6 August 2014

Final Resting Places: - John and Mia Hurrell

Ruru Lawn Cemetery in Christchurch, New Zealand is the final resting place for my husband's paternal grandparents, John Joseph and Mia Edith Myrtle (nee PRESTIDGE) HURRELL.

Mia (nee PRESTIDGE) and John HURRELL **

John Joseph HURRELL was born on the 16th of November 1901 in Park Road, Christchurch, the fourth child and eldest son of Albert Augustus and Fanny Frances (nee BRUNT) HURRELL. John grew up in Christchurch alongside his six siblings; Maude (b. 1897), Olive Myrtle (b. 1899), Lawrence Edgar (b. 1900), William Romney (b. 1904), George Edward (b. 1906) and Frank (b. 1910). 

On the 23rd of February 1927 John married Mia PRESTIDGE at the St Michael's and All Angels Church in Christchurch. John was aged 25 and Mia 19.

Mia was born Edith Mia Myrtle PRESTIDGE on the 17th of February 1907,  the fifth daughter of Alice Augusta Jean EDWARD and the second daughter of Edward PRESTIDGE. She had an older sister Elsie Hannah Jane PRESTIDGE (b. 1904), and three older half sisters, Eleanor Alice Mary WARREN (b. 1894), Anita Dorothy WARREN (b. 1896) and Penelope Maude WARREN (b. 1899).

At the time of their marriage John was working as a motor driver. The newly-weds settled in Christchurch and went on to have a family of four children together; John Edward Albert (b. 1929, d. 1979), Frances, Alice and Kevin.

An untimely death

John was accidentally killed on the 19th of August 1954, aged just 52 years. I located his death registration and it reveals the terrible truth of what actually happened to him. His cause of death is listed as:

"Coroners finding: Cardio respiratory failure caused by lacerations and contusions
of the brain when a bicycle ridden by deceased collided with a Transport Board
bus at the intersection of Oxford Terrace and Antigma Street, Christchurch."

His accident must have been a huge shock to his family. His children were aged between 10 and 25 at the time. Mia lived in Christchurch for the rest of her life until her death 11 years later on the 14th of September 1965. She was aged just 58 years old. She was buried on the 16th of September alongside John at the Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Christchurch.

The plaque belonging to my husband's paternal grandparents, John and
Mia HURRELL, Block 36, Plot 278, Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Christchurch


(Please note: the photo marked ** is not mine and was kindly loaned to me by Frances, daughter of John and Mia)

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