Jack Sims

A Hadleigh Farm Colony boy who emigrated to New Zealand

Jack Sims
Photo via Rosanna Grattan
The party ready to depart Hadleigh Farm Colony.
photo via Rosanna Grattan
Alexander J. Grant, went to NZ as a boy farmer and served as a Salvation Army officer in New Zealand. He passed away in 2000.
Via Salvation Army Archives New Zealand.
The passenger list.
via Rosanna Grattan
Jack Sims indicated on this group photo in UK ready to embark on his ship to New Zealand. Photo probably at at Southampton docks.
Hand written passenger list with Jack Sims name highlighted. It also shows many other Boy Farmers from Hadleigh Colony including Alexander Grant also mentioned in this article.
A reference for Jack Sims for any possible future employer.

It is always amazing the stories and photos that emerge from time to time, especially when you are involved with a local archive group.
Recently an email arrived on our website from Rosanna Grattan from New Zealand, asking if we could help fill in any gaps with the research for her grandfather Jack Sims.

She was watching an episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ and it was about Dr Barnado’s Emigration Scheme, she remembered a photo that was in the family about her grandfather and proceeded to search the internet for Hadleigh Colony and came up with our website, (www.hadleighhistory.org.uk).
This photo showed a group of boy farmers ready for New Zealand in 1929, the board in front clearly showing HADLEIGH COLONY EMIGRATION BOYS NEW ZEALAND PARTY JULY 5TH 1929 and she has highlighted Jack Sims in the party.

Her family originated from Kent where Jack Sims’ grandfather, Arthur West, had a saddle and harness making business.
His great grandmother was Thomasina Boys of the Kent Boys of Betteshanger, so it is assumed that something serious must have occurred for Jack to have come to Hadleigh Colony.

The vessel Jack sailed in was the SS Rimutaka which eventually arrived in New Zealand around 17th August 1929.
For those who have purchased a copy of the new edition of ‘HADLEIGH SALVATION ARMY FARM; A Vision Reborn’ by Graham Cook and Gordon Parkhill, you will see on page 133 that this vessel is listed amongst selected sailings and Rosanna has also managed to get hold of the passenger list too.

However, this sailing is also of interest in that one of the passengers was a boy called Alexander J. Grant, also seen on the passenger list and listed as a 19 year old farm student, a male and from Scotland.

Looking further into the book, on page 146 you can read about Alexander J. Grant (known as ‘Scotty’). He responded to the Salvation Army Emigration Scheme offer and came to Hadleigh, initially he thought he was joining an organization which was something to do with the military, but he went on to  train at Hadleigh Farm Colony for six weeks and was going to be sent to the Salvation Army Training Farm in Putaruru (NZ).
It was while there that he became converted in the small hall at Hodderville Boys’ Home. He later offered himself for training to be a Salvation Army officer and left Cambridge (NZ) Corps in 1935 to enter the training college in Wellington.

He married Captain Linda Proctor and they had one child, Heather, who married Don Jackson and served for many years for the Salvation Army in Hong Kong and Fiji.

Alexander and his wife, after two appointments, moved back to Putaruru Training Farm and had many other appointments in both Church (Corps) and the Salvation Army’s varied Social Work in New Zealand.
He retired in 1975 and passed away in July 2000 at the age of 90, his wife passed away in 1986.

“So, thank you to Rosanna for sending the photos and passenger list and contacting our website.
Perhaps someone will read this page and be able to add to the story. I would like to think Jack Sims and Alexander Grant were good friends, who knows, but the influence of the Hadleigh Farm Colony cannot be measured.”     Graham Cook

(Ed) Since this article was published, a further three images have been added, these being supplied by Ann Lamb, whose father was Jack Sims.
There is the passenger list, a photo of the group from Hadleigh, probably at Southampton Railway Station and a ‘Reference’ for Jack to show to potential employers.


Note: some of the images are reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, England  www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
Digitised by www.findmypast.com

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  • I found this page and saw with interest a photo of my father when we lived at Konini Road in NZ. I have another group photo of him when he left for New Zealand and would like to add it to this page. Dad never spoke much at all about his life in England apart from he was wanting to start a new life in NZ, his family life was not a very happy one. I know he left the ship in Australia as he worked there for about 6 months before landing in NZ and spent that time on a cattle farm.
    When he arrived in NZ he worked on various cattle and produce farms.
    He married my mother in 1941 and when I was about 3 yrs old had a serious accident on the farm he was working on ; He fell down a steep hill on a wet winters day while riding his horse and a cow fell on top of him, he broke his back and spent several years recuperating . This ended our life on the farm and we had to move to the city he was told by the doctors he would never be able to work again and if he did he would be dead in 6 months. He refused to accept this and said he had a family to care for, his three step children and four children [including me] . Once he was out of hospital he found work on a produce farm and eventually worked as a cook in various big companies like Hellabies and The Railway Hostel. He made wonderful birthday and wedding cakes and made all of our wedding and birthday cakes. He could turn his hand to just about anything from house decoration to delicate cake making, he was a very resourceful hard working man and I admired and loved him very much. He died on the 9 March 1971: 22 years after the doctor said he would if he were to go back to work.

    By Ann Sims [Lamb] (28/06/2019)
  • Thanks so much Graham for publishing the article about my grandfather Jack Sims.

    By Rosanna Grattan (20/11/2015)
  • What an interesting story. I wonder if anyone can name the person in the middle of the picture as he looks as though he was the one in charge of the boys. My father at this time was head dairyman at Sayers Farm and I expect he had something to do with the training of these boys. His story is also on this site.

    By David Guy (24/10/2015)

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