James Charlton was born in Londonderry, Ireland, in 1826*. He enlisted at 18, served in the Royal Artillery at Woolwich Arsenal, and was posted to New Plymouth in the 1850s, taking part in all the engagements between 1860 and 1864. He is recorded as firing the first shot at the beginning of the Land Wars on 17 March 1860. After his discharge with numerous good conduct awards, he  married as his second wife, Mrs Amelia Ibbotson (nee Leadman), widow of Thomas Ibbotson. They settled in Waitara where she carried on a drapery business while he, when the railway line to Waitara opened in 1875,  was the first porter.  James was a longstanding member of the  Egmont Lodge of Oddfellows, and is described as having a quiet, unassuming manner and upright character. He was survived by two sons from his first marriage. [1] [2]

* According to newspaper obituary, but by the reckoning of the Gravestone his birthdate would be 1829.




In Loving Memory of


Died 6th August 1899

Aged 70 Years

"Peace; Perfect Peace"


of his First Wife,


Aged 36 Years

And Infant Daughter

who died 8th June 1860

And his Son


Died 23rd May 1864

Aged 11 Years


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