James Anderson Gallot

11/17/02

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James Anderson Gallot and Vera Rebecca Wilson

James was born in 1901 to Ernest and Annie Gallot, in Auckland, NZ and named after 'old uncle' James Wright Anderson.  At age 9 James lost his arm, just above the elbow, in an accident involving a circular saw, whilst playing near a sawmill. After the accident he was taken in a hansom cab to Coopers the Chemist (cnr Victoria St and Hobson St) and then to hospital. When he had the accident the family was still living at 8a Foleys Lane, behind Thompson & Hills Jam factory. James spent a long time in hospital and was not expected to recover.  He did recover, however and grew to be a very large man. He became a general labourer / carpenter, as best he could with one arm. 

In 1926, Jim was married to Vera Rebecca Wilson.  Vera was the daughter of a catholic miner from Huntly, near Hamilton, NZ.  After her father died, she was raised by her mother and new stepfather, Mr Cross, who already had children; Margaret and Des Cross.

James and Vera lived first in France St, then in Inkerman St, off Sale St in Freemans Bay. They had five children, Jean, Robert, Len, Tommy and Ann Margaret (who was known as just Margaret).  The children were not raised as catholic.  James' mother Annie sometimes had the children around and and Pearl and Gladys would bake and give them a 'party' tea. Jim used to hawk fruit and vegetables and went around the pubs selling flowers. During the depression he was sent to the King country to plant trees at a work camp.  The conditions at these camps were very poor, they did not get adequate food and were paid a pittance.

James’ heavy drinking could have been a factor in his fatal pneumonia that he contracted, dying in 1937 and leaving his youngest, Margaret, fatherless at only 6 months old.  James got pneumonia and was collected by ambulance to go to hospital. His leg was injured as he was being put in the ambulance and he died of blood poisoning from this wound.

 “On June 30 at Auckland Hospital, James Anderson, beloved husband of Vera of 6 Inkerman St, and eldest son of Mrs A Gallot 18 Rose Rd Ponsonby, aged 36 years.  Funeral leaves McIvor & Sons, 10 a.m. (Friday) for Waikumete.”

Following James death, times were very hard for Vera and the children.  Two years after James’ death the family home was destroyed by fire and all the children, other than Margaret, were sent to the Takapuna Orphanage, Auckland and Vera returned to Mananui to stay with her sister, Millie and her husband Hugh Louge.

 It wasn’t until 6 years later that Vera’ second husband, Alec Grey retrieved Thomas and Jean from the orphanage.  The older two boys were, 14 and 15 now, old enough to go out on their own, and Alec did not want to take them on.

 Things were still tough in the Grey household.  Alec’s lifestyle caused the family to struggle for money, and night flights to avoid debt collection were not uncommon.  When Thomas was able, he left to join the army, sending back money when possible and brought things for Vera, Margaret and stepbrother Ben.

Vera spent some of her elderly life in the Te Awamutu rest home before suffering a fatal brain haemorrhage. She is buried in an unmarked plot in Te Awamutu Cemetery, plot # 1344. She died in Tokanui Hospital 2nd May 1960 and was buried 4th May 1960 aged 55. This photo shows plot # 1344; the existing headstone has one unmarked gravesite to the right of it and Vera’s to the right of that, on the end of the row.

 

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This site was last updated 11/17/02