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Albert and Elsie Cone

Albert Charles ConeAlbert and Elsie ConeElsie Marion Cone

Albert Charles Cone was born at Ashley Bank 31st May 1874 and shortly afterwards, his parents, Fred and Sarah left with their two small sons to make their home at for Waitohi. It was an isolated and tight-knit farm community with only the roughest of roads. Albert's education was received at the Waitohi School. As he grew the family would have assisted their father with the stock on the farm and helped their mother with firewood and carry in water to their cob home from the well dug by Fred.

In Oct 1892 Three youths, Albert among them had to answer to charges of housebreaking at Temuka - they pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to two months hard labour.  Both counsel urged that the proceedings of the boys were due to a spirit of mischief rather than to criminality, and Mr Hay called two late employers of Cone, who gave him a
Albert Charles Cone
good character. As there was nothing known against the prisoners. His Honour, addressing the boys, said if it had been open to him he would have them soundly flogged, but under the law they were too old for that, it did not follow, however, that they should escape punishment altogether. He was willing, however, to take into consideration the view that they had not acted with an altogether criminal intent, but with more of mischievousness and thoughtlessness. The sentence, he hoped that it would act as a learning to them, and if it did not cure them of the propensities they had shown, would be remembered in a degree very much in excess of the treasure of the present sentence.

Albert was a shepherd for John Lecky of Rangiora when he joined the "Rough Riders" as as a volunteer and went with the Third Contingent doing service in South Africa - money for the cause had been raised for equipment mainly by public subscription. The contingent sailed 17th February 1900 in the "Knight Templar" and arrived at London 26th March. They entrained for Aliwal North on the south eastern border of the Orange Free State. Here, despite being well supplied with food water and ammunition, the Boers proved elusive. They marched south for Kroonstadt where they were amalgamated with the 1st and 2nd Contingents. They were frequently called upon to hold difficult ground against strong enemy pressure.

Conditions in South Africa were so severe that issued uniforms deteriorated quickly - they rotted, ripped and were often left behind in camps never returned to. They were worn for weeks on end, slept in and long days in the saddle and lack of washing took their toll on uniforms. Desperate New Zealanders resorted to looting civilian clothes for especially for something warm.
Albert was invalided home on the 13th December 1900 and was met at the Garrison Hall, Dunedin 24th January suffering the effects of enteric fever. When discharged, 24th April 1901, Albert states his trade as "mechanical engineer" and the following month, on June 22, he and Elsie Marion Burt were married at Rangiora.
Wedding portrait: Albert Charles Cone and Elsie Marion Burt, 21 June 1901. Front left: Mother of the groom, Sarah Cone nee Barnard seated left; the brides parents, Elizabeth Sarah nee Ivory seated right, with husband William Alfred Burt standing behind her.

At Christchurch, from about 1880, numerous private companies operated horse and steam powered trams along Christchurch streets but progress demanded the city review its transport to catch up with other cities. At a meeting held in January 1903, the Christchurch Tramway Board was formed to set up a public transport service which would be responsible for the construction, purchasing and ownership of transport. It became the Christchurch Transport Board (CTB) and electric trams ran from 1905. Albert gained a position as a tram engine driver commencing work in 14 Mar 1909 - after 28 yrs service, he retired 23 Dec 1937.  

When WWII was over, Christchurch residents saw the tram tracks start disappearing from streets and were being replaced by buses - the last line to go was Papanui in 1954, . However, in Feb 1995, Christchurch opened a 2.5-kilometre central city loop, heritage tram system, and running all year round, as well as a 1.4-kilometre extension opened in Feb 2015  and a tram museum at the Ferrymead Heritage Park with operating trams (Photo below: Albert and his conductors photographed en route to Cathedral Square)

Albert and Elsie's made their home at 5 Ngairo Street Christchuch  where they brought up their 4 children - Doris, Ivy, Charles and Marjorie. Sadly, they lost two sons - their first-born, Albert (Bertie) Alfred CONE (b: 8 Jan, 1902 in Timaru who  d: July 11, 1908  - he was bur: Rangiora) and Raymond Edwin CONE (b: Oct 1908 in Christchurch, d: June 28, 1917 in Christchurch Bur: Sydenham Cemetery with his parents
 
Cone family - Mother Elsie Marion (nee Burt); Marjorie Beryl; Hector
Charles; father Albert Charles Cone; Doris Elsie Ivory; Ivy Marion 
Bertie 
Raymond
Albert Cone d: 29 Dec 1942 in Christchurch 68Y and was bur: 31 Dec 1942 Sydenham Cemetery, Christchurch - his occ: said to be Carpenter; his probate says "Retired Tram Driver"

Elsie d: 25 Mar 1976 in Christchurch; Bur: 27 Mar 1976 Sydenham Cemetery, Christchurch

 
 
Sydenham Cemetery

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