Halcombe, Blanche Stuart

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Born in New Plymouth in 1881, Blanche was the daughter of Annette and Wesley Turton. Her paternal grandfather was Henry Hanson Turton, a missionary, and her maternal grandfather was William Swainson, a naturalist and artist.

In 1910, Blanche travelled to England as a companion to Miss Amy. In January 1919, while in England, Blanche married Norman Marshall Halcombe (pictured),formerly of Urenui who was serving in the Royal Flying Corps, British Army. Three weeks after the ceremony, Norman tragically died of a sudden illness. Blanche returned to New Plymouth where she lived for the rest of her life. Blanche's death was equally tragic. She died when fire swept through her house on the 10th February 1961.

During her life, Blanche was an avid collector and massed a large collection of natural history specimens and ethnographical items. In accordance with her will, the ethnographic items were transferred to the Auckland Museum. Much of her natural history collection was deposited in the Taranaki Museum.

The collection of papers includes Blanche Halcombe's personal notes, letters and a diary of an overseas trip (1910-1913) and correspondence and notes on Swainson/Turton genealogy.
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Item list

  Box 1

Folder 1. Letters. From Blanche to family in New Zealand. 1910

Folder 2. Letters. From Blanche to New Zealand. 1912-1913. Also notes in journal format of a sea journey October 1917 (author unidentified).

Folder 3. Letters and Photograph. Includes a letter written from San Francisco describing the 1906 Earthquake ; Letter from Norman Halcombe to Blanche 24 Jan. 1919. Photograph of N.S. Halcombe. Letters of condolence on his death 15 Feb. 1919 at Cairo. Graduation Booklet from Leland Stanford Junior University 16 June 1919, contains newspaper clipping of the memorial service.

Folder 4. Swainson family notes and letters 1839 - 1865. Copy and photocopy of marriage certificate of William and Anne Swainson, 21 Oct. 1840.

  Box 2

Folder 5. Ephemera. Includes newspaper clippings, envelopes, stamps and embossed writing paper 'Ferngrove, Urenui, Waitara.

Folder 6. Financial correspondence. Pensions, Insurance, invoices and receipts, letters 1917-1958. Includes letters to government departments and Members of Parliament re. war pensions.

Folder 7. Letters. To Blanche. Includes Kay Fryer, C. Cornford, Mary Howard, Mary Kelly, Caroline Rowe, Mavis Holloway, Frances Watson, G. Hill, Ethel Harding, Fanny Shand, Jean and Iris Crook, Margaret Free, Daisy Hill, Clarice Douglas, Mabel Morrison, Freda Battigate, Kathleen Hoskins, A. and O. Harkness, E. Powell, Bessie McLean. 1913 - 1937.

Folder 8. Letters. Regarding Annette Devenish-Meares and Mrs Christobel Eaton Turner. Letters addressed to Bert Halcombe, including one from Lilian Ovenden. 1902 - 1938

Folder 9. Letters from Lola Kidd, Greytown. 1935-1941

Folder 10. Letters from Kate Tatham. 1936-1957

Folder 11. Letters and envelopes, authors unidentified. 1939-1951

Folder 12. Notes on family genealogy, Turton and Swainson families.

  Box 3

Folder 13. Correspondence on the Turton family, includes watercolour drawings of a house and gravesite of Douglas N. Halcombe. Transcripts by F. Lambert of some letters.

Folder 14. Notes, letters and lists re. egg collections. Notes on ornithological specimens offered or purchased.

Folder 15. Letters re. egg and bird collections. Includes correspondence with A.D. Black, Hugh Munroe, J. Coc, R. Stidolph, C. Vincent, E. Marshall, T. W. Cowan, A. Pestell, J. Marshall, A. H. Reed, Hugh Moore, A. Powell

Folder 16. Letters, notes and accounts re. gardening matters.

Book. Unanswered ornithological letters.

  Box 4

A. Gardening notebook. Handwritten notes on growing bulbs, plants and propogation.

B. Gardening notebook. Handwritten notes on growing bulbs, Plants and propogation.

C. Gardening notebook. Handwritten notes and newspaper clippings on growing bulbs, plants and propogation.

Cover only of a newspaper cutting scrapbook. Edges burnt. Notes on Pelorus Jack.

1. Photographs. Carte Postal and illustrations from published items.

2. Emphemera. Advertisements, business cards and notices from Britain and France

3. Photographs. Queenstown, N.Z. area.

4. Photographs. Britain and France.

5. Photographs. Unidentified.

6. Postcards.

  Box 5

7. Photographs. R.F.C. Egypt 1916-1917. N. M. Halcombe.

8. Coloured portrait of a young girl. Unidentified.

9.Photographs. Turton family

10.Photograph. Grave of Douglas Kirke Turton

11.Photographs. Queenstown, N.Z. Some taken by Jabez I. Turton, late of Canada. 19 Sept. 1912

12.Photographs. Unidentified

13.Photographs. Unidentified

1. Notebook. Horticultural notes

2. Notebook. Horticultural, ethnic and Natural History notes

3. Diary. 1946-1947

4. Notebook. Unused.

5. Diary. England 1915

6. Diary. 1913

7. Notebook. Contains accounts, notes, quotations.

8. Diary. Calendar 1934

9. Account book. Has name A. Swainson on cover and on verso Dec. 1871, in different handwriting My daffodils 1937, contains a few gardening notes.

10.Diary. 1947

Notebook. Miscellaneous notes

Metal plate. Press Club of San Francisco membership for Norman M. Halcombe, inscription on reverse: Presented April 7, 1915. God be with you boy and come back safe and sound.

Notebook. List of books read or purchased.

  Box 6

Photograph albums (3) photographs not identified.

  Box 7

Exercise books. (3) Used to keep clippings and notes.

Photographs.1. Naval officer. Not identified. 3. Portrait of legal gentleman, possibly Wesley Turton or Richmond Hansen Turton.

Book. The keepsake for 1829. Owned by Anne Grasby who gifted it to her daughter Annette Elizabeth Swainson, who in turn, gifted it to her daughter Blanche Halcombe.

  Box 8

Folder 17. Wesley and Amy Turton Estates. Includes a newspaper obituary 24 Oct. 1922 for Wesley Turton. Statement of accounts and correspondence re the Turton Estate. (Photocopy of obituary for Amy Turton, Taranaki Herald 31 Jan. 1925 added to collection 4 Feb. 2002)

Folder 18. Letters. To Blanche Halcombe from Aunt Millicent and Violet A. Turton. 1925-1935

Folder 19. Letters. To Blanche Halcombe from Olive Turton. 1925-1940

Folder 20. Letters. To Blanche Halcombe from Marjorie Kirke Turton 1936-1957.

  Box 9

Folder 21. Douglas Kirke Turton. Accounts, land transactions 1911-1920

Folder 22. Accounts and financial statements for Park Road Orchard, Hastings. Property of D. K. Turton. 1909-1920

Folder 23. Correspondence. Richard Hansen Turton. 1925-1928

Notebook. Includes accounts for the building of a new weatherboard cottage of three rooms. Unidentified.

Folder 24. Photocopy of clippings folder. New Zealand birds. 1909-1914

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Public comments

Is there a book titled Burnt Eggs about Blanche’s life Or any other publications available please. My mother was Margaret Henderson née TURTON

- KirstyWood posted 3 years ago.

Have recently cleared my mothers house out and came across photographs taken by Annette Clementina Devenish-Meares (Turton) my grandmother from 1913 onwards. Cairo 1915 to 1917 Wellington Mounted Rifles, Camel Cor. & on to 1960 plus Taken by Norman Halcombe RFC 1915 to 1919

- Michael Alcock posted 4 years ago.

I am the granddaughter of Jabez Turton who lived in Australia but had come from Canada. He took some photos in yout collection. My mother was Nona Turton. Her mother was Laura King Turton. When my mother left Australia at aged 22 she left the family photos behind( both her parents had died:) it would be wonderful if you had any photos of the family

- Norah Navin posted 5 years ago.

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