We have featured them before on the blog as Wendy has done a lot of research about them.
Now she has found out more about the enigmatic Edgar Fitzhenry who left his homeland and became a mining engineer in South America.
Previously Wendy hadn't found out what befell him there, or whether there was any relationship with the Fitz-Henry family of Rodrigo Palacios Fitz-Henry of Valpariaso, another of our correspondents. This new information (in 2 parts - concluding part tomorrow) starts to fill the gaps
One of the interesting points is in his name... He calls himself Edgar Egbert, yet his birth certificate states one name only.
New Zealand Archives
Edgar Egbert Fitz-Henry enlisted in England on 13th May 1918 (his birth certificate does not mention the second name of Egbert) joining the NZ Engineers No. 1 Field Coy and was discharged England 10th April 1919. He nominated his father William Fitz-Henry of 404 Gloucester Street, Christchurch, New Zealand as his next of kin.
Medical History – aged 33 years, 5ft 5in tall, 10st 1 lb weight, fair complexion, blue eyes, fair hair, physical development –good, 3 vaccination marks on left arm, scar from Butura Fever – Peru.
The papers mention Headquarters London, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, NZ Engineers and Christchurch. Hampshire England (not to be confused with his home of Christchurch New Zealand).
There is also another address mentioned - Minerals Separation Ltd, 62 London Wall EC.
He spent 333 days as a WW1 soldier and received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Edgar was a mining engineer living in La Pas, Bolivia, South America when he travelled to London and enlisted and after his discharge he wrote to the authorities seeking compensation for the cost of his travels in getting to London (it was declined).
He said he had graduated from the Butte School of Mines, Montana, USA. However, he of course did not mention that he was in a Kansas Penitentiary during the 1910 US Census.... His papers also mention that he had suffered with "Butura Fever" in Peru. Which is very interesting, as I have one of his letters to his family in NZ saying
I am feeling much better now, this Pacific Ocean breeze is taking all the yellow colour out of my face and purifying my blood so that in a few months I will be entirely well again.
From the UK Incoming Passenger Lists
Edgar Egbert Fitzhenry, miner, aged 36 left Coronel, Chile and arrived 11 Sep 1920 Liverpool, England on “Orcoma”
Ports of Voyage = Valparaiso, Iquique, Antofagasta, Arica, Callao, Crista Bal, La Pallice
We know that Edgar married a woman named Isabella in Chile when he returned there, but what happened to him next?
Part 2 is tomorrow.
Why not subscribe to this blog and get the updates sent to your inbox? Or send us an email about your Fitz(-)henry family links.