The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]
Naval and Garrison Artillery — Volunteers
Naval and Garrison Artillery
Auckland Naval Artillery. This is the premier corps of naval artillery volunteers in the Colony, its formation dating from the 20th of February, 1866. It is a very efficient and smart body of men, ranking as “first class” in the Commandant's annual report, and has a total strength of 100. Officers:—Lieutenant-Commanding Clemens; Lieutenants Salmon, Endean and Baxendale; Surgeon-Major Walker.
Lieutenant Commanding C. Henry Clemens, of the Auckland Naval Artillery, is a native of Plymouth, England. He came to New Zealand in 1884 with a good military knowledge, and some time later assisted to form the company known as the Queen's Own Rifles. When this company disbanded Mr Clemens ceased his connection with the volunteers for a time, but eventually joined the Auckland Naval Artillery, in 1891, as a commissioned officer. In 1896 he was promoted to the position of Lieutenant Commanding, which he still retains.
Lieutenant T. B. Salmon, Auckland Naval Artillery, joined the Volunteer force in 1875, when he entered the No. 3 Auckland Rifle Volunteers. A year later he was transferred to the A Battery, New Zealand Artillery, and served in this company until the outbreak of the Parihaka Maoris, in 1881, when he volunteered for the front. Shortly after the return of the troops, Lieut. Salmon resigned from the service. In 1887 he joined the Blenheim Rifle Volunteers, and two years later received his commission as lieutenant in that company. He was granted a captain's certificate at this examination. Lieut. Salmon has held his present commission since 1897. He holds several valuable trophies of his skill as a marksman.
Lieut. J. A. Endean.
Lieutenant Baxendale, of the Auckland Naval Artillery, is a commercial traveller for the well known firm of Messrs Bycroft and Co., millers, Auckland.
Mr. George Moore, Chief Petty-Officer, Auckland Naval Artillery. This well-known figure in Auckland Volunteer matters has a long and worthy record of service. He is the son of Mr. Moore who was farrier of the 58th Regiment, and was born in Auckland in 1857, and educated in Parnell. He joined the Auckland Naval Artillery as seaman in 1875 and six years later was promoted to the rank of petty-officer for saving a comrade's life. He was promoted to his present rank in 1890. Mr. Moore holds certificates for submarine mining and big gun drill, from 1889 onwards. In all, he has had twenty-seven years' service as a Volunteer, not to mention his services in the Auckland Fire Brigade. As a whaleboat rower, Mr. Moore holds a high record. For many years he has been a member of the Waitemata Rowing Club and has taken part in almost every important whale-boat race held in Auckland during late years. From the fact that he holds over thirty-four medals, and certificates of honour from the United Fire Brigades Association, principally for rowing events, it will be seen that his claim as a representative New Zealand athlete is very well sustained.
Surgeon-Major Walker received his appointment to the Auckland Naval Artillery on the 3rd of June, 1896. Dr Walker is elsewhere referred to as an excity councillor of Auckland.
The Rev. Mr Ferguson, Presbyterian minister, is the Honorary Chaplain to the Auckland Naval Artillery.
Ponsonby Naval Artillery. This smart corps was formed in 1885 from members of the Ponsonby Rowing Club, Captain J. B. Morpeth being the first commander of the battery. It is noteworthy that the Ponsonby Naval Artillery is the only corps still in existence out of eight or ten formed at the same time. The corps is credited with initiating the annual big gun drill, the men going over to the fortifications in order to perfect themselves in the handling of the various great guns. In 1890 the corps amalgamated with the Devonport Navals, and the result is that they are able to put some particularly smart cutter crews into the various races which take place in the summer months. The corps at the present time (1900) numbers about 107, and has a reputation for general efficiency and smartness. They have always been able to put good teams into the field for the various rifle shooting competitions in which they engage, and their representatives usually give a good account of themselves. The Ponsonby Navals are therefore justly regarded as an efficient Volunteer corps, one in which both officers and men strive to do their duty in the best possible spirit.
Lieut.-Commanding G. W. S. Patterson, Ponsonby Naval Artillery. This popular officer is a well known kauri gum merchant of Auckland, and he is elsewhere referred to in that capacity.
Lieutenant Joseph Christopher Spinley, Ponsonby Naval Artillery, joined the Volunteer Force in 1879 as a member of the corps known as the Auckland Engineers with which he served two years. He was in 1884 one of the promoters of the Devonport Navals, which he entered as seaman. On the amalgamation of the Devonport and Ponsonby Naval Artillery in 1890. Lieutenant Spinley was transferred to the latter corps, with the rank of chief petty-officer. Five years later he was offered and accepted the commission of lieutenant of the corps. It should be mentioned that Lieutenant Spinley had six years of experience in submarine mining under Captain Falconer, and has taken all the certificates possible in that branch of the service. As a marksman he has always been consistent, being what is known as a good “average shot”; it is worthy of notice that all the Spinley brothers have a reputation as good shots, and have between them won many valuable trophies in various parts of the Colony. Lieutenant Spinley was one of the contingent despatched to Opotiki during the “Te Kooti scare,” and was for some time employed in drilling the local settlers as a precaution against further trouble. Mr. Spinley is a native of Lincolnshire, in which central English country he was born in 1860. He arrived in New Zealand in 1875, served at the plumbing trade in Auckland, and eventually established himself in business at the North Shore. He was one of the founders of Lodge Nil Desperandum in 1882, and for some time acted as secretary of that lodge. Mr. Spinley is married to a daughter of the late Mr. T. B. King, who took part in the Maori war, and has six sons and three daughters.
Lieut. P. M. Mackay, of the Ponsonby Naval Artillery, is the manager of Dr Neil's Botanic Dispensary.
Devonport Submarine Miners. This efficient corps was established on the 7th of July, 1894. At the present time (1900) the total strength of the corps is 104. Officers: Lieut.-Commanding Parker; Lieutenants Davis, Robinson, and Reid.-
Lieutenant Commanding Parker, of the Devonport Sub-Marine page 163 Miners, holds a position as a Custom House officer in Auckland. Mr Parker has been connected with the volunteers for many years. When this section was being prepared in November, 1900, he was in Sydney on a trip for the benefit of his health.
Lieutenant Ernest Davis, of the Devonport Sub-Marine Miners, is the eldest son of Mr Moss Davis, of Hancock and Co.'s brewery, Auckland, and was born and educated at Nelson. He is now manager of the firm. Mr Davis has been connected with the Devonport Sub-Marine Miners for some years, and now holds the rank of lieutenant. He is an ardent yachtsman, and his yacht is considered one of the smartest in the harbour of Auckland. Mr Davis is married to a young lady noted for her musical talent and culture.
Lieutenant William Charles Robinson, of the Devonport Naval Sub-Marine Miners, is a son of Mr C. Robinson, custodian of the Government buildings, Auckland, and was born at Wellington, in 1875. On leaving school he studied engineering for four years. In 1892 he entered the Government service at Auckland, as a temporary clerk, and is now chief clerk in the Auckland branch of the Department of Agriculture. Mr Robinson comes of a military family; his grandfather was in the 65th Regiment, his father was in the old Wanganui Yeomanry, and in 1885 five members of the family were members of the D Battery, Wellington. Mr Robinson first joined the D Battery as trumpeter, and transferred from that corps to the Auckland City Guards. Later on he withdrew from volunteering for two years, but in 1897, he joined the Devonport Navals, and, on passing his examination, received his commission. His practical knowledge of engineering particularly qualifies him for his position in the Sub-Marine Miners.
Lieutenant William Douglas Reid, of the Devonport Sub-Marine Miners, is fully referred to in his capacity as the Government Examiner of Masters' and Mates' certificates.
Lieut. W. D. Reid.
The Devonport Coast Guard Artillery Volunteers. The garrison artillery corps known as the Devonport Coast Guard Artillery was raised in 1898 by Captain Napier, M.H.R. The Company consists of one hundred officers and men, and is located at Devonport, the marine suburb of Auckland, where the forts are situated. Fort Takapuna is in the charge of the company, with Captain Napier as Battery Commander. Fort Victoria, a new fort, has also been entrusted to a detachment from the company. The gunners drill at the big guns once a week, and have already attained a high state of efficiency. Through the energy of its commander, the corps possesses its own rifle range and a suite of orderly rooms and barracks at Devonport, as well as a parade ground, which is brilliantly illuminated on drill nights with a number of powerful page 164 incandescent gas lamps. The company not only practises rifle and big gun drill, but also frequently engages in practice with Nordenfeldt quick firers of long range.
Captain Napier is referred to elsewhere as Senior Member for the City of Auckland in the House of Representatives.
Captain W. J. Napier.
Lieutenant Robert Gardner, of the Devonport Coast Guards, was born and educated at Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland. After a short commercial experience he joined the Royal Bank of Scotland, and remained in that institution until 1887, when he came to New Zealand to fill an appointment in the Colonial Bank at Christchurch. On his arrival in Auckland in 1896 he joined the A Battery, and on the formation of the Coast Guard Corps he entered it with the rank of lieutenant.
Lieutenant Edward Lowder Lees, of the Devonport Coast Guard Artillery, is a son of the late Mr W. L. Lees, of Dunedin, and was born and educated in that city. In 1890 he removed to Auckland, where he joined the service of the Loan and Mercantile Company. He was a member of the Dunedin High School Cadets and was for two years in the Otago Hussars. Mr Lees joined the Devonport Coast Guards in 1900, and is now acting-lieutenant.
Surgeon Captain G. T. de Clive Lowe received his appointment to the Devonport Coast Guards on the 8th of September, 1898.