Albert George Vine, 1876 – 1920, Buried Karori Cemetery, Wellington, New Zealand

My Cousin 2 x removed, Albert George Vine, born Kinson, Dorset, England has until now lain in an unmarked grave, Section PUBLIC2 Plot 221L in the Karori Cemetery, Wellington, New Zealand. Albert had died on 11 July 1920 at Wellington Hospital.

My Grandfather Sydney John Vine, Albert’s cousin, also born in England, died on 8 July 1922 in Wellington Hospital and rests about 300 metres across a gully in the English Section at Karori Cemetery.

Both resided in Wellington for 2 short periods of time, 1912 – 1914 and 1919 – 1920 but I cannot find from my research whether the two ever met during these times.

To have found this relative resting in an unmarked grave so far from his birth place has been a concern of mine for some time, but at last I can say that this has been rectified.

Cost was a concern until an online search revealed a source of inexpensive beautifully crafted Grave Markers in Germany – Jörg Braun Holzwaren, Limbacher Weg 17 74864 Fahrenbach. I had been quoted $NZ 2,000 to 3,000 for headstones but ended up paying a well spent $NZ 184.

The story behind how Albert came to his final resting place in the Antipodes on the other side of the World from all but one of his family is rather sad.

Albert had enlisted in the Royal Marine Artillery on 4 July 1896. Service No. 6135. Discharged in Sydney, Australia,  15 April 1901, “Paid £25 “.

At the time of discharge his ship was H.M.S.Royal Arthur, which had been built at Portsmouth and launched on 26 February 1891.

She first served as the flagship of the Pacific Station from 1893 to 1896, before being refitted at Portsmouth in 1897. She then served as the flagship of the Australian Station from 1897 to 1904. In that role she provided escort for the royal yacht Ophir carrying the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (the future King George V and Queen Mary) to Australia to open the new Federal Parliament in 1901. Captain Thomas Philip Walker was appointed in command in April 1901. She visited Norfolk Island in July 1902. She left the Australia Station on 6 April 1904 and was paid off and refitted at Portsmouth.

The Royal Marine Artillery was formed as an establishment within the British Royal Marines in 1804 to man the artillery in bomb vessels. This had been done by the Royal Regiment of Artillery, but a lawsuit by a Royal Artillery officer resulted in a court decision that Army officers were not subject to Naval orders. As their uniforms were the blue of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, this group was nicknamed the “Blue Marines” and the Infantry element, who wore the scarlet uniforms of the British infantry, became known as the “Red Marines”, often given the derogatory nickname “Lobsters” by sailors.

Under the Head “Personal Matters” in the Evening Post (Wellington) 13 July 1920 it was reported:
“The death occurred on Sunday, after a short illness, of Mr. Albert Vine, a member of the Wellington Harbour Board staff. Mr. Vine did much to further the cause of Spiritualism in Wellington, and held the position of librarian of the Spiritualistic Church. He has left a widow.”

More details of the life of Albert may be found here.

May he Rest in Peace under the beautiful canopy provided by trees indigenous to his adopted country, New Zealand.


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