Sunday, July 10, 2011


by Colin Campbell Petersen
Born 3 April, 1893 in Mauriceville West, New Zealand.
                Died 22 April 1958, Mediterranean Sea, (died on ship and was buried at sea). 
FATHER:  Jens Peter Petersen, born 7 March 1857 in Sindal, Denmark. 

MOTHER:  Ane Katrina Albertina (Annie) Nielsen, born 24 May 1870 in Vordingborg,        Denmark. 
MARRIED:  7 September, 1885 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Subject was of Danish extraction.  His father emigrated from Denmark arriving in   Napier, New Zealand in 1875 in the German sailing ship "Friedeburg".  His mother, at the              age of two years, emigrated with her family from Denmark arriving in Wellington, New                 Zealand on 14 July 1873 in the sailing ship "Halcione".  Both were original settlers at           Mauriceville West, New Zealand.  After marriage, Jens Peter Petersen and his wife, known also                as Anna, remained in Mauriceville West where Jens was engaged in carpentry and farming.  The               family left Mauriceville West about 1915 and took up resident in Palmerston North.  There were                 seven children in the family plus one adopted grandson:
Mabel Johann   born 10 December, 1889; died
William Andrew                                                   24 March, 1891
James Henry                                                          3   April, 1893
Ernest Peter                                                          18   April, 1896
Thomas Oliver                                                      27   June, 1898
George Conrad                                                     19   June, 1900
Rose Christine                                      11   Sept, 1902
Arthur Alwyn (adopted son of Mabel Johann) 11   June, 1907

Subject attended the Mauriceville West Primary School.  He had basic primary      schooling only.

In his early working life, subject was employed as a laborer.  It is known that he worked      as a laborer in the brickworks of John Prentice at Palmerston North and seems to have continued        in that job until he went into the Army in 1917.

On his return from the War in 1919 he served an adult apprenticeship as a carpenter.           About 1925, he commenced a further adult apprenticeship in bricklaying.  Subject was self-  employed as a bricklayer from about 1927 until 1942 when he volunteered for military service.
Colin Peterson

In 1945 he and his brothers, Ernest and Arthur who were carpenters, formed a       partnership and were engaged in building houses in Palmerston North until James retired in       1957.

First marriage was to Olive Prentice on 20 October 1915 at Palmerston North.  There             were two children by the marriage.  

Olive Prentice Petersen died on 27 August 19438 in Palmerston North.

Born  Palmerston North, 7 June 1920,

Audrey Grace Merle, born Palmerston North, 4 August 1923;  She died on 30 March 1978 in Wellington.

SECOND MARRIAGE was to Rhode Smidt at Palmerston North in 1951.  She died in            Palmerston North on 27 March 1985.  There were no children by the marriage.

Subject was called up for military service during the First World War and served in the New Zealand Army in the ranks in Wellington Infantry Regiment between 29 March 1917 and 27 June 1919.  He served in France and was actually in the front line when the armistice was declared.  His brother Ernest also served with him in the same battalion.

Volunteered for service in the New Zealand Army in 1942 and served for about six months with a veteran infantry battalion based at Blenheim, N.Z.  He then transferred to the Royal N.Z. Airforce and saw further service as a Leading Aircraftsman in a Works Maintenance                 Unit at Ohakea Airbase near Palmerston North.  He was discharged from service about June,             1944.

Subject had a keen interest in hunting and trapping and prior to the Second World War,     he would spend time in the bush engaged in these pursuits which he regarded as a holiday or as                relaxation from his normal employment.  Friends from Mauriceville West often joined him in
these forays which were in the Taraua and Ruahine Ranges. 

Subject did not belong to any fraternities or lodges except the N. Z. Returned Services        Association.

It is not know where James lived prior to his first marriage but it is assumed that he moved from Mauriceville West to Palmerston North when his family moved there in about 1914-        15.  Nor is it known where in Palmerston North he and his wife lived before he commenced service in the Army in 1917 but after the War in 1920, he, with the aid of his brothers, William and Ernest, had a house constructed at 8 Lyndhurst Street, Palmerston North where he resided until 1925.  He then had another house constructed at 30 Argyle Avenue in 1926 and in 1928, another house at 3 9 Argyle Avenue, Palmerston North.  He and his family remained there until 1946 when he constructed a house at 8 Lombard Street, Palmerston North.  He resided there until he died in 1958.

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