose date of birth is not known, married Alison Willshire in 1965.






Born on 24.05.1972



Jennifer Alison Collett

Born on 14.10.1974






Bryan Collett was born on 10th March 1948 and he married Margaret Eleanor Thomassen during 1970.





Michael Lyndsay Collett

Born on 14.11.1970



Catherine Lara Collett

Born on 21.10.1974






Helen Collett, whose date of birth is not known, married Peter Jackson in 1972 with whom she had two daughters Grace and Fiona.






Janis Patricia Collett, whose date of birth is not known, married Colin Robertson in 1977 and their marriage produced two children for the couple.





Tania Rae Robertson

Born in 1978



Jason Roy Robertson

Born in 1981






Clifford Raymond Collett was born in 1951 and was married in 1972.





Bradley Collett

Born in 1975



Daniella Emma Collett

Born in 1978






Steven James Collett, who was born on 24th May 1972, married Martha Fenwick.






JENNIFER ALISON COLLETT, who was born on 14th October 1974, married Martin Gregory.  In 2008 Jenny and Martin were living at Botley in Oxford and it was Martin that kindly supplied the new information that has resulted in the update to this family line.






Michael Lyndsay Collett was born on 14th November 1970, the son of Bryan Collett and Margaret Eleanor Thomassen.  Michael married Andrea Carmichael in 1995 and they have four sons.





Max Collett

Date of birth unknown



Theo Collett

Date of birth unknown



Jack Collett

Date of birth unknown



Alec Collett

Date of birth unknown






Catherine Lara Collett was born on 21st October 1974, the daughter of Bryan and Margaret Collett.  Catherine married Alfred Ernest Sawyer in 2002 and they have a daughter Holly Caitlin Sawyer, who was born on 3rd January 2004, and a son Lucas Alfred Sawyer who was born on 11th November 2008.






Tania Rae Robertson was born in 1978.  She later married Martyn Bryant in December 2005 and they now have a daughter Nikkita Emma Bryant who was born in 2008.  And it was Tania that kindly provided the information relating to her family.