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Fred and Ruth Guilford

Marriage of Fred and Ruth GuilfordFREDERICK WILLIAM GUILFORD was born October 10, 1904 in Timaru, occupation: Farmer; and died November 14, 1990 in Geraldine. Buried St Thomas Church, Woodbury He married RUTH BATCHELDOR October 15, 1928 in Gisborne, daughter of ROBERT BATCHELDOR and EDITH GRIFFIN. She was born August 01, 1908 in Portsmouth, England, and died August 20, 1996 in Geraldine.

Ruth top left
Ruth came to New Zealand under the Flock House scheme which was undertaken by the New Zealand Government to acknowledge the debt to those British seamen either killed or wounded in WW1 and their children were to be trained as farm workers. Ruth's two brothers came out in the 2nd draft in 1924 and Ruth came out in the first draft extended to take girls, in 1926.


(1)FAY MARION GUILFORD was born in Gisborne. She married Fairlie-born LEONARD FRANCIS ISITT at Fairlie, the son of FRANCIS CHARLES ISITT and LILY MIRIAM* LYNN. Their children:

(a)JOHN COURTNEY ISITT married SONIA CANTON in Murchison, daughter of CHARLES CANTON and CORALIE OXHAM where she was born. Their son is ANDREW CHARLES ISITT
(b)RUTH JANETTE ISITT, b. Timaru; married EVAN JAMES TAYLOR in Christchurch, son of ASHLEY TAYLOR and ELAINE PICKET. He was born in Hamilton. Their 3 Christchurch-born children are RACHEL SARAH; OLIVIA CLAIRE and BENJAMIN JAMES TAYLOR.
(c) DAVID ISITT, b. Timaru. married ANDREA ELIZABETH RODGERS in Christchurch, daughter of ANTHONY RODGERS and ELIZABETH SKELTON. Their 3 children are SAMUEL JORDAN b. Christchurch; MITCHELL LEWIS b. Rangiora and SHELDON WILLIAM b. ChCh. 
(2) ROBERT FRANCIS KEITH* GUILFORD (b: 3 Mar 1835 in Gisborne; d: 08 Feb 2016; bur: St Thomas Church, Woodbury)
Keith mar: 12 Aug 1967 at Gisborne to his cousin HELEN EDITH BATCHELDOR, daughter of KEN BATCHELDOR and DOROTHY JONES
 Their 2 children were born at Geraldine: TRACY ANN and COLIN KENNETH

(3) ROGER FREDERICK GUILFORD (b: 26 July 1939 at Gisborne; d: 29 May 2009 at Mayfield, Canterbury; bur: St Thomas Church, Woodbury)He mar: 20 Oct 1962 at Geraldine to VALERIE ANN RICE at Geraldine, Christchurch-born daughter of RAYMOND RICE and EDITH EVANS. 
Roger Guilford

(4) DONALD PETER* GUILFORD was born in Gisborne. He married (1) JANICE AVERIL SMITH in Geraldine, daughter of WILLIAM SMITH and BESSIE ??. Their 2 children born at Geraldine are JEFFREY PETER and ANDREA MAREE who married ROGER JAMES COTTON at Ashburton.
Peter married (2) SUSAN MARLENE THOMPSON in Ashburton, daughter of VAL HOGG. She was born in Ashburton. They have a son BRADLEY JAMES born at Ashburton.

(5) GRAEME KENNETH GUILFORD was born in Timaru. He married (1) KATHRYN REES in Geraldine. Graeme's second marriage was to (2) GLEE LYNECE BROWN NEE DUNGEY 1981, daughter of GRAHAM DUNGY and LEZIE. Their 3 children were born in Timaru - PHILLIP GRAEME, DALLAS LEE and LEAH JANE

Emerald Wedding celebrations with the family
Emerald Wedding Anniversary
Back row: John Isitt; Evan Taylor; David Isitt; Roger, Graeme and Peter Guilford. 2nd Row: Deborah and Valerie Guilford; Ruth Taylor, Glee Guilford; Fay Isitt; Bryan Guilford; Dorothy Batcheldor; Helen and Keith Guilford. Seated: Ruth holding Phillip Guilford; Fred, Tracey and Colin Guilford.

Autobiography of Frederick William Guilford (1904 - 1990)

Dated 15th July 1974:

I was born at Timaru, the youngest son of Francis Charles Guilford. He was at that time employed as a grocer, driving a light horse-drawn wagon around surrounding districts and taking orders for and delivering groceries. We lived at Maori Hill, Timaru. I started school at Waimaitai and when six, we moved to Pages Road. Here my parents took up farming and our family attended the Gleniti School and helped with the general farm work.
In 1916 my father gave up dairy farming. He held a clearing sale and bought a property in Cattle Valley, 10 miles on the Geraldine side of Fairlie. It was really isolated in those days and our only transport, a horse and cart so we did not get out much. I walked the two miles to the Skipton School - the roll was four girls and me the only boy so when it closed at the years end, my schooling finished.
I worked at home until I was 18, when I took up rabbiting ( they were very numerous) for a living - poisoning, trapping and had a pack of 20 dogs.
I left home three years later and tried my hand at goldmining at Queenstown, before working on the Kawarau Dam across the outlet to Lake Wakatipu. The top of the dam acts as a road bridge and is on the way to Kingston. Pay was 14 shillings a day - pick and shovel work, hard and backbreaking, using a crowbar to move the rock slabs and 30 shillings went each week on food. I found hotel work offered the opportunity to travel and see more of New Zealand, so when the job finished, I worked in Queenstown at the "White Star". Then in 1926 I moved on to the "Empire" and the "Grand Hotel" at Rotorua. The pay was 2 Pounds for a sixty hour week starting at 5.30 a.m. Next, to Gisborne but here my luck ran out. Jobs were almost impossible to find and it was weeks later that I eventually got work with a roading contractor on the old Gladstone Road, getting it ready for tarsealing - horses and drays, and the soil and gravel were shovelled by hand. The heat and dust paid 1/9d. an hour and my board cost 30 shillings. When the job finished I was lucky to get employment at the "Masonic Hotel" as a cook, but after working in the hot kitchen a chill had me hospitalised for 3 weeks. My employer kept my job open for me which was good of him. It was a year later when I was barman at the "Coronation Hotel" that Ruth and I met, and we married in October 1928 at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Gisborne.
My father prevailed on us to return to Cattle Valley. Pay 30 shillings a week to live on for milking cows, grubbing gorse and driving a team of horses - a parent is not always the easiest employer. Then illhealth in Ruth's family saw us return to Gisborne. Now the depression made living there a struggle to survive. I took what work came my way but with children of my own to support, and after the death of Ruth's mother, a sick father and her two brothers, life was very difficult. We were able to rent a nice house with a bit of land, kept a cow and a few fowls, and with a good garden it helped towards our living expenses. I was lucky to have a job was offered me with Gosford Fish Company - the work entailed driving a truck carting fish from the wharf to the depot and doing shed work. This kept me in employment for a year when I thought I would be independent so got myself a light car and bought fish wholesale. I hawked it about the countryside selling it at a small profit and went right up the east coast and visited the Maori Pas. Maoris like fish but seldon have any money -you had to be careful or you could lose both money and fish! This idea did not make my fortune.
We were then able to get a small place in the country. It was the middle of the depression. Men were out of work everywhere and on the dole. Some were getting as little as 8 shillings a fortnight. I struck it lucky when I got a job from an old lady and I finished with the fish business fast! I was to get 10 shillings a day and work for 6 days a week.
I was in clover and I stayed there 6 years. Our house was cramped as we still had Ruth's family with us, but we were able to take another house close by. It had 8 acres, a good house and the orchard was mainly apples. These received only 2/6d a case but it was better than being on the dole, and could be worked in conjunction with my gardening job. But good things come to an end. The place was put on the market so we once again had to move, this time back to town. This left me biking 9 miles to work daily so I was forced to find another job. Back to the fish business - this time, the Gisborne fisheries at 3 Pound 10 shillings a week and long hours from 6 am to 6 or 7 at night. But it was work.
I was fortunate eventually in 1938 to obtain a 6 year lease a small dairy farm at Bushmere, near Gisborne. My wildest dreams were answered, milking cows, a horse, several pigs, a good house and buildings. I took casual work as well. Then, war came and home guard duty and food production. I managed then to get a second farm lease at Waenga-a-hika on the banks of the Wairoa River growing maize and other crops and milking cows by hand as we were without electricity. A disasterous flood a year later topped the banks and flowed around the house and across the farm. It was repeated a fortnight later, so we sold out and returned to the South Island and Cattle Valley with our four small children, in October 1944.
My mother who had kept poor health died in April, 1945 and two months later our fourth son was born. I took over the farm from my father two years later. He moved north to New Plymouth where his brothers and sisters lived and it was there he remarried in 1951 at the age of 75 and had a happy ten years with his 63 year old bride, Mrs Laura Oliver.
We experienced record prices for wool and lamb in 1952 and our daughter married 1955. Then in 1956 we decided to sell and purchase Tui Hills, a sheep run at Four Peaks. and were able to extend our land with adjoining properties, but due to declining returns and deteriorating health, in 1964 we sold and retired to Peel Street in Geraldine.

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