South Yorkshire Times September 27, 1947
Settled In New Zealand.
Former Conisbrough Man’s Wartime Odyssey.
Member of the former Conisbrough family, Dr James Blakelock, at one time in the health service of the Shanghai municipality, has now settled in New Zealand, Dr Blakelock got away with his wife and family from Shanghai in 1941 and by a long route would eventually reach the home of their adoption “down under.”
From An Old Friend.
This news we have received this week from Mr William Smith, a former headmaster of Morley Place school, Conisbrough, and a former Conisbrough correspondent of their “South Yorkshire Times.”
Many people in Conisbrough he writes, “will remember the Blakelock family whose residence was in Brooke Square. The elder son James, won a minor scholarship from Morley Place school, proceeded to Mexborough Grammar School and from there to Sheffield where he qualified in the medical School of the University as a doctor. Later he took service in their health Department of the Shanghai municipality.
When the chaps took Shanghai Dr Blakelock’s friends were very concerned as to what had happened.
Recently Mr Leslie Smith a fellow former Rover Scout heard a rumour that Dr Blake lock was in New Zealand.
“Mr Smith, general manager of a Scottish non-ferrous wire firm, was able to confirm this with the aid of the firm’s New Zealand agents who were able to locate Dr Blakelock at Christ Church, where he is the Health Service of the New Zealand government.
“And old mail letter dated September 18 from him tells of his experiences. In 1937 his wife and baby daughter were evacuated to Hong Kong for four months. In 1941 he decided to take advantage of the opportunity which arose to get away from Shanghai, so with his wife and two children (a girl four and the boy two years) they set out via Hong Kong. Manila, Celebes, Java, New Guinea and New Caledonia to New Zealand, where he secured his government position.
“His base is Christchurch where he has a house in the hills south of the town and his area of work is a block of country 200 miles from north to south and half that distance from east to west. One week in every four he spends in his car visiting some part of the vast area in his charge, and as he remarks the scenery varies from the ‘pretty’ to the ‘truly magnificent’ and the weather is generally good. He finds these journeys, most enjoyable.
“Things in New Zealand according to Dr Blakelock, are much as in this country through food is plentiful.”
Mr Smith adds wages are high but there is not much outlet for the surplus cash as most goods are in short supply. Even the public houses close at 6 p.m..”
Dr Blake lock in his letter refers to the happy times he experienced as a scouting camp in the Rover Den and in other ways. His elder girl now 10 has joined the girl guides and his boy who is eight, the Cubs. He has a third child a little girl of 4 ½, a born New Zealander.