Col. Robert William Read Bloomfield. He had been born 9 September 1861 at Poverty Bay in New Zealand. He was the son of Thomas Read, a ship captain (1812?-1868) and Sarah, nee Steggale (spelling?) Bloomfield/s who had married 10 March 1859 in the Hartismere district of Suffolk, England, and seems to have had at least three brothers; John Lucas (b. 1863), George Frederic (b. 1865) and Ernest Albert Reginald (b. 1869). The Bloomfields had married in 1887 in New Zealand and lived in Auckland. They had left Auckland on April 12 for a twelve-month tour. Col. Bloomfield was a barrister and a solicitor. He was well known in hunting and territorial circles. He was the husband of Isabella Bloomfield. Col. Bloomfield was lost in the sinking of the Empress of Ireland, along with his wife and daughter. His body was identified 3 June at Quebec and sent to New Zealand on the Makura 8 July.
”Mr. Bloomfield was very well known in Auckland, having been prominent in sporting, local, and territorial matters for a good many years. He was born in Poverty Bay 53 years ago. He was trained for the bar, and, for some years, practised in Auckland. He was particularly well known in connection with polo and hunting, and was a prominent member of the Auckland Racing Club. The volunteer movement found an ardent advocat in Mr. Bloomfield, who, when the territorial system was brought into operation, transferred his interest into the new force, and was a colonel of the Third (Auckland) Mounted Regiment. He was an experienced and zealous officer, esteemed by both his fellow officers and men. In local government matters he was also a prominent figure, having been chairman of the Epsom Road Board for many years. He was also a useful member of the Auckland and Suburban Drainage Co. and the local Bodies’ Association. For a good many years, Mr. Bloomfield has not been actively engaged in business, but he has large interests in Poverty Bay, where Messrs Bloomfield Bros.’ sheep runs are situated.” (Auckland, 31 May 1914, from the Whanganui Herald (?)/National Library of New Zealand)
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