19 October 2012

Is this Lionel Alfred Skipworth 1897-1932


Subject: Lionel Skipworth
Date: WWI
Photographer: Ellerbeck Studio, Gisborne
Found: TradeMe

Here we have another little mystery to solve. This time a postcard photograph of a man in what looks like a WWI military uniform. I’m no expert on Army Uniforms but his hat looks to me like it might be the one known as the ‘lemon squeezer’, hard to tell really. Lemon-Squeezer I found some information on the Ellerbeck Studio in Gisborne, it was opened in 1902 by Lawrence Anderson Ellerbeck and most probably continued there until the Ellerbeck family moved to Wellington sometime between 1919 & 1928.







I Googled ‘75 Thorndon Quay’, which is in Wellington but there’s only a carpark there now! Beat may have been his sweetheart, or a cousin or just a friend, whoever she was she didn’t marry him!

Lionel survived the war and in 1922 he married Mary Marjoribanks. In the 1928 Electoral Roll they are listed as living at different addresses in Gisborne but at some stage they must have been living together as they had a baby in 1929, unfortunately the child was stillborn. As the online births only go up to 1912 I don’t know if they had any other children.



NZ Births
1929/27411    Skipworth    NR    Mary    Lionel Alfred    S

In the 1935 Electoral Roll Mary is listed as a widow, Lionel passed away earlier that year and Mary died in 1945 aged 47.

NZ Deaths
1932/11517 Skipworth Lionel Alfred 35Y
1945/16797 Skipworth Mary 47Y

Lionel doesn’t seem to have been born in NZ, I can find no birth registration for him. His mother was Margaret nee Ruddock, she married Alfred Skipworth in 1896 at the age of 38. Lionel was born about 1897, his parents were married in NZ so I don’t know why I can’t find a birth reg for him, there’s nothing under either Skipworth or Ruddock. Alfred & Margaret were living in Gisborne in 1900 but I can’t seem to find them together after that, they’re both living at various addresses in the region until Margaret died in 1933 aged 74. They don’t seem to have had any other children. However, we know by the above Cenotaph record that Margaret was his mother, she was living at the same address in 1919.

References: Early New Zealand Photographers; ancestry.com; NZ BMDs; Auckland Museum.


If anyone knows anything about or is connected to the SKIPWORTH family please do contact me, I would love to pass this photo onto a family member. Contact by email is preferable but if you are going to leave a comment please don’t forget to include your email address.

Dawn Scotting


SweetPea said...

Hi Dawn
I see there is a WW1 military file for Lionel (service number 79418) at Archives NZ (R7817901). His attestation form should say where and when he was born. Have you requested for it to be digitised? If not, I can do this.
Regards, Susan

courtneycotton01@gmail.com said...

Thanks for the offer Susan. I didn't think to check the archives but I don't think I will now. You didn't leave me any way to contact you but thanks anyway.