A fascinating find

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OUT of the thousands of family photographs Jane King has sorted through, two very special sepia ones will soon be sent to England.
Captioned Epsom College 1862, one shows the 2nd XI cricket team and the other is of the school’s marching band.
Mrs King found them after going through photographs and paperwork inherited from her parents.
She said her curiosity got the better of her when she spotted ‘‘Epsom College’’, so she looked online and found the school was a ‘‘very posh’’ college in England which was founded in 1853 as The Royal Medical Benevolent College and had royal patronage granted by Queen Victoria.
She contacted college archi› vist Alan Scadding, who said they did not have copies of the photographs, and was excited because they had none of the marching band.
Marching bands were important during that time, Mrs King said.
‘‘During the 1850s there were considerable fears of another war with France. Britain was arming itself with new coastal fortifications and had a huge volunteer move› ment. The [pupils] were taught to march and drill and held displays for the public. They also exercised with military equipment.’’
Mrs King said Mr Scadding told her a lot about the college and its establishment and that her great›grandfather, Charles Frederick Napper, who is in both photographs, and his brothers, were founder pupils who were self›paying, and not funded by a trust.
‘‘The college has emailed me with the details of the history of my relatives who went there.’’
Charles’ father, Dr Albert Napper, was one of the cottage hospital movement founders in England, she said.
Charles, one of seven chil› dren, emigrated to New Zea› land in 1877, aged 31. He married Constance Bowern in 1878 in Canterbury, and they had seven children.
He was a civil engineer and spent some time in Hamilton before moving to Christ› church, where he died in 1923.
Mrs King said the photo› graphs ‘‘didn’t mean much to her’’ and she was ‘‘really excited’’ to be sending them to Epsom College for its archives, once she had scanned them for her own files.
‘‘When sorting through fam› ily things, I would encourage people not to just throw things out, but to have a good look through them. They may be a treasure to someone else.’’
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