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Monday, 15 December 2014

The Flock House Boys (Albert and Kenneth Titheridge)

Flock House was an agricultural and farm training school situated 14 kilometers outside of Bulls in the Rangitikei district of New Zealand.  It was in operation from 1924 until 1987.  From 1924 to 1937 sons of British seamen who had been killed or wounded during World War 1 were brought to Flock House.  Here they were trained at the school and then placed on farms in New Zealand to start a new life.  The scheme was proposed so that sheep farmers in New Zealand could acknowledge the debt they owed to the British Navy, who had kept shipping lanes open during the war enabling New Zealand farmers to ship wool to England.  Between 1924 and 1937 over 600 seamen’s dependents were taken to this new life in New Zealand.  Boys (and later girls) were selected by an advisory committee in London.  Those selected were offered free passage to New Zealand, clothing and pocket money for six months and six months training at Flock House.  At Flock House they were offered a range of skills with aim of them eventually becoming farmers.   
Among these Flock House Boys were two of the sons of Arthur Charles Titheridge (from the last post).  We believe that by 1918 these two boys were orphans.  Their mother Bertha remarried in 1917 but died a year later in 1918. 
The first child to be selected for Flock House was Albert Edward Titheridge born to Arthur and Bertha in 1910 in Alverstoke.  At the age of 16 records show him to be a passenger in the 7th draft of boys and he sailed from Southampton on the Rotorua in 1926 to Wellington New Zealand.
Two years later he was followed by his brother Kenneth Edwin born in 1912 in Alverstoke.  At the age of 15 he was a passenger on the Rotorua and one of the 12th draft of Flock House boys.  He set sail from Southampton to Wellington on 20th January 1928 for a voyage lasting 42 days. His address is given as Shedfield Convalescent Home, Botley. 
We know both boys settled into life in New Zealand but only have sketchy details of what happened to them.  Albert is known to have married twice and had seven children and Kenneth also married and had children.  Did they keep in touch with their family back in England? that we do not know.  Perhaps some of our New Zealand cousins can fill in some of the gaps of what happened to these two brothers.

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