|Ref: AWNS-19381005-50-2, portrait of Signor Mussolini, dictator of Italy, 1938, Sir George Grey Special Collections|
|Ref: AWNS-19350925-41-2, king of Italy with Signor Mussolini during the Bolzano maneuvers, 1935, Sir George Grey Special Collections|
The telegram was received on the occasion of Captain William John Newby's 100th birthday. In the telegram, the Italian Consul writes of his 'sincere appreciation' of Newby's service under Garibaldi - known as one of Italy's 'father's of the fatherland'.
|Ref: OCM 5-1222 Telegram received on occasion of Captain W. J. Newby's 100th birthday.|
William John Newby was born in Cambridge, England in 1833, and was part of the British Legion which was sent to help Garibaldi in his campaign to unify Italy. He arrived in NZ in 1864, married Janet Caitcheon in Whangarei three years later, joined in on the Thames goldfields rush and spent 30 years on a farm in Tapu, near Thames. He lived the last 20 or so years of his life in Auckland. Newby was 101 years old at the time of his death and had 13 children, 33 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Searching for information on Newby on Manuscripts Online database revealed a certificate, newspaper clippings and letters written to him (NZMS 365). You can search for this record by typing the reference number NZMS 365 into the keyword search box in Manuscripts Online. One letter was written in Caserta, Italy in 1860 by non-commissioned officers and privates of the British Legion thanking Newby for his consideration while they were under his command. The certificate, written in Italian, issued in 1860, and signed by the General in Chief of the Southern Army, has a wonderful, detailed stamp and outlines the acceptance of Newby's voluntary resignation from the Volunteer British Brigade.
|Ref: AWNS-19430804-14-1, three contrasting studies of Mussolini, 1943, Sir George Grey Special Collections|
|Ref: AWNS-19380615-53-1, Italian boys guard Mussolini, 1938, Sir George Grey Special Collections|
Author: Zoë Colling, Sir George Grey Special Collections