Arthur Francis Brooks Broadhurst

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Date of Birth: 1890, in Ayr, Scotland
Personal Details: Arthur married Diana Mary late in life, and they divorced in 1942. They had no children. It is said by several residents of Cambridge that he had, or had the use of, a red coloured de Havilland Moth which he flew from the St Peters School grounds in the late 1930's. I have not yet been able to find out more about this aircraft. The Moth Club has no record of a Moth being owned by Broadhurst so it perhaps was owned under another name, or it was a different tupe of small aircraft. Arthur Broadhurst retired from St peter's School as Headmaster in 1960. The Governor-General of New Zealand, Viscount Cobham, and several hundred ex-pupils including many of the original 1936 students.

Service Details: Arthur was a member of the New Zealand War Birds Association, a club who held reunions for ex World War One pilots, beginning in 1935 and having at least four such gatherings. Cambridge's Keith Caldwell and Tommy Hampshire were also members.

Date of Death : 1985

Connection with Cambridge: In 1934, the Scottish millionaire Arthur Broadhurst was travelling on a world tour when he first came to Cambridge, New Zealand. He expressed a desire on this visit that he hoped to return to Cambridge and build a top class prepartory school. He approached farmer Alf Main asking to buy his farm. Main's father, owner of the farm, told Broadhurst the farm was not for sale, but he suggested that Broadhurst should look at the Gwynnelands Estate, a farm on Hamilton Road between Cambridge and Tamahere.

Broadhurst bought Gwynnelands before continuing on his world trip but he returned to Cambridge in February 1935 and began the preparation to build his school. Over 400 workmen worked on the massive project over time, with 150 of them being the peak of men on site at one time. They ensured that Arthur's dream became a reality, an old style English boarding school in the heart of the Waikato.

Classes began on the 11th of February 1936, with 35 pupils - one of whom was William Gould, later to be an airman. There were also a teaching staff of twelve, and one of them was Albert Hancock, another who'd go on to become an airman in WWII. Arthur Broadhurst was the joint-Headmaster, filling the role with the Reverend J.M. Beaufort. The school was the largest boarding school in New Zealand when it opened. The roll of the school rapidly increased after that date.

The official opening of St Peter's School occurred on the 22nd of February 1936 with the Minister of Education, the Hon. Peter Fraser conducting the opening, and the Archbishop of New Zealand, the Most Reverend A.W. Averill.


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