Eleanora Angelina Wotton

Whanganui local Eleanora Wotton was a prominent and tireless supporter of charitable and patriotic organisations throughout her lifetime. During the First World War, Eleanora oversaw the local Belgian and Serbian Relief Society, organising fundraisers and donations of clothing and food for the cause. She sent the funds and goods donated to her good friend Beatrice Maunder, a New Zealand nurse who organised and directed military hospitals in Belgium, to distribute where needed. For her work in aid of Belgium, Eleanora was awarded the Médaille de la Reine Elisabeth (Queen Elisabeth Medal) by the Belgian government.   

Family information

Parents: Clifford Iveson and Angelina Iveson (née Williamson)

Born: 21 August 1872

Died: 4 January 1938, aged 65 years

Buried: Old Public Cemetery, Wanganui, Plot (?), row 34

Married: Percy Wotton, 1893

Children:

  • Egbert Henry Miller Wotton, b. 1894
  • Margaret Winifred Wotton, b. 1896
  • George Cecil Wotton, b. 1900
  • Henry William Wotton, b. 1910
  • Ian (Jack) Athelstan Wotton, b. 1912

Obituary/death notices:

1.

MRS E. A. WOTTON – Sincere regret will be felt throughout the district at the death of Mrs E. A. Wotton, of Gonville, which occurred at the Wanganui Hospital early this week. Mrs Wotton was born at Wanganui on August 21, 1872, and was the youngest child of Captain Clifford Weson, of Hedon, Yorkshire. Mrs Wotton spent her younger days in Wanganui, living with her mother in Glasgow Street. In the late eighties the family moved to Marton, where she married, in 1893, Percy, the only son of Mr Henry Wotton, M.D. (London), F.R.C.S. (Edinburugh). Mr and Mrs Wotton lived at ‘Hillside’ near Tutaenui, for many years, during which time a wide circle of friends was made.

During the Great War, Mrs Wotton, once more in Wanganui became very well-known as a tireless worker in patriotic work on behalf of the oppressed Belgians and Serbs. Mention of Mrs Wotton will, no doubt, serve to recall for many Wanganui residents streets days, bazaars, and ‘baby shows’ held and organised by her and an enthusiastic band of helpers. In recognition of her services in connection with this work Mrs Wotton received the Belgian decoration, La Medaille de la Reine Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth’s medal).

After the war Mrs Wotton continued her interest in all forms of social work. Many knew her as an enthusiastically active member of the Victoria League, the Plunket Society, the Girl Guides, the Townswomen’s Guild, the Early Settlers’ Association, and the Navy League. In most of the bodies she occupied a position on the committee or executive.

The unselfish life of Mrs Wotton became a byword among those who enjoyed her acquaintance. Her progress along the road of life was marked by many little acts of kindness on the wayside, and it is worthy to note that she often acted the Good Samaritan when she herself suffered pain. The later period of her life was not good, but she continued her activities in the welfare of others. She was confined to bed for a time and she was moved to the Wanganui Hospital on December 29. Although the care of the doctors and nurses was unremitting she passed away on January 4.

The late Mrs Wotton is survived by her daughter Winifred, at present nursing in England, three sons, Cecil, William, and Ian (Jack); and four grandchildren; her sister, Mrs F. F. Hunt of Gisborne, and brother, E. F. Iverson, of ‘Hedon,’ Wharekopae, Gisborne.
- Wanganui Herald, 8 January 1938, p. 8

2.

WOTTON – On January 4, 1938, suddenly at Wanganui Hospital, Eleanora Angelina, dearly loved mother of Winifred, Cecil, William and Ian, of Puriri Hill, Gonville. At rest. Private interment. – Symes, Fleming, and Dick, Funeral Directors, 69 Guyton Street.
Wanganui Herald, 5 January 1938, p. 1

Selected sources

'Belgian and Servian Relief Society', Wanganui Chronicle, 7 August 1916, p. 6

'Appreciation from Belgium', Wanganui Chronicle, 24 October 1916, p. 5

'Belgian Relief', Wanganui Chronicle, 7 December 1916, p. 4

'Belgian and Servian Relief', Wanganui Herald, 19 April 1917, p. 4

'Wanganui Collections', Wanganui Chronicle, 26 July 1918, p. 7

'Belgian and Servian Wounded Relief Society', Wanganui Chronicle, 10 August 1918, p. 3

'Report and Balance Sheet', Wanganui Chronicle, 10 August 1918, p. 3

'Wanganui in Wisps', Free Lance, 10 November 1920, p. 11

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