Topic: Blake Street (TDN 28/10/2017)

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Blake Street 

Recorded as Crown Grant Street on early survey maps, Blake Street is one of many streets in Waitara given its namesake after a notable naval figure during the Taranaki Wars, Captain William Hans Blake. 

Blake was born on 23 March 1832, in France, the youngest son of Commander George Hans Blake of the British Royal Navy.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Blake joined the Royal Navy in 1846.  By 2 September 1854, he had risen through the ranks to become a Lieutenant and later, for his bravery at the Battle of Waireka, Omata, southwest of New Plymouth, he was elevated to the rank of Commander. Blake sustained multiple injuries, including chest wounds, during the First Taranaki War (1860-61). On 14 September 1867 his bravery and dedication to military service, was rewarded with the honorary title of Captain. 

Blake married Henrietta Fitzgerald on 4 January 1868 in St John’s Church, Sydney, Australia.  The couple had a daughter and two sons.   

Fourteen years after Waireka, and a distinguished career in the Royal Navy, Blake died on 27 January 1874, on the West Coast of Africa, aged 51 years.

In rememberance of Blake, his wife Henrietta placed a memorial in St Matthews Church in Windsor, NSW, Australia. 

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