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Home: Surnames: Emslie Family Genealogy Forum

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Elmslies in New Zealand
Posted by: Andrew Honeyfield Date: September 04, 2001 at 03:32:47
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G'Day,
I am researching my great great grandparents Peter and Ann Emslie who lived near Huntly in Aberdeenshire in the early to mid 1800s.
Ann's maiden name was Reid or Reed and they were farmers. I would be very grateful if anyone could tell me a little more about these two, who we know little about. Their son Peter changed his name from Emslie to Elmslie when he boarded the emigrant ship "Caribou" in 1866 at the age of 26 and headed for New Zealand. He kept a fascinating and entertaining diary of that voyage which still survives today. He was accompanied by his uncle the Rev John Elmslie (yes he changed his name at the same time)who came from Balnagowan farm at Foot-o-hill near Bennachie. Peter had many well-documented adventures in NZ, fighting in the Maori war of 1867 and eventually settling down at Waverley where he became a highly respected pioneer farmer. The Rev. John Elmslie was a padre to the troops in the Maori wars and became the Presbyterian Minister at Wanganui and later at Christchurch NZ. Peter married Ann McGregor in 1872 and had 13 children one of whom, Major James McGregor Elmslie had a distinguished military career in the Boer War (mentioned in despatches) and Gallipoli in 1915 when he led the successful night attack on "Table Top" which paved the way for the famous assault on Chunuk Bair. He was killed on the highest point of Chunuk Bair on 9th August 1915 rallying his men for a counter attack against the Turks. He was recommended on three separate occasions for the Victoria Cross but the British General Godley refused to award any medals to anyone with a higher rank than Corporal, saying they were simply doing their duty. (The Australians who were not under direct British control were awarded ten VCs at Gallipoli). Had the Chunuk Bair success been capitalised it would have had the potential to completely change the course of WW1, greatly reducing the slaughter in the trenches. Cheers, Andrew Honeyfield Te Aroha New Zealand andy.honey@xtra.co.nz


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