The Friends of the Dannevirke Settlers’ Cemetery, which is located on the corner of Dagmar and George Streets, will be conducting their final 2013 cemetery walk on the 10th November at . During the hour long session, stories will be told of deaths which could or could not have been avoided. The public is invited to join The Friends, and a ‘cuppa’ will conclude the walk.
How difficult it must have been for parents to lose their young children through childhood ailments for which, in the early days of settlement, there was no cure. The Younghusband parents lost four children aged 6 months to 2 years, and the Bankart parents lost their three at 16 months to 3 years.
Mistakes of age or death date were not uncommon in burial records but it is difficult to see how genealogical researchers could claim a body is buried in a plot occupied by another of the same name but different age and death date. Dannevirke’s Alice Maud Allen, wife of Samuel, is the real claimant. Two little children became motherless at her death.
William Hansen’s mill accident; John Coveney’s drowning; Thomas Preston’s shooting and Henry Shannon’s untimely demise, were typical of the causes of death of many who are interred in the cemetery. The paper reports and inquests vary from minimal to very lengthy, but all add to the story of Dannevirke’s early history. The most extensive reporting of an accident was that of Joyce Ransom, in 1923, daughter of Mr E.A.Ransom MP for Pahiatua. The Allardice Street crossing claimed the life of this young woman aged 19 years. The floral tributes at her funeral turned the cemetery into a colourful garden.