Francis Charles and Maria Guilford

Frank Guilford was the son of William and Ann Guilford one of a family of 18 children who lived at Pleasant Valley.  This close-knit farming community would gather and participate in activities to fund any perceived needs.

15 April 1890: Pleasant Valley SCHOOL CONCERT. A concert and dance in aid of the local school prize fund was held in the Pleasant Valley schoolroom on Friday evening. The programme was a varied and excellent one, Miss Menzies commencing it with a pianoforte solo. Several of the school children, under the able leadership of Mr Menzies, their master, rendered the chorus "See how merrily", in a manner amply testifying his painstaking energy. One of the features of the night was the duet "Listen to the Convent Bells" beautifully rendered by Miss Mary Brophy and Master Frank Guilford... (click date for full reportThe usual votes of thanks were passed to all those who had helped to render the concert such a decided success, and to the chairman, and the singing of "God save the Queen," by all present, terminated the proceedings. The room was then cleared for the dance, at which Mr W. M. Patrick acted most efficiently as M.C., and Mr J. Healey contributed the music. Dancing was kept up with much spirit till an early hour.

After leaving school at Pleasant Valley, Frank did labouring work around South Canterbury - his parents William and Ann, moved to Tarata, Taranaki in 1902.

Frank and Maria Cone were both 22 years old when they married 7th Jun 1899 at Waitohi  She was the daughter of Frederick Cone and Sarah nee Barnard. Fred's severe arthritis forced him to retire into Timaru and the first two years of marriage for Frank and Maria were spent working on the Cone farm where in Apr 1900, their eldest son Henry was born.

The 1902 electoral roll records Frank as a farmer and Postman at Waitohi. Later that same year, he and Maria moved to Timaru and Fred Cone's eldest son Fred took over the work on the Cone farm. The Guilfords purchased a property at Oxford Street - here daughter Lillian was born in Oct 1902. They were almost self-sufficient on this property and Frank found work as a labourer.
Son Henry and mother Maria Guilford, Oxford St.

In May 1903, Oxford Street was sold and the family moved to Maori Hill where Frank was a grocer and ran home deliveries by a light horse-drawn cart - their  youngest son Fred was born in Oct 1904. Henry was enrolled 11 Jul 1905 at the Waimataitai School. (Photographer - Hutton, 1908)

In April 1907, Frank's Private Residence address was "Main Rd, Timaru". He became a coal merchant with his coal yard in Church Street - it had a small shop adjoining and here his sisters Alice and Dot had their dressmaking business. In 1911 Frank leased out his coal business and next bought a dairy farm on Pages Road - the children attended Gleniti School. When Henry was 12, he left school - his first job was taking the milk by cart to customers. Sisters, Alice and Dot Guilford returned to Taranaki in 1914 where they continued their dressmaking business at Matai Rd, Inglewood.

War years came.  Men between the ages of 19 and 45 years were required to state in their returns their willingness or unwillingness to serve beyond New Zealand. The results of the Register were available by March 16th, 1916. From it rolls were prepared for each county, borough, or town, with which local recruiting committees were supplied. Public opinion, however, moved strongly in the direction of universal service and on August 1st, 1916, the Military Service Act was passed. This legislation entailed enlistment upon males between the ages of 20 and 45 years, The eligible men of the Dominion automatically became a "Reserve," and were divided into two divisions. The First Division consisted of unmarried men, those who had been married subsequently to May 1st, 1916, and widowers with no children. The Second Division comprised all other reservists, who were sub-divided into six classes according to the number of children. The Act provided for calling up by public ballot as men were required, but each man so called up had the right of appeal on certain defined grounds. To hear these appeals special boards were appointed. The men were called up to be medically examined, and according to their physical condition were classified: "A" fit for active service; "B1" able to be made fit by medical attention; "C1" likely to become fit for service overseas after special training; "C2" permanently unfit for active service but fit for service in New Zealand; "D" permanently unfitted for any service whatever. Voluntary enlistments were still accepted, and many men so offered themselves. The organisation for the administration of the Act was supplied chiefly by the Government Census and Statistical Department, which was assisted by certain auxiliary committees. The whole was under the direction of the Minister for Defence. The Post and Telegraph Department, the Police, and other departments, gave valuable assistance. Operating conjointly with the organisations set up under the Military Service Act was a National Efficiency Board appointed in February, 1917, for the purpose of organising industries during the war.

FOR SALE 3 good Breeding Sows in pig. Apply F. C. Guilford, Page's Road.

August Souquet was working for Frank when he enlisted WW1; 14 Aug 1915; Service No 7/1524 (his mother, Mrs A. Souquet Mount Cargill, Dunedin (contact address - Mrs Guilford, Pages Rd, Timaru) Left 19 September 1915 from Wellington, New Zealand to Suez, Egypt
20 Apr 1916; GLENITI School. This meeting was Attended by fifteen householders - Mr A. Crookshank presided. The report having read (as already published). Mr Guilford proposed a vote of thanks to members for the year's work, and for the way they had kept the finances healthy in a difficult year. Mr Bannerman (headmaster) seconded the motion, and, thanked the committee for their interest and helpfulness in all that concerned tile welfare of the school. The following were then elected out of seven nominees —-Messrs Guilford, Anderson, Ramsay, Loomes and Hooper. Mr Guilford appointed chairman, and Mr Ramsay clerk and treasurer.Added to the school Roll of Honour, the names of Daniel O'Connor and James Robinson,who gave their lives on Gallipoli.  

Timaru Herald, 28 July 1916: GLENITI RECRUITS' FAREWELLS: The largest social gathering in Gleniti for many years took place in the school last Friday evening, to entertain and say farewell to Quarter-Master-Sergeant Taylor, and Messrs Mellings, Ramsay, and Smith, who have recently enlisted The programme consisted of dancing, games, speeches, and songs, while the ladies provided a liberal! supply of refreshments. During an interval in the entertainment, Mr Guilford, chairman of the Gleniti Soldier's Farewell Committee, asked the departing soldiers to accept each a wristlet watch and a safety razor outfit, as a token of the congratulations and best wishes of the people of Glen-iti. Messrs Cruickshank and Bannerman in short speeches expressed the pride the people felt in being so well represented by the guests of the evening.These men in the stand they had taken for the protection of our highest ideals of freedom and justice, were satisfying the highest possible test of manhood. During the evening songs wore contributed by Mrs Toole. Misses Robertson; and M. Davidson, and Messrs Roach and Wild, all receiving well-deserved encores. The music for the dance was in the capable hands of Mr T.Lane who was ably assisted by Miss Davidson. Sergeant Taylor, and Messrs Cruickshank and Findlay. The committee wish to thank the residents of Gleniti and the visitors from outside whose liberality made the duties of organising so easy and pleasant.

Timaru Herald, 27 Oct 1916; Timaru A and P Show: Competed in HARNESS HORSES: Championship ribbon—Mr R. Thistleton's Fitzharold. Yearling colt, filly or gelding: J. E. Bennett 1, F C Guilford 2.

Timaru Herald, 16 Nov 1916; Last Friday evening a concert, successful in every respect, was given in the Gleniti School in aid of the School funds. The first half of the programme was contributed by the children, who by singing, reciting, acting, and. display of physical training reflected great credit on their school. The second half was an all star performance contributed by visitors from Timaru and other neighbouring districts. Even the old identities were unanimous that the entertainment attained a uniform degree of excellence unsurpassed in the history of Gleniti. The singers were Misses M. Davidson, Davie, Flanagan, Mnnro, Waddell (2), and Walker, and Messrs Chapman, Davie, Rangi, and Roach, while recitations were given by Miss Waddell and Mr Weir. Misses Munro and Robertson acted as accompanists. The crowded audience showed by their hearty applause and frequent encores how warmly they appreciated the efforts of the performers. At the end of the concert Mr Guilford, chairman of the school committee, thanked all those who had so generously contributed to the success of the evening, and at the same time to the committee's financial resources.

The opportunity came to purchase a block of land, "Pinehill" at Cattle Valley. The seller, Albert E Chapman without previous farming knowledge, had been there only four years and was eager to sell. A clearing sale was held at Pages Road and the Guilford family moved to “PineHill” at Cattle Valley which is 10 miles on the Geraldine side of Fairlie. Their only transport was a horse and cart and in those days it was considered quite isolated.   Frank & Maria farm next at Cattle Valley

On right: Family Group: Maria and Frank Guilford with their 3 children: Henry, Lillian and Fred.

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