|Corporal T. Spyers of the Manawatu Mounted Rifles. This New Zealand unit was raised in Palmerston North in May
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 widow and I have not
been able to locate the husbands name though I suspect it may have been Thomas also. The son was named Thomas
R. (born about 1869) and the slightly older Thomas G. the nephew (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.
H. P. Bassett - Photographer
High Street. Weybridge, Surrey, England
|Above: The period ink inscription on the photos reverse identifying