Thursday, 11 December 2014

Phyllis Olive GREENFIELD 1904 - 1962


Phyllis Olive GREENFIELD was born on 20 Oct 1904 in Temuka, South Canterbury, New Zealand as the seventh child of Henry Greenfield and Frances MOFFET. She had six older siblings, namely: Earnest Henry (1888-1960), Albert Percy (1889-1962), Joseph Leslie 1891-1942), Eveline Frances (1893-1948), Alexander William Moffat (1895-1976), and Alice Dorothy (1900-1941).


In these family portraits Phyllis is the infant. Oral history states there was a nurse behind her mother Frances keeping her steady during the sitting. Phyllis would appear to be six to eight months old. Frances died when Phyllis was 13 months.

Her father remarried on 15 December 1909 to Annie LARCOMBE, Phyllis was aged five years and two months. She was soon to be big sister to two more siblings: Meta Ellinor (1910-1994), and Zora Joy (1912-1983).    
On 1 May 1930 when she was 25, 
Phyllis married George Henry KING,
son of Thomas KING and Isabella MILES,
in Christchurch, New Zealand
(at Knox House, Carlton Mill Rd, Christchurch).                                

George Henry KING and Phyllis Olive GREENFIELD had the following six children:

Dorothy Maisie KING (1930-2012), George Edward (1932-1980), Frances Margaret Betty (1934-1985), Robert Sydney (1936-2000), Eveline Shirley (1937-2001), and Trevor Harry (1940-1987).
left to right: Betty, Shirley, Dorothy, Ted and Sid (Trevor is missing from this photo)

Following an interview I had with daughters Shirley and Dorothy in 2006, I have surmised that Phyllis seems to have had a unhappy life. Her own mother died when she was still a baby and although I have seen photographs with Henry and his youngest daughters, none include Phyllis. Her marriage was to a man who was not pleasant, and when he passed away, her oldest son stepped into the bullying role (as evident by correspondence from the armed services re his return to Christchurch, and information from interview with her daughters)... this was not a happy home. Memories of Phyllis by her daughters and daughter-in-law are fond but feelings for her are of sadness for what she endured.

 When her family had grown, Phyllis' great love was  'The Red Cross', of which she was a member. My one memory of Nana King is of her dressed in her uniform at the Labour Day Picnic in Linwood Park when I was about six years old.
Phyllis died in Christchurch Public Hospital on 09 September 1962 one month before her 58th birthday. Causes of death: 1) Left bronchopneumonia, 2) Right atelectasis (collapsed lung) and right pleural effusion,
3) Carcinoma left breast.

She was buried on 11 September 1962 at Addington Cemetery, Christchurch East, Plot 902c.

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