I discovered by chance that Pte Thomas Cooke's sister Catherine had had children before her death from influenza in 1918. None were mentioned in her death notice in the paper, so I had had no leads to follow there. Thanks to google, I found on ancestry a file uploaded by a genealogical group detailing the grandparents of members - and there was Catherine ! I was interested to see that Catherine's father in law had been born in Geelong, Victoria.
On the National Library of New Zealands digitised newspaper site Paperspast I found a couple of items about Catherine's husband Charles Albert Oldman and his brother. They were apiarists and lived at Waiau which is inland from Kaikoura. One year seems to have been a bumper year for honey production and Charles got caught for being a bit clever looking for solutions to process all the honey his bees had provided.
But then I thought, why not see if I can find anything about his Dad on Trove, before he migrated to New Zealand - only one result was returned that pertained to the family.
What a shame the judge made the decision he did - or have I interpreted this incorrectly, and he did order the money to be divided between the beneficiaries ? I'm sure it wouldn't have been too difficult to track the people down - they had the names of two of them, after all. If they missed out, I wonder if they can get the money back now (with interest) ? Victor Albert was Catherine's father-in-law. It would also appear that Catherine's husband's grandmother Agnes Oldman had just a little bit in common with Catherine's grandmother Mary Cooper - leaving the family home and taking a couple of kids to another country.
This post forms part of Trove Tuesday as suggested by Amy, from Branches, Leaves & Pollen.