GH to NZ

From Great Holland to New Zealand !


This whole story begins with an email to from Fiona Kean at the Tauranga Heritage Museum, New Zealand.

Fiona had recently been assigned some artifacts for research of great NZ significance, donated by the Baker family in the early 1970's and placed into safe storage until recently.
The donation related to over 30 items in the museum's collection,  a number of the pieces being of great importance, including objects from the Battle of Gate Pa (the first major defeat of British troops by Maori and the first recorded use of trench warfare).

The Baker's land formed the site of the Battle of Gate Pa and it is recorded that these objects were found there.

The passage of time since the donation in the early 1970's has meant that contact with the family has been lost, however in her search to discover more of this generous benefactor, Fiona discovered other documents relating to the family's roots in Great Holland.

Fiona's research indicates that the Baker family moved to Great Holland from Kirby, when they bought the Great Holland Hall from the well known Hicks family in 1893.  There has been rumour of a Hicks / Baker marriage, however nothing is available to confirm this (All Saints church records may perhaps assist ?)

A copy of the original auction document is available by clicking the Page numbers below, and shows a wonderful list of live stock, machinery and associated plant available for knock down (1893) prices !

Great Holland Hall Auction

Page One

Page Two

Page Three

Page Four

Page Five

Page Six

Page Seven

Page Eight


Having moved into the Hall, it seems the Bakers thrived and using the 1901 Census (copy available by clicking HERE), and associated information, it seems the family grew to consist of three sons : Charles and Eric who were at boarding school and Richard who arrived in 1909.

The museum also has postcards from Eric sent during the War from France.


It seems that the family had three daughters Stella (1901), Lillian (1904), Rachel (1910) as they all appear in the 1911 Census.

Interestingly, the 1901 census shows that Edith's sister (Alice March) was living with them at the time of the census, one presumes that  Edith may have been quite pregnant with Stella and needed a hand ?

It is understood that at least some of the family left for NZ after the World War I,  although the only postcard the museum holds was sent to NZ in 1925 from Sydney.
The postcard (Below) is addressed to Miss R Baker, East Anglia, Gate Pa, Tauranga.
"East Anglia" being the name given to the land the family purchased in NZ.

Records exist of the Bakers living at Gate Pa into the 1970s although none of the family remain there now.
The 1966 electoral role has a F.W.Baker listed and later it changes to H. E and L. M. Baker. Henry Baker is listed as a orchardist (not surprising for that area) and Lilian Baker as a spinster.

Post Card of Sydney Harbour (without the Opera House ! )



Fiona hasn't been able to find anything at their local archive about the family as while there was a number of prominent people in the area with the surname Baker, (a Land Agent and Minister,) as yet, she has been unable to find a connection.

Any information you may have relating to the family, the farm at that time, the people who lived or worked there would be of great interest in this international detective story.

Who knows, this may even lead to Great Holland's first Town Twinning !

 We've added links to Other Post Cards from the Tauranga Heritage Collection - :

Card One Front Back :  Card Two Front / Back : Card Three Front  : Card Four Front

Card Five Front / Back : Card Six Front / Back : Card Seven Front / Back


Anyone with information can contact via:
Paul Withams at The Saltings, Manor Rd

Use the email address on the web site's Contact Page (

Or contact Fiona directly at


All Images published with the Kind permission of Tauranga Heritage Collection, New Zealand.