Tales from the Crypt
The ear-shattering sound of breaking glass turned heads on the upper floor of the Northern Steamship Company building on October 29, 1931.
One horrified staff member looked up from his desk just in time to see a workmate falling out of a nearby window.
He joined others rushing to the street approximately 50 feet below and was aghast at what he found.
Well-known sailmaker Robert Alfred Lewis lay crumpled and broken on the footpath in a fast spreading pool of blood.
Amazingly, he was still alive.
Widowed mother-of-five Katie Ellen Woodruffe gladly stepped in when a neighbour went into labour and no registered midwife was available.
But the 56-year-old found herself in trouble with the law. The newborn died and her good intentions landed her in court.
Katie first met John Myosovich and his heavily pregnant wife Florence in September 1913 when they moved to the suburb of Waikumete - later renamed as Glen Eden.
The area was still fairly rural and Ellen, no stranger to the trials and tribulations of childbirth, offered her services in the case of an emergency.
The Myosovichs sent for her three weeks later on October 6 as a last resort and their daughter, baby Martha, was born around 4.15pm.
George and Maud Burkitt were both late bloomers by the time they married in a church at Khyber Pass in Auckland on December 19, 1917.
He was 37 and she was in her 41st year.
But their happy day was overshadowed by a massive sense of uncertainty.
George, who'd emigrated from England four years prior, had enlisted with the army nine days before the wedding and was several weeks away from being shipped off to the Western Front and some of the bloodiest fighting of World War I.
War hero Albert McLaren Heath was among labourers hired to build the Nihotupu dam in the Waitakere Ranges.
It was a grubby, tough job and the 29-year-old was one of many single men who lived onsite in an isolated, makeshift camp.
Supplies were generally obtained from the small settlement of Titirangi and workers frequently trekked out of the bush and crossed a stream to meet up with a coach that got them there and back.
Albert, who'd received the Meritorious Service Medal for gallantry during World War I, set out to make the journey early on the afternoon of January 31, 1920 after a period of heavy rain.
But he never came back and his workmates formed a search party late in the evening to retrace his footsteps.
Promising young athlete Annie Jean Armour was never to realise her full sporting potential.
Meningitis killed her on July 26, 1935, cutting short a career still years away from reaching its peak.
The 18-year-old, best known to friends and family as Jean, was the youngest daughter of William and Margaret Armour.
She was a member of the Auckland Girls Athletic Association and was widely acknowledged as one of the region's finest talents.
Jean was a champion sprinter with several titles to her credit and had also distinguished herself in the hurdles event at a provincial level when she suddenly became ill and was admitted to hospital.
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