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Tom Speyers.png

Corporal T. Spyers of the Manawatu Mounted Rifles. This New Zealand unit was raised in Palmerston North, in May of 1891.

I believe that this soldier was one of two young men - a son and a nephew - both named Thomas who were living with Lucy E. Spyers at Weybridge, Chertsey, Surrey, in 1891. It the 1891 Census she is listed as a widow and although I have not been able to locate the husbands name, I suspect it may have been Thomas also. The son was named Thomas R. (born about 1869) and the slightly older nephew Thomas G. (born about 1867).  It seems that one of these young men had removed to New Zealand at some point and had returned home to Weybridge to visit the family when this portrait was taken. Unfortunately with a middle initial lacking on the photograph's inscription, it is almost impossible to tell which Thomas is actually depicted in the image.

A Tom Spyers is listed in the 1896 electoral roll for Palmerston, Manawatu, New Zealand making his living as a farmer near Kahauterawa. I am pretty certain that he is the man in the photograph. This same man is mentioned in the 29 July 1896 issue of the Wellington, New Zealand Evening Post as being involved in a £350 land dispute. Here he is referred to as Tom Spyers, of England.

Cabinet Photograph
H. P. Bassett - Photographer
High Street. Weybridge, Surrey, England
c. 1900

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