Thomas Edward Cain/ Corlett

ID# 469, (14 Jun 1917 - 8 Apr 2006)
Tom at Featherston in 1998

Thomas Edward Cain/ Corlett was born on 14 Jun 1917 at Masterton, Wairarapa, New Zealand ,

Thomas Edward Cain
Parents: Thomas Cain, Slaughterman, 25, Kumara & Lily Pauling, 21, Ashburton.1,2

He was the son of Thomas Cain and Lily Pauling.

     Research Note: in 1920
When Lily, the mother of both Tom and Evelyn married Leonard Corlett, the children were accepted as part of his family and adopted the surname of Corlett from then onwards.
All School records and other offical records have them recorded as Corlett from this date.
Tom did offically change his name to Corlett before he married via a local Solicitor, this was before Deed Poll was available in New Zealand.

As of 1920,Thomas Edward Cain/ Corlett was also known as Thomas Edward Corlett.

As of 1920,Thomas Edward Cain/ Corlett was also known as Tom Corlett.

Tom attended "Side School", Masterton, Wairarapa, New Zealand , on 1 Feb 1923

Side School Masterton
No 3251
Admission: 1 Feb 1923
Parent: C/- Mrs Pauling, 70 Lincoln Road.
DOB: 24 June 1917.3

Tom attended "Te Ore Ore" School, Masterton, Wairarapa, New Zealand , on 12 May 1925

CORLETT Thomas Edward
Te Ore Ore School
No 194
Admission: 12 May 1925
Parent: Mr T Corlett, Te Ore Ore
DOB: 24 June 1917
Last School: Central, Masterton
Last Day: 30 Mar 1926.4

Thomas Edward Corlett and Bessie Rosina Hill were engaged on 18 Dec 1942 at "Wairarapa Daily Times", New Zealand ,

The engagement is announced of Bessie, youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs G Hill, Wellington, and Thomas, eldest son of Mr and Mrs L E Corlett, Masterton.5

1943 Thomas Edward Corlett and Bessie Rosina Hill were mentioned in the "Wairarapa Daily Times", New Zealand , newspaper

Odd Fellows' Dance.

The Masonic Hall, Masterton, was packed to the doors on Saturday night, when the Masterton Odd Fellows' Lodge held a most successful dance. The music was supplied by Jack Barnes's Orchestra, and extras were played by Miss B Hawke. The M C was Bro R C Baikie. A Monte Carlo Waltz was won by Miss B Hill and Mr T Corlett. Supper was served by the ladies' committee.6

Thomas Edward Corlett married Bessie Rosina Hill, daughter of George Hill and Marion Rosson, on 4 Sep 1943 at St Matthews Church, Masterton, Wairarapa, New Zealand ,

Thomas Edward Corlett,
26, Storeman, Bachelor,
born Masterton
Usual Res: Masterton
Parents: Leonard Edward Corlett, Labourer & Lilly Pauling
Bessie Rosina Hill,
20, Spinster,
born Petone
Usual Res: Masterton
Parents: George Hill, Butcher and Marion Rosson.

Best Man was Max Corlett and Bridesmaid was Evelyn Corlett and Flowergirl was Beverly Corlett.1,7

Thomas Corlett to Bessie Hill
Thomas Corlett to Bessie Hill

Thomas Edward Corlett and Bessie Rosina Hill had a marriage notice on 6 Sep 1943 in the "Wairarapa Daily Times", New Zealand ,



St Matthew's Church was beautifully decorated with spring bulbs and blossom for the marriage recently of Bessie Rosina, youngest daughter of Mr G Hill (British Merchant Navy) and the late Mrs M Hill, to Thomas Edward, eldest son of Mr and Mrs L Corlett, Masterton. The Rev Wm Tye, Tinui, officiated and Mr Henderson presided at the organ.
The bride, who was escorted by Mr B Waters, a friend, looked charming in a dainty gown of white lace. Her tulle veil, kindly lent by a friend, fell softly from a halo of orange blossom and she carried a shower bouquet of heath, hyacinths, spring bulbs and maiden-hair fern.
The bride was attended by Miss E Corlett, who wore a green taffeta frock trimmed with mauve velvet flowers. Her bouquet consisted of pink camellias and maiden-hair fern, with a matching spray in her hair. The little flower girl, B Corlett, a cousin of the bridegroom, wore a replica of the bridesmaid's frock and carried a basket of pink camellias and maiden-hair fern.
Cpl M Corlett attended the bridegroom.
A reception was held later at Styles Tearooms, the guests being received by Mrs C Donovan (sister of the bride), assisted by Mrs L Coreltt. Mrs Donovan was attired in a smart grey costume, worn with a spray of freesias and maiden-hair fern. Mrs Corlett's ensemble was of ivory with a shoulder spray of maiden-hair fern. The bride's godmother, Mrs W Jakeman, looked smart in a teal blue frock with a shoulder spray of roses, hyacinths and maiden-hair fern.
Later, when Mr and Mrs Corlett left for the the south, the bride travelled in a tailored coat with black accessories.8

Tom and Betty Corlett lived at bt 1954 - 2002
at 11 Colonge St, Martinborough.

11 Colonge Street, Martinborough

Thomas died on 8 Apr 2006 at Cornwall Rest Home, Masterton, Wairarapa, New Zealand , at age 88 years, 9 months and 25 days

At 1pm with Jill by his side.9

Tom's death notice appeared on 10 Apr 2006 in the "Wairarapa Times Age", New Zealand ,

CORLETT Thomas Edward
On 8 April 2006 at Cornwall Rest Home, Masterton (late of Martinborough), in his 89th year. Dearly loved husband of the late Bet. Beloved father and father in law of Len and Beverly (Aust), Bill and Ailsa (Aust), Rata and Neil (Greymouth), Arthur and Sue (Gisborne), Jill and John Temple (Masterton), the late Wynn, and the late Marion. Loved Grandad of Warren, Sharleen, Braden; Kevin; Angela, Melanie; Paul, Jason; Melissa, Byron and Ben. Great Grandad to his 8 great grandchildren. Loved brother of Edna Elliott (Masterton). A service to give thanks for Tom's life will be held at Rosewood, 415 Queen St, Masterton on Wednesday 12 April at 1.30pm followed by a burial service at Martinborough Cemetery at 3.45pm. Messages to 36 Raglan St, Masterton.10

Tom was buried on 12 Apr 2006 at Martinborough Cemetery, Martinborough, Wairarapa, New Zealand ,

Service at Roswood, Masterton on Wednesday 12th April 2006 at 1.30pm followed by interment at Martinborough Cemetery at 3.45pm
The cortege left for Martinborough Cemetery at 3pm and proceed through Gladstone and Longbush, Tom's favourite way to drive to Martinborough.

Pallbears from the Chapel were Tom's Grandchildren:
Melanie, Byron, Sharleen, Paul, Melissa and Warren
Pallbears at the Graveside were:
Arthur, Bill, John and Ian.11

Thomas Edward Corlett
Headstone at Martinborough Cemetery
Inside the Chapel
At the Martinborough Cemetery

     Research Note: in 2006
Tom was a very special person in the eyes of all that knew him and especially his family.

Below is the Eulogy that Rata read out at the funeral celebrating Tom's life.

Dad you have lived a long and full life, you always enjoyed doing something different, and once you had mastered it you then moved on to another project.
We, as your children have differnet memories of special moments that you have given us and now that you have gone these memories will be cherished.
Some of those memories are being shared with everyone today.

You were very much the handyman and D.I.Y, always having a use for something with nothing being thrown out as it could be used again.

The Possum Trapper - Remember the posssum skins nailed on the boards. Mum could nail possums out as fast as you could skin them.
The Crayfish - Sneakers with the toes cut out of them so that he could slip them under the rocks, to feel for the crays.
Whitebait and Flounders always in your bag to bring home.

You made a wet suit on a wooden frame for yourself. Made out of long johns and a long sleeved top then pasted with latex. You then submerged it in the bath to make sure it didn't leak. The arms and legs looked like eels.

Remember Jimmy the rabbit, he was house trained, Tiddles the cat, No 1, 2, 3, & 4. The Mexican walking fish, the pheasants, the turkeys, canaries, chaffinches, budgies, rabbits, guineas pigs and bees. And the Dogs Roy and Speck.

Your great love of the out doors was very prominent in your life, and you were an excellent marksman. You were a Ranger for many years and really enjoyed your fly fishing for Trout and making your own flies. From Pig Hunting, Deer Shooting, Duck Shooting - we remember all the mess from plucking them, and the smell, then biting down on the pellets after Mum had cooked the meat. There was always meat on the table.

But always the animal lover - which has been passed on to all your children and grandchildren.

The Immaculate vege gardens; but they had to be done your way. Laid out in perfect rows, then Mum coming along behind and filling in any gaps with seddlings. There was always chooks in the garden too.

The pottery - we remember the nude ladies around the sugar bolw. The Stone Tumbler - day and night drove the neighbours crazy. The Coffee Tables - tops were made of match sticks then resin poured on top. The Orchid Growing, Boat Building, Bee Keeping, you name it you tried it and what every you did you did it well.

Remember the time when Coral and Jill were painting up on the tressles (we were horsing around as usual), Coral fell off, paint was everywhere. You were growling at us "Stop Skylarking", but when we looked at you later around the corner you were sniggering to yourself having a great laugh.

Finally the Pig Heads - everyone who came to the Corlett house in Martinborough remembers them. You had killed them with only a blade, one was black and the other was brindle and hung up in the hall way. When the house was sold and the new owners tried to move them, they nearly fell onto his head. The Pigs heads had been filled with concrete which nobody had known about until then.

So everyone that knew you or was associated with you have great memoris to hold onto and these are the things that will last with family and friends for ever.12

Tom Corlett - Fishing

Tom and Betty had 7 Children of which 5 are still living.

Children of Thomas Edward Cain/ Corlett and Bessie Rosina Hill

Father*Thomas Cain (13 May 1892 - 30 Aug 1917)
Mother*Lily Pauling (7 Dec 1895 - 21 Apr 1975)
Adoptive fatherLeonard Edward Corlett (30 Apr 1897 - 21 Oct 1974)


  1. [S1] Certificate held on file, Held by Ailsa Corlett, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Hereinafter cited as Certificate held on file.
  2. [S2] NZRGO, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, NZ BDM Indexes, Held by Ailsa Corlett, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 1917 Folio No 4424, Sept Qtr. Hereinafter cited as NZ BDM Indexes.
  3. [S44] School Admissions, School Records (Auckland, New Zealand: NZSG), Wairarapa BRanch NZSG - Register No 3251. Hereinafter cited as School Records.
  4. [S44] School Records, Wairarapa BRanch NZSG - Register No 194.
  5. [S10] Newspaper, Various Papers, Wairarapa Daily Times, assume Wairarapa Times, could be Evening Post, around the date of 18 Dec 1942. Hereinafter cited as Newspaper Article.
  6. [S10] Newspaper Article, Wairarapa Daily Times, unknown date, assuming sometime in 1943 before they married.
  7. [S2] NZRGO, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, NZ BDM Indexes: 1943 Folio No 8051.
  8. [S10] Newspaper Article, Wairarapa Daily Times, around the date of 4 sept 1943.
  9. [S2] NZRGO, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, NZ BDM Indexes: 2006 NZ Online Database: 2006/ 8571 - DOB 14 June 1917.
  10. [S10] Newspaper Article, Wairarapa Times Age, Issue Monday April 10, 2006 - Pg 1, Deaths - copy held on file.
  11. [S178] Held by Ailsa Corlett (Brisbane, Qld, Australia) , held by myself; Held by Ailsa Corlett (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) Ailsa Corlett who attended the funeral in 2006.
  12. [S178] Held by Ailsa Corlett , held by myself Rata Beck daughter of Tom Corlett at the time of Tom's funeral, from memories of all his children.