Newspaper Article 1938 – Wife of the Anzacs’ Popular General


Wife of the Anzacs’ Popular General

Lady Russell, of Hawke’s Bay

By the Sydney Correspondent of the “New Zealand Free Lance”

IT was with pride that Lady Russell, of Tunanui, Hastings, watched her husband march through Sydney at the head of the New Zealand returned men on Anzac Day. With a party from Government House she had an excellent place of vantage from the balcony at Parliament House in Macquarie Street.

Lady Russell was perturbed to learn of the severe flooding in the Esk Valley during her absence from Hawke’s Bay, though, fortunately, the Russell property has not suffered as severely as many others. “We feel particularly sorry for the settlers in the district who have had such terrible losses,” she remarked. “for, though the silt will do good, it will take years before they can recover their losses.”

This season’s flood reminded her of one in Hawke’s, Bay shortly after her marriage in 1896: “It was the worst that had been known in Hawke’s Bay up until that time, and it appears to us that the present one is equally disastrous. Coming after the earthquake, from which many people have not yet recovered, it is particularly hard luck.”


Both Lady Russell and her husband are New Zealanders born, and members of families that made history in the Dominion. Lady Russell is a grand-daughter of Bishop William Williams, the first Bishop of Waiapu (and Bishop Hubert Williams, who died recently, was her cousin). Both the General and his wife were born in Hawke’s Bay, though the former went to England when he was a child and subsequently entered the British Army.

“No, I do not take the interest in public affairs that my husband does,” re-marked Lady Russell. “I find that one public person is quite enough in one family. However, I am connected with many organisations, including the Women’s Division of the Farmers’ Union and the Women’s Institutes.” Her daughter, Mrs. William Deans, of Canterbury, is the present Dominion president of the Federation of Women’s Institutes. Another daughter, Mrs. V. E. Kemball, the wife of Engineer-Commander Kemball, R.N., lives at Devonport, England; of late her husband has been engaged in the work of re-conditioning battleships for the Navy, and has just completed his third. The third daughter is Mrs. T. C. Lowry, wife of the cricketer. Two sons complete the Russell family – Andrew, who is a farmer in the Gisborne district, and John, who farms a property near that of his father in the Hastings district.

Photo captions –

Lady Russell: With her husband she leaves Sydney this week, returning home. After the Anzac celebrations they stayed with old friends at Merrylands, near Sydney, for a few days, and then visited Canberra.  – May Moore.

One of the three daughters of the Russell family, Mrs. William Deans (Canterbury), is a leader of women in New Zealand as president of the Federation of Women’s Institutes. Standish and Preece.

Original digital file


Date published

10 May 1938

Format of the original

Newspaper article


New Zealand Free Lance


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