6:  Moving to New Zealand

This photo of Helen May, with her daughter Phyllis (Alfred's oldest surviving daughter), was probably taken about 1918.
Geoffrey recalled, much later, that his father (Alfred Newman Easthope) was working away from Wolverhampton for much of WW1.

During WW1, the Easthopes billeted one or two wounded New Zealanders - generally those who had lost limbs and were convalescing in Wolverhampton. Other similarly-wounded New Zealand soldiers would visit.

Phyllis, and one of these New Zealand visitors - William Henry Scott became romantically involved.  

Scottie, as he was always known, was living at Louisa Handley's boarding house in Bond Street.


Read the story of the boarding house

William Henry Scott.

The entries, kindly supplied by Val Wood, made by Scottie in Louisa's visitors' book.
From the autograph book belonging to her daughter, Vera.

Phyllis and Scottie were married on 23rd. November 1918 at the church of St. Paul in Wolverhampton.

Scottie returned on a troop ship to New Zealand, and Phyllis followed shortly after on a 'bride' ship. They settled in Gisborne, the region in which Scottie had been living prior to enlisting.  Phyllis was quite homesick in New Zealand, describing this to her mother in letters back to Wolverhampton. Eventually, her family decided to emigrate to New Zealand also, sailing on the S.S. Rimutaka  for Wellington, in 1920.

The S.S. Rimutaka.

Those travelling were Alfred, Helen May, Sylvia, Cyril and Geoffrey.

Sylvia met up on board with the 3rd mate, Thomas Nowell, romance developed, and they were later married.

On arrival in Wellington, they were met by Alfred Willcox, the son of Paul and Maud, who had been in NZ for some time.

Mabel and Lillian, Alfred's daughters from the first marriage, remained in England.  Mabel had married Hubert Reece Clarke, a farmer, on 14th June 1911.

They had two daughters, Mary and Gladys Norah. Tragically, Gladys died by drowning in the Staffordshire and  Worcester canal, at the age of 27, in 1941.  Mabel died in 1971, 10 years after her husband Hubert.

Lillian had married Samuel Hibberd, a drug merchant, on 10th December 1913. After his death in 1929, she married Frederick Day Willcox, a wine merchant, on 12th June 1934.


Lillian and Frederick Day on their wedding day.

The marriage took place in Kent, but they settled back in Wolverhampton, at Newbridge Cottage, Tettenhall.

Lillian had no children from either marriage. She died on 15th December 1971, 16 years after Fred.

For the first couple of years, the emigrant Easthopes lived in Gisborne, apart from Cyril who stayed in Wellington. Geoffrey worked as an electrician's apprentice.

In 1922, they moved to Wellington, and Geoffrey started work at Thomas Ballinger & Sons.

They lived in Russell Terrace, until Helen May's death on 26th November 1929.

Geoffrey soon after arriving in Gisborne.

Alfred and Helen May at Russell Terrace, some time between 1923 and 1929.


Alfred died on 28th July 1937. He had spent much of the time after Helen's death living in Gisborne.

Phyllis and Scottie had two children, Barbara (Bobbie) and Peter.  Sylvia and Tom also had two children, Kathleen and Shirley. Both families lived in Gisborne.  Sylvia died on 21st October 1969, Tom on 23rd March 1968. Phyllis died on 7th May1964, and Scottie on 30th December 1970.

Cyril, in Wellington, married Annie Alexander on 5th July 1930;  they had no children. Cyril died on 25th July 1969, Annie having died on 11th April 1962.

Geoffrey married Dorothy Maud Jones, in Wellington on 23rd March 1932. They had three children, Helen, Ronald and Caryll. Dorothy died on 19th October 1996 aged 87 years, and Geoffrey died soon after, on 18th December 1996, aged 90yrs.



If anyone has any further information about the family, would they please contact me, Ron Easthope, at

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