Nigel St, named after Nigel McLean, runs between Duart Rd (where the family home Duart House is located) and Chambers St (named for his mother’s family) in Havelock North. The street is likely to have been on land that was formerly part of the Duart property.
Nigel McLean was a local man from a well-known Havelock North family. He fought and died in World War I.
He was born in Havelock North on April 27th 1884, his father was Allan (Tuki) McLean and his mother was Hannah McLean, nee Chambers, daughter of John and Margaret Chambers.
He lived at Duart House with his family. The home was built in 1882 by his father and is one of the last colonial–style grand mansions in Havelock North.
Nigel Mclean was the youngest of nine children. His father died in 1898 when Nigel was 14 years old. Hannah McLean sold 150 acres of the property for town sections in November of that year and went on to landscape the area around the house with the help of her children. She lived until 1914.
After his discharge from the army in 1902 Nigel served his maritime engineer apprenticeship with S Luke & Co in Wellington. After he completed his apprenticeship he returned to Hawke’s Bay where, as a qualified engineer, he helped his brother establish the first garage for motor car repairs at Duart. He later worked as an engineer for the Union Oil Company of California.
While he was young, handsome and from a wealthy family, Nigel never married, so there are no direct descendants. There is an apocryphal story that one glove from a pair of mittens was found in his effects after he died, the other half having been kept by a 'young lady' back home in Havelock. This girl, if there was one, has not been identified.
From his listed contacts, his next of kin appeared to be sister Mary Hannah McLean, sister Margaret Alison (Alice or Elsie) who married Albert Ernest Woodhouse, and brothers Allan Hugh McLean and John Chambers McLean.
Most of his siblings did not marry either, and so there are very few second generation descendants from the marriage of his father Allan McLean (1833-1898) and mother Hannah (1849-1914).
On the 12 January 1901 at the claimed age of 17, Nigel McLean enlisted in the New Zealand Army and became a bugler in the Mounted Rifle Brigade Company No 17. His discharge from the army was confirmed in May 1902 at age 18 after serving for one year and 27 days abroad. On his discharge papers it was recorded that he was of very good character.
Nigel McLean enlisted in the New Zealand Army on 14 March 1915 at the Zeltoun Camp, near Cairo in Egypt. The attesting officer recorded on the form was Nigel’s cousin Major Selwyn Chambers (who was killed in Gallipoli and is also commemorated with a road name in Havelock North).
Initially Nigel was a trooper in the Wellington Mounted Rifle Brigade, being promoted to sergeant on 2 of June 1915 at Dardanelles Walkers Ridge.
Nigel was wounded at Anzac Cove on 27 August 1915 and on 30 August 1915 embarked for England from Mudros, a small Greek port on the island of Lemnos.
On 11 October Nigel McLean was reported dangerously ill and was admitted to hospital in Gibraltar.
A brief letter dated 2 April 1954 was sent from the Brigadier Director-General Medical Services Army, advising Peter McLean that his uncle was 'wounded in action in Anzac Cove, Gallipoli on 27th August 1915 and embarked for England 30th August 1915, unfortunately he became dangerously ill and was admitted to the General Hospital in Gibraltar where he died of his wounds on 20th October 1915'.
Nigel Alexander McLean is buried in the Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery. The cemetery was used throughout the 1914-1918 War for the burial of sailors and soldiers who died on ships passing Gibraltar, or in the Military Hospital. The 1914-1918 war graves are spread over the different divisions of the cemetery.
There is a family grave memorial at Havelock North cemetery and Nigel is also listed on the plaques at Saint Luke’s Church in Havelock North, Saint Colomba’s Church in Havelock North, the Havelock North War Memorial, and at the Memorial Chapel at Hawke’s Bay Fallen Soldiers Memorial Hospital.
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