Austen Family History

Descendants of W. R. H. and M. R. Free: Family Chart #1..
Last Updated November 2004.

William Robert Hurworth Free
Born, 24 November 1876
Died, 15 July 1942

Margaret Robertson Sloane
Born, 26 October 1882
Died, 28 October 1974

Frederick Henry Free
Born, 4 October 1909
Died 25 January 1924

May Aroha Free
Born, 13 March 1911
Married, Robert Austen Young,
11 August 1935, Auckland, NZ
Died, 15 October 1981, Christchurch, NZ
Margaret Rutherford Free
Born, 15 January 1915
Married, 8 April 1939
Died, 1994

Biographical Details:

Picture, left to right, May, Margaret & Fredie





Frederick Henry Free "Fredie" (1909-1924)
Born, 4 October 1909 at New Plymouth NZ
Died 25 January 1924.


28 January 1924 - Auckland Herald

Boy's Tragic Death
Falls 70ft. over cliff
West Coast Fatality
Father's terrible ordeal

A shocking fatality occurred near Karekare, on the West Coast, at 6.30 o'clock on Friday evening, when the 14-year old only son of Mr. W. R. H. Free, supervisor of the Telegraph Department at Auckland was killed through falling down the cliffs before the eyes of his father.
Mr. Free and his son, Frederick Henry Free, had been camping at Piha, and on Friday afternoon walked round the coast to Mercer Bay, which is one of the most inaccessible spots in the neighborhood, situated between Piha and Karekare. The cliffs at Mercer Bay rise in instances from 500ft to 600ft sheer above the water, forming a most formidable obstacle to the adventurous climber. Mr. Free and the boy started the descent of the precipitous cliffs, and had reached within 70ft of the water, when it is presumed that the boy was overtaken by giddiness. He suddenly fell backwards and crashed to the rocks below, where he lay in 6ft of water. It was subsequently ascertained that he sustained a broken neck and injured shoulder, death being instantaneous.
An agonising experience followed for Mr. Free with great risk he descended the remaining 70ft of almost perpendicular cliff and made desperate attempts to recover the body, a task that involved no little danger, on account of the treacherous nature of the rocks and the depth of water which covered the body. After almost two hours of ceaseless attempts he succeeded in bring the body to the surface and dragging it up the difficult rock slope to a place of safety above the high-water mark, the oncoming darkness prolonging the task and rending it doubly dangerous. He re-ascended the cliffs in complete darkness and made his way to the nearest neighbours, who notified the police at Avondale of the occurrence.
Constable Henrickson proceeded to the scene of the fatality early on Saturday morning, in company with Mr. Free, and the body was removed from its resting place on the ledge of the cliff and taken to the top, after much difficulty. It was conveyed later to Auckland.
An inquest was held yesterday morning, before Mr. J. W. Poynton, S.M., at the parents' residence, Alexandra Avenue, Mount Albert, when a verdict was returned of accidental death.
The cliffs at Mercer Bay are noted for their precipitous nature. Both Mr. free and his son had undertaken a good deal of climbing together, and the lad was particularly strong and alert. He was a pupil of the Mount Albert Grammar School , and was a member of St. Luke's Church Mount Albert. he showed considerable promise in elocution and singing.
The interment will take place at St. Luke's Churchyard at 4pm today.

Picture to the right, W. H. Free, believed to dated 1914. The child is most likely his grandson Fredie Free.














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Biographical Details:

Margaret Rutherford Free
Born, 15 January 1915, Ponsonby, Auckland
Married, 8 April 1939, George Anthony Ball (G A Ball died 11 December 1986)
Died 1994



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