Obituary For Mr & Mrs Walter S Sharpe

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Date: 20 Jun 1935
Location: Nelson, New Zealandmap
Surnames/tags: Sharpe Obituary Mayes
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Mr and Mrs Walter S. Sharpe

The late Walter Samuel Sharpe, whose death occurred recently at Franklin Street, Nelson, was born in India, and educated at Rooki English College. Having passed through the college he was appointed to the Indian Telegraph Department, and served the first two years in Burma. He was in charge of most of the lines in Northern Burma. From there Mr Sharpe was appointed in charge to the telegraph storeyard and went to Calcutta and so gradually he was director of telegraphs in one-fifth of the whole of India.

During the war he was Director of Telegraphs in Bombay and was in close touch with the military. He was retired on superannuation in 1922, and went home to England for 12 months, coming out to New Zealand in January 1925. Mr Sharpe bought a farm in the Pearce Valley but later retired and came to live in Nelson. The late Mr Sharpe, who received the Kaiser-i-hindi gold medal for meritorious services, could relate many interesting stories of life in Burma.

When erecting the line in Burma they had a good deal of trouble with animals and natives. They were often interfered with by the Shan tribe and also by wild elephants. Road transport was practically nil and nearly all the transport had to be done by river boat. The late Mr Sharpe was on active service for 29 years without any period of furlough, probably a record for the Indian services.

His wife Mrs Rosanna Sharpe, whose death followed a few days later, was born in Cork (Ireland) and went at a very early age to India with her parents. She was educated in India and married to Mr Christopher Mayes, Public Works Department engineer. She spent her early married life in Burma where she lost her husband in 1898. She was a nurse in the general hospital, Calcutta, from then on for nine years until she was married to the late Mr Sharpe.

During the period of the war Mrs Sharpe was instrumental in starting and carrying on a fund for the benefit of Telegraph employees on active service, for which she received commendation. the late Mrs Sharpe leaves behind two son's, one married.

20 June 1935

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