Tours

Brancepeth

Take a tour of Brancepeth, one of Wairarapa's grandest and most treasured historic sites. This colonial homestead and gardens near Masterton is still owned by the family who settled on the land in 1856.

Green Jersey Cycle Tours

Cycle the Vines with Green JerseyGreen Jersey specialise in all things cycling from easy day rides - inlcuding guided wine tours of Martinborough, to multi-day cycling adventures of the Remutaka Cycle Trail, and even a guided walking tour of Cape Palliser.

Their guided tours cater to your every need and they are well-known for their knowledgeable and friendly guides - they will even collect and deliver your wine purchases to your accommodation! They also offer a shuttle service. 

Learn more about (and book) their easy Day Rides, including guided wine tours of Martinborough below.

A Bootmaker Goes to War

This is the story of Albert Summers, a young bootmaker turned WWI soldier. Allow two hours for the full tour.

Summers Boys with Charlie Superimposed 1919

Brothers in arms

Albert Summers was born at Rangitumau, north of Masterton, in 1892. He was one of 16 children. By 1914 he was living in Lower Hutt, and working as a trained bootmaker. He enlisted in July 1916 into the 19th Reinforcement.

Albert served overseas along with four of his brothers.

 

FIRST STOP
Featherston Heritage Museum
Fitzherbert Street
Behind the Fell Locomotive Museum
Featherston

Before you follow Albert's story stop at the Featherston Heritage Museum. Here you'll get a feel for the layout and environment of the Featherston Military Camp and other aspects of training life through the photographs and memorabilia on display.

 

NEXT STOP (2 min drive)
Featherston Military Camp
State Highway 2
Featherston

Featherston Military Camp

Featherston Military Camp was a temporary home for over 60,000 soldiers in training between January 1916 and November 1918. The barracks housed 4500, with a 'canvas camp' holding another 3,000.

Infantry would spend about two months in camp, while mounted rifles and artillery did almost all their training at Featherston. The camp opened in January 1916 and over 60,000 men trained here.

Like many soldiers when Albert enlisted he was first taken into the army in Trentham before quickly moving over to Featherston for field training.

Here's a good map to see the layout of the military camp in relation to current roads.

 

NEXT STOP
Papawai Camp (10 min drive)
Fabians Rd, near junction with Papawai Rd
Greytown

Papawai Camp 1918

Papawai Camp was next to the Papawai Rifle Range, where the trainee soldiers did their musketry (shooting) training. Up to 500 men could stay at the camp in tents.

Albert and his fellow soldiers would march from Featherston to Papawai for a day's shooting - a round trip of 20km.

 

NEXT STOP
Kaiwaiwai & Kahutara Halls (15 min to Kahutara and then 10 min to Kaiwaiwai)
Highway 53, Featherston-Martinborough Rd (Kaiwaiwai Hall)
Corner of Kahutara Rd and Pukio West Rd (Kahutara Hall)

Kaiwaiwai HallKahutara Hall

Soldiers in training needed some downtime. These community halls were once part of the Soldiers’ Club at Featherston Camp. Here Albert and his mates would have gone to relax when they weren't training. The club buildings were dismantled and re-assembled as community halls in Kaiwaiwai and Kahutara in 1921. 

 

 

NEXT STOP
ANZAC Club (10 min)
Bell Street
Featherston

ANZAC Club

The ANZAC club in Bell Street was built by local settlers and opened in October 1916. Trainee soldiers on leave came here for concerts, dances or a drink or two at the club canteen. Albert would have spruced himself up for dances here with local girls.

On some of his days off he would also have taken a train to Masterton to visit his family.

 

NEXT STOP
Rimutaka Summit (20 min)
State Highway 2

Marching over the Rimutaka Hill

Between September 1915 and April 1918 about 60,000 infantrymen marched over the Rimutaka Range to Trentham Camp in Upper Hutt. The soldiers would set off before dawn, accompanied by the camp's brass band. 

Cuppa time at Summit with a woman from the Wairarapa Patriotic Association

By mid-morning the troops reached the summit, where the Wairarapa Patriotic Association provided a meal for up to 2,000 men at a time.

From Trentham, Albert sailed to England in 1916 and joined the 1st Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment. He survived the Messines and Passchendaele campaigns, and the Second Battle of the Somme. While in France, he took up bootmaking again to keep his battalion well shod.

Albert with Charlie's grave in France

This picture shows Albert at the grave of his brother Charlie, who was killed in France in 1918.

After the war Albert returned to Masterton, married, and remained in the Wairarapa until his death in 1966.

 

Service number:

Albert Summers 31372

 

Other stories you might like to follow:

A Family at War

This is the story of the Wishaw family - Mabel, Harry and Bernard. Allow about an hour for the full tour.

Mabel WhishawHarry WhishawBernard Whishaw

INTRODUCTION

Mabel, Bernard and Harry Whishaw were three of Catherine and John Whishaw’s eight children, from Stoneridge, Featherston.

Mabel, the eldest of the three siblings was born in 1883 in Kakaramea, South Taranaki. Harry was born in 1885 in Wellington and Bernard, the youngest, in 1893.

In 1914 at the start of WWI, Mabel was 31 years old, Harry was 29 and Bernard 21.

 

FIRST STOP
Featherston Heritage Museum
Fitzherbert Street
Behind the Fell Locomotive Museum
Featherston

Before you follow the Whishaw's story, stop at the Featherston Heritage Museum. Here you'll get a feel for the layout and environment of the Featherston Military Camp and other aspects of training life through the photographs and memorabilia on display.

 

NEXT STOP
Featherston Military Camp 
State Highway 2
Featherston

Featherston Military Camp

Featherston Military Camp was a temporary home for over 60,000 soldiers in training between January 1916 and November 1918. The barracks housed 4500, with a tent camp (Canvas Camp) holding about 3000. 

Mabel became a military nurse at the Featherston Military Hospital in 1916. In April 1918 she was promoted from Staff Nurse to Sister. Three months later, the influenza pandemic arrived. By mid-November, some 2,500 men were sick, and the hospital was overwhelmed.  

Here's a good map to see the layout of the military camp in relation to current roads. The hospital area was south of today's SH2, bounded by Main Road and Camp Road, opposite the barrack camp.

 

NEXT STOP
Tauherenikau Camp
Tauherenikau Race Course
State Highway 2
Featherston

Tauherenikau Camp

Tauherenikau Military Camp was set up in August 1915. Bernard trained here then embarked for the Suez in Egypt two months later. When he left, he was a member of the Wellington Mounted Riflemen. At some time during his service in Egypt he moved to the NZ Mounted Rifles Machine Gun Squadron.

Bernard died of malaria in October 1918. He was 26. He is buried in the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

 

NEXT STOP
Featherston War Memorial
Corner of Fitzherbert Street and Fox Street
Featherston

Featherston War Memorial unveiling 25 May 1927

All three Whishaw children’s names are listed on this memorial.

Harry, a labourer, enlisted in August 1914 and by October 1914 was on his way to Suez. He saw action in Gallipoli, Egypt and Western Europe. At Gallipoli, Harry was wounded twice; first in April 1915 with a bullet to the neck and again in August, with shrapnel in his hand.

Harry was killed in action near Armentieres, France on 3 July 1916. He was 32. He is buried in France at the Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery in Armentieres.

 

NEXT STOP
Featherston Cemetery
Grave Reference 85
Western Lake Road, Featherston

Featherston Cemetary War Graves

Mabel is buried here at the Featherston Cemetery. She is the only Whishaw sibling to be buried at home.

Mabel died from influenza while nursing at the Featherston Military Camp, at the height of the epidemic. Her younger brother Bernard had died just three weeks earlier. Mabel was 34.

None of the Wishaw siblings had married.

 

Service Numbers:

Mabel Helen Whishaw 22/371

Harry Guthrie Whishaw 10/154

Bernard Guthrie Whishaw 11/1996

 

Other stories you might like to follow:

Te Rakau Birding

Te Rakau Birding offers fully guided half and full-day bird watching tours for small groups in the Western Lake area of South Wairarapa. Enjoy the stunning Wairarapa coastline, explore native bush and lagoons and see a diverse range of birds.

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