Edward Landon-Lane (1871-1945)


Edward, (or Ted as he was affectionately known) was a common face in Marlborough's early days and especially in his later life when he lived down at the Wairau Pa. Many of his descendants can still remember him as a kind man who, despite his hardships, was generous and well-mannered.

Ted was born on the 13th of October, 1871 to English parents who made their way to Nelson on the Cresswell in the 1850's. His father, Mizpah George Landon-Lane reportedly struck a purser in an argument about pain relief for his wife, who was eight months pregnant with their eldest child. By the age of 14 Ted had lost two brothers to firearm related accidents which took the lives of Whittington, the eldest brother and Thomas who was only 14. The toll on the family must have been hard. His family soon made it to Marlborough and shortly afterwards the children of Mizpah and Susan had left home and started their own lives, with Ted farming and doing other jobs around Marlborough.

On the 5th of October, 1894 Ted married Sarah Elizabeth Bartlett of Bartlett's Creek. The area had been named after her parents who had farmed in the area since the 1850's. Sarah and Ted had seven children who survived infancy (it is possible they had a few boys who didn't) who were all brought up in the Wairau Valley. Edith (1895-1988) or Edie was their eldest who was known for her loving nature and kindness. She never married, but after World War Two looked after her brother who had come home after time in the P. O .W Camps of Austria. She is buried in the Fairhall Cemetery.

Edward Landon Lane 1871 to 1945 2
Edward Landon-Lane. Image supplied by author

Annie May (1897-1908) was the next child. She was only 11 when peritonitis claimed her life. She supposedly couldn't get to hospital sooner as they lived on the north bank of the Wairau river which was in flood at the time. She is buried in Omaka Cemetery. Grace Susan (1901-1980) came next. She married Allan Outridge Cresswell (1902-1964) and had three adopted children: Elsie, Fred And Rozanne. She is buried in Omaka Cemetery with her husband. Whittington Edward (1903-1980) married Phyllis Elizabeth Rennell, daughter of Joseph Rennell who owned a large well-known run in the area known as "Compensation". Phyllis was given this land which was  farmed by Whit and his children Stan, Les, Doug And Doreen. Whit lived at Hartley Hills, Hillersden which he divided up into three for his boys. Whit passed away in 1980 beside his wife while returning to Compensation.

George (1904-1985) was the second and last son. He farmed out at Spring Creek but joined the war service when his crop got flooded. He was a part of the divisional cavalry regiment and took part in the manning of Bren Gun Carriers. He was captured in Greece and for most of the war went from prison camp to prison camp. George goes into great detail of his time in his book "Barbed Embrace". He returned home and lived with his sister Edie, caretaking for a time at the Onamalutu Domain. He passed away in 1985 and is buried at Fairhall Cemetery.

Nellie Mary (1906-1966) married John Thomas Claude Powell, a member of the well-known family of Powells. They had eight children, June, Shirley, Edith, John, Allan, Richard, Claudia and Maylene. They lived out at Ward for many years. Nellie passed away from a vascular disease and is buried with her husband and son at Omaka Cemetery.

Edward Landon Lane 1871 1945 3

Edward Landon-Lane. Image supplied by author

Bessie Olive (1913-1992) was the youngest child. She married Edward Nelson Neal, son of Edward Neal and Winifred Jellyman. They had nine children: Melva, Lynton, Arnold, Ivy, Johnny, Heather, Stephen, Garry and Wayne. Stephen drowned at the age of two behind their home at Dillions Point Road. Edward died nine years later from cancer leaving Bessie to raise eight children. She remarried a few years before her death to Ronald Mooney and is buried with Edward at Omaka Cemetery.

Sadly, on the 9th of May, 1923 Sarah passed away at the age of 49. Bessie was told that Sarah was in hospital having a gall bladder surgery when someone came into her room and said that Ted had been lost in a flood. She passed away soon after. Floods were common around Marlborough, however Ted had not drowned.  Bessie  was only nine when Sarah passed away. Ted and Sarah had been married for 28 years. Ted did lots of manual work around Marlborough. He helped carve a Bridle track around Shakespeare Bay and helped build the Cob Cottages in the area. He was also a good Clog dancer and was apparently invited to tour Australia, but politely declined this offer. Ted passed away in 1945 and is buried at Omaka Cemetery with Sarah, near his sister Jane and brother George. He had 19 grandchildren at the time of his passing and another five after that.

2019. Updated August 2020

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Further sources - Edward Landon-Lane (1871-1945)


  • Landon-Lane, G  (198?) Barbed embrace : a travel series of adventure while the author was overseas and also a prisoner of war. Blenheim : Knight Print