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Julius Valentine Blake Huffam

Julius Valentine Blake Huffam

Male 1888 - 1919  (30 years)

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  • Name Julius Valentine Blake Huffam 
    Born 14 Feb 1888  Nelson, Nelson City, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Military Service 1914  Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Jan 1919  Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Cologne Southern Cemetery
    Died 22 Jan 1919  Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Extract of War Graves Commission web site:

      In Memory of
      VALENTINE JULIUS BLAKE HUFFAM
      Private
      31690
      Field Amb., N.Z. Medical Corps
      who died on
      Wednesday, 22nd January 1919. Age 31.
      Additional Information: Son of T. Blake Huffam and Jane Huffam, of Richmond, Nelson, New Zealand.
      Commemorative Information
      Cemetery: COLOGNE SOUTHERN CEMETERY, Germany
      Grave Reference/
      Panel Number: I. C. 23.

      Location: Cologne Southern Cemetery, known locally as Sudfriedhof, Zollstock, is about 5 kilometres south of the cathedral on the Honningerweg. The cemetery may be approached from the A4 motorway leaving at junction Koln-Klettenberg. Follow the direction for Koln-Klettenberg, turning right into the Luxemburger Strasse. At the traffic lights, close to the railway crossing, turn right again into the Militarring Strasse. At the second traffic lights turn left into the Oberer Komarweg, which passes under a viaduct. Turn right into the Kalscheurer Strasse. Turn right again into the first street which is the Keudenicher Strasse, this road leads to the Honinger Platz. The main entrance of 'Koln Sudfriedhof' can be seen from this Honinger Platz roundabout. Entering the 'Friedhof' from the main entrance, follow the main cemetery road which leads to Cologne War Cemetery.

      Historical Information: Cologne was entered by British forces on the 6th December, 1918, and occupied by the British Army, under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, from that month until January, 1926. The Sudfriedhof, or Southern Cemetery, is one of the City cemeteries, begun in 1900, and covers a very large area. It was used during the war for the burial of more than a 1,000 Allied prisoners, as well as German soldiers. After the Armistice it was used by the British garrison and iin 1922, it was chosen as one of the four permanent cemeteries to which British graves in Germany should be moved. The work was completed in the following year. British graves were brought to Cologne from 183 cemeteries throughout Germany. Within the cemetery stands the Cologne Memorial, which commemorates twenty-five Non Commissioned Officers and men of the forces of the United Kingdom, who died in Germany and the sites of whose graves are not known. The British War Grave Plots are laid out in the form of the letter T, with the head of the T at the East end and at right angles to the main avenue of the cemetery. They are prolonged at the West end by four plots of Rhine Army burials which took place after the legal termination of the War.

      Julius Valentine Blake HUFFAM
      1888-1919

      Julius Valentine Blake - son of T. Blake HUFFAM and Jane JACOBSEN
      Julius was the first born of T. Blake HUFFAM and Jane JACOBSEN. T. Blake was 36 when he married Jane, the daughter of Captain Henry JACOBSEN, of Nelson. Jane was only 22. The marriage took place in the home of Henry Jacobsen, in Britannia Heights above Nelson on the 20th of June 1885. Jane was the eldest daughter, and the first to marry.
      Julius Valentine Blake was born on the 14th of February 1888. The name Valentine must have seemed apt to the HUFFAM's of the time, as this name had been given to Edward Valentine HUFFAM, born on 14 February 1861, and to another Edward Valentine HUFFAM born on the same day and the same year as our Julius. The third Edward Valentine HUFFAM, born on the 6th of May 1917 must have inherited the name from his grandfather - the first Edward Valentine.

      The name Julius came from his maternal grandfather, Johann Julius Heinrich Jacobsen, from whom he also inherited his love of the sea. Blake, as well as being his father's name, was his paternal grandmother's maiden name.

      Julius' next sibling was Dorothea Agnes Jane, born in 1890. It wasn't until Julius was seven when his next sister appeared - Runa Brunhilde Frances. Godiva Catherine (Iva) was born in 1900 when Julius was twelve, and Blake Frederick Will was born in 1904 when Julius was sixteen years old.

      Julius decided to go to sea at a young age - he was only 15 when he left home. His first letters reflect the joy of a young boy, living a wonderful life:

      "I enjoy the sailorising very much."

      "So far I have not had a sickness or even toothache since I left N.Z. I am proud of that since everyone was laid up in Java but I. I have struck a paradise in this ship, nothing to do and plenty to eat and bathing all day."

      By the time he was 17 he had been to Souvabaya, Java, Barbadoes, and London. London especially was a great time for the young lad, and he writes of going to

      "The Tower of London, St Pauls, The Crystal Palace, Westminster Abbey, all through the underground railway and to Margate, Ramsgate and Southend."

      His upbringing (or perhaps the tone of his mother's letters) was reflected in the constant reiteration that he "kept clear if drink and smoking". Although London also had a down side, with "a lot of disgusting scenes about here. Drunken men and women and poor little children running about in rags."

      "It is a terrible place in the slums, the Policemen go about in twos, many are murdered in the slums."

      By August 1904, Julius was finding life a little harder. He and another shipmate jumped ship, as the new skipper made "life unbearable". His attitude to life was still as a carefree lad, as he asks of news from home

      "How is the Baby and what have you called it? I was so delighted to hear of it."

      The next ship Julius joined, the J. W. Hutt, was a 350 ton schooner, and only required eight hands. He traveled between South Carolina in the USA and Trinidad. After six months on the schooner, he signed in January 1905 for 24 months on the Edward Sewell. This ship paid well, but turned out to be both the maturing of Julius and a voyage of horrors.

      "We were treated with utter brutality. Knocked about with belaying pins and laid out with blackjacks etc. The mate is worse than the devil and we have been starved nearly the whole passage. April was the scene of our worst experience. We encounttered a terrific gale when 55S and 1E Long. Our decks were swept fore and aft with tremendous seas and our sails were blown to bits and our foc'sle and every other place was washed out. It was bitterly cold and our sails were frozen stiff and ice was floating around our decks."

      By August 1905 the tone of Julius' letters had changed, he speaks of the brutality of the officers, and the strange entertainment in the foc'sle.

      "Our foc'sle broom has about three hairs in it now and we look like a lot of maniacs when we strike up the band in the foc'sle. Plenty of tobacco juice to aid us in our gracefulness in dancing."

      In October 1905 Julius has been on two voyages with the Edward Sewell, one of 150 days and one of 105. In both passages there are insufficient provisions, and the voyages are marked with the brutality of the officers. He speaks of revenge for the captain, and attempts to get discharged, which are ignored. The crew is nearly raised to mutiny twice, and Julius notes that he is "going crazy".

      He is just seventeen years old.

      Julius Valentine Blake - soldier
      When Julius was 30, war broke out in Europe. It is not surprising that a young man who had seen the world, volunteered, and joined the New Zealand Medical Corps. On 22nd January 1919 Julius died in Cologne, Germany. His French fiancée apparently kept in touch with the family for a while after his death.
      [1]
    Person ID I3734  Roy~Royes | Hougham, NZ Huffams
    Last Modified 25 Aug 2016 

    Father Timotheos Blake Huffam
              b. 4 Jan 1849, Cowes, Isle of Wight, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 4 Oct 1939, Richmond, Tasman, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Mother Jane Jacobson
              b. 8 Sep 1863
              d. 5 Sep 1932  (Age 68 years) 
    Married 20 Jun 1885  Nelson, Nelson City, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1335  Family Group  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 14 Feb 1888 - Nelson, Nelson City, New Zealand Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary Service - WW1: †KIA - Private, Field Ambulance, NZ Medical Corps - 1914 - Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - Jan 1919 - Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 22 Jan 1919 - Germany Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S251] Robin Young, Hougham/Huffam Family Tree.