Harold Day Cobb 
17 December 1882 - 29 November 1961

Harold was born in England on 17 December 1882. He immigrated to New Zealand with his parents and eight siblings in 1883 when he was a few months old. The family arrived in Wellington on 1 January 1884. Shortly afterwards, Harold celebrated his first birthday.

Joseph and Harriet with their children, 1883. 
Harold is the baby in his mother's arms.

The Cobb family boarded the ship 'Kiwi' to take them to their new home in Napier. They arrived in Napier on 5 January 1884. Below is the notice of arrivals to Napier.

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There they were met by Harold's aunt, Emily Lydford, and her husband Richard who had arrived in New Zealand in 1879. There were three little cousins for Harold to meet: Richard Jnr, William, and baby George.

The Cobb family lived in Port Ahuriri for a short time before shifting to Hastings around 1885. The Cobbs returned to live in Napier in 1889.

In December 1889 Harold was awarded a prize from the 'Infant School'. This school was next to Clive Square and was attached to The Main School. His sister Dorothy, and older cousins William and Richard (Jnr) Lydford also received prizes at the same prizegiving. (It is interesting to note that William Lydford was an invalid and was unable to walk for much of his life.) 

The Infact School was attached to the Main School which was
located near Clive Square. It's playground is now Memorial Park.

Harold and Dorothy, who were a year apart in age, took part in the Anglican Bible classes in schools. In 1890, while at the Hastings Street school, both siblings received awards for their biblical knowledge.

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In 1891 Harold was a member of the minister's Catechumens class at the Trinity Church along with his sisters Mary, Alice (Mabel) and Dorothy.

Harold was the groomsman at the wedding of his sister Alice (known as Mabel) to Alfred Jacobi on Wednesday 26 March, 1902. 

Wedding of Harold's sister Alice (Mabel) to Alfred Jacobi.
Harold was groomsman, and is seated at the foot of the bride.

Sadly Alice (Mabel) passed away on 1903.

On 30 March 1904, Harold's sister Mary got married. 

The wedding of Robert and Mary Graham. 30 March 1904.
From left: Harold, Harriet (seated at front), Ida Graham, Robert & Mary Graham, Dorothy, Joseph, Graham Foreman (best man). This photograph is from Mrs Cobb's studio, possibly taken by George Cobb since Harriet is in the picture.
(Photo courtesy of S Rabarts.)

Dorothy, Harold and Ida Graham,
at Mary's wedding. 1904.

According to the New Zealand Electoral Roll records for Napier, 1905/06, Harold (24-25 years old), was working as a photographer, along with his parents. He was living at the family home on Emerson Street along with two of his older sisters, Mary (27-28 years old) and Dorothy (25-26 years old) who were both listed as doing 'domestic duties' for a living. 

Harold was the best man at his sister Dorothy's wedding on 24 April 1907 at Trinity Methodist Church. Their father Joseph, and cousin Elsie Rose Lydford (known as Rose) were also witnesses.

Harold's sister Mary died on 16 February 1908 after contracting turberculosis. 

Harold married Madoline (Madge) Edwards (30 June 1886 - 3 July 1991) on 29 July 1908 by Reverend Albert C Lawry at the Trinity Methodist Church. Madge was the daughter of Waikato-born William Edwards (c1844 - July 1912), a traveler, and Louisa Fauvel De Gruchy (13 July 1855 - 11 August 1938), who was originally from the Channel Islands. At the time of the wedding, Madoline was a 22 year old shopkeeper (possibly working in the drapery business operated by her brother William Gladstone Edwards (1 Oct 1875 - 23 Apr 1914), and Harold was 25 years old and had just gone into a furniture-making business with his brother-in-law Arnold Blackman (1877 - 2 May 1955), in Te Kuiti. One of the witnesses to Harold and Madoline's wedding was Harold's cousin, George Day Lydford (18 July 1883 - 25 Aug or 16 Mar 1970), who was a carpenter in Napier. The other witness was Madge's older, unmarried sister, Lilian Gertrude Edwards (1879 - 1962). 

Wedding Certificate for Harold and Madge 1908.
The signatures on Harold and Madoline from their Wedding Certificate 1908.

Harold and Madge Cobb, just prior to departing on their honeymoon,
29 July 1908. The photograph was probably taken by Harriet Cobb.

Harold and Madge had four daughters:
  • Ethne May Cobb (23 May 1909 - 28 Oct 2000) 
  • Gwendoline (Gwen) Opoia Cobb (11 Sep 1912 - 12 Dec 2008) 
  • Dorothy Louise Cobb (30 March 1916 - ?)
  • Dawn Evelyn Cobb (1923 - 16 April 1956) 
Also in 1908, Harold went into business in Te Kuiti with his sister Dorothy's husband, Arnold. Under the name 'Blackman & Cobb
Together Arnold and Harold developed a well known shop selling household furnishings, furniture and picture framing services, and pianos and organs. They even offered their services as funeral directors. Dorothy would, apparently, make the floral arrangements. Some examples of the sales strategies for 'Blackman and Cobb' can be found in the King Country Chronicle

Harold's brother, Jack, did his joinery apprenticeship at Blackman & Cobb. 

In February 1909, Harold's wife Madge and his sister Dorothy were in attendance at the first wedding at the St Luke's Church in Te Kuiti. Both ladies wore white muslin! 

Madge's niece Gladys May (known as Masie) Edwards, died in 1909, aged 7 years. She was buried at the Old Napier Cemetery. Masie's father, William Jnr, and her brother, Donald Edwin, were also buried in the same plot, in 1914 and 1939 respectively.

Harold and Madge became parents on 23 May 1909, when their daughter Ethne May was born. Perhaps they gave their daughter the name May in remembrance of Madge's little niece who passed away the same year.

There was an important football match between Auckland and Maniapoto on Saturday 4 September 1909, at Te Kuiti. Arnold and Harold closed their shop at 1:30pm - 5pm for the occasion.

Harold and Arnold attended the first annual meeting  of the local fire brigade in August 1910, and were instrumental in getting the 'rules' for the brigade voted through.

In 1910 Harold was elected treasurer of the newly formed Pride of Te Kuiti Lodge U.A.O.D. (United Ancient Order of Druids). He was reelected treasurer in 1911. At a social event in October, Madge and her sister in law Dorothy were involved. Madge set tables, and Dorothy sang.

By Christmas Eve, 1910, the Blackman & Cobb store had reopened in new premises on Rora Street, where it seems that their wares were more prominently displayed. It was advertised that the company was specialising in glass and china, and customers were encouraged to purchase vases or china ornaments as Christmas gifts. A local paper described Blackman & Cobb as an progressive and expanding business.

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On 17 March 1911, Harold's dad, Joseph passed away after a short illness. 

The business partnership between Harold and Arnold Blackman ended by mutual concent, in June 1912, and Arnold carried on the business in his own name.

Madge's father, William, died in Napier in July 1912, aged 68.

Some time in early to mid 1912, Harold and Madge moved to 11 Te Aroha Street, Claudelands, Hamilton where Harold worked as a cabinet maker.

On 11 September 1912, Harold and Madge's daughter, Gwendoline Opia, was born. Gwen was named after one of Madge's younger sisters.

In January 1914, Ethne, who was almost five at the time, was a flower girl at the Biggs-Mathieson wedding in Hamilton.

Madge's older brother William Jnr, died in Napier, on 23 April 1914, aged 38. He was buried at the Old Napier Cemetery.

In February 1915 Harold advertised that he was selling a Blue Belton English Setter puppy which was just five months old.

Harold's name was on the New Zealand Army WW1 2nd Division Reserve Roll, 1916-17, along with his older brothers, Alf, George and Percy.

When Harold's nephew Peter Ashcroft enlisted for war in 1918, he gave his mother as his next of kin, but care of his Uncle Harold, Grey Street, Claudelands, Hamilton.

Harold and Madge's daughter, Dawn Evelyn was born on 4 March 1923. Evelyn was the name of one of Madge's younger sisters.

Harold's mother, Harriet, died in Auckland on 18 December 1929, the day after Harold's 47th birthday. She was buried in Otahuhu.

This photo of Harold appeared in the New Zealand Herald in 1930:

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Later in 1930, Harold was named as District Superintendent of the St John Ambulance, and later promoted to Commissioner, was involved with the organisation until at least 1945. Madge also was involved with the St John's. In 1938 she was an ambulance officer

In July 1933, Ethne Cobb was married. This photo of her appeared in The New Zealand Herald.

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Ethne Turnwald (nee Cobb) on her wedding day. (1933)

In 1934 there was another family wedding. This time Gwendoline married Stanley McQuoid.

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During January 1936, Madge was the ambulance officer on duty at some summer camps run by the Waikato Camp League.

Madge's mother, Louisa, passed away in their home on 11 August 1938. She had been living with them for some time after her husband died.

In September 1945, Harold and Madge's youngest daughter Dawn was engaged to Englishman Lieutenant Arthur James Rabarts. Sadly she died in 1956, leaving a husband and three small children, after suffering from polio. Dawn was buried at the Hamilton East Cemetery. 

Harold died in Hamilton on 29 November 1961, aged 78 years. 

Madge lived out her days at the St Joans Hospital, Hamilton. She passed away on 3 July 1991, aged 105. Her body was cremated.

Madge Cobb. Date of picture unknown.

The children of Harold & Madge Cobb

Ethne May Cobb (23 May 1909 - 28 October 2000) 
  • Ethne married Anton Renie Turnwald (1910 - 24 June 1964) on 29 July 1933. They had two sons, then after Ethne's sister, Dawn, died, they adopted one of her sons too.
  • Anton died in Hamilton in 1964, aged 54. His body was cremated. Ethne was also cremated following her death in 2000.
Gwendoline (Gwen) Opoia Cobb (11 Sep 1912 - 12 Dec 2008) 
  • Gwen married Stanley (Stan) Raymond McQuoid (1907 - 2 April 1951) in 1934. They had four children, three sons and a daughter:
    • Raymond (Ray) Day McQuoid (19 Mar 1936 - 4 Nov 2007). 
      • Ray married Marion Bowick (23 Aug 1936 - ) on 22 February 1958. They had a daughter and a son. Ray died of cancer in 2007, aged 71. His last address was 32 Haswell Place, Hamilton.
    • Marlene McQuoid (22 June 1937 - ) marri
      • Marlene married Frederick Roberts (16 May 1932 - ) on 11 February 1956. They had two children.
    • James (Jim) Alfred McQuoid (22 Jan 1943 - ) 
      • Jim married Nola Moore (dates unknown) on 16 April 1966. They had three children. Jim suffered from Motor Neuron Disease.
    • Brian Bertram McQuoid (10 Dec 1948 - 30 Mar1991) 
      • Brian married Stephanie Dunn in April 1968. They had two daughters. Brian also suffered from Motor Neuron Disease, and passed away in 1991, aged 49. He was buried at the Hamilton Park Cemetery, MAPLE 36-41. 
  • Stan passed away in 1951, aged 44. He is buried at the Hamilton East Cemetery A-A-82.
  • Following Stan's death, Gwendoline married Kevin Constable, an Australian.  
  • Gwen died in 2008 aged 96. She was cremated at Pyes Pa Cemetery, Tauranga. (Pyes Pa C22045.)

Dorothy (Dot) Louise Cobb (30 March 1916 - ?) 
  • Dorothy married Alfred (Alf) Henry Bott on 3 August 1938. They had one son named Anthony (Tony) Bott.
  • Alf was a priest and because of his line of work, the Bott family moved around a lot. Electoral Rolls give the following addresses for the Botts:
    • 1935 & 1938 - 2 Clyde Street, Hamilton. Alf's occupation was recorded as 'Clerk in holy orders'.
    • 1938 - 11 Te Aroha Street, Hamilton
    • 1949 & 1954 - St Mary's Vicarage, Miriamvale, Queensland. Alf worked there as a priest while Dorothy was a homemaker. 
    • 1954 - 135 Toolooa Street, Miriamvale, Queensland
    • 1963 - St Mary's Hostel, Alice Springs
    • 1968 - Thursday Island
    • 1972 - 164 Lake Street, Cairns
    • 1977 - St George's Mission, Palm Island
    • 1980 (Alf only) - St John's Rectory, Townsville

Dawn Evelyn Cobb (4 March 1923 - 16 April 1956) 
  • In 1939 Dawn attended the sixth annual reunion dance at the Hamilton Technical College.
  • In 1942 Dawn was nominated as the 'most popular girl' by the Banks and Insurance companies of Hamilton, a fun contest to raise money for Hamilton's quota for the patriotic fund.
  • Dawn married Arthur James (Jim) Rabarts (16 May 1915 - ) on 8 December 1945. Jim was a World War II veteran who was captured during the Battle of Monte Casino and been held in Germany as a prisoner of war
  • Jim and Dawn lived in Kennedy Bay, a remote region of the Corromandel Peninsula. Jim and Dawn had three children- two sons and a daughter. 
  • Sadly, Dawn died of polio in 1956 aged 33. She was buried at the Hamilton East Cemetery, G-A-55. Her last address was Kennedy's Bay. After her death, her youngest son was adopted into the Turnwald family (Dawn's older sister's family.) 
  • Jim remarried on 7 June 1962. His new wife was Ilton Doreen Joyce (Joy) Johns (born Bell). Joy already had two children from a previous marriage. Later, her son changed his name by deedpole to take on Jim's family name. Jim and Joy extended their blended family by having two daughters together.

Sources of information:

Madge Cobb (nee Edwards) and her siblings
William Gladstone Edwards Jnr (1875 - 23 April 1914) - died in Napier
Blanche Evelyn (1878 - 1878/79) - died aged 6 months
Lilian Gertrude Edwards (1879 - 1962)
Harold Edwin Edwards (1881/82 - 21 April 1958) - died in Christchurch
Madoline Edwards (30 June 1886 - 1991) 
David Henry Edwards (28 December 1888 or 1889 - 1978)
Gwendoline Edwards (1893 -?1943) [she was a classmate of J W Cobb]
Evelyn Maude Edwards (9 August 1895 - 1984)
Thelma Edwards (1899 - ?1901) 

Last updated 15 July 2020

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