One of the other categories decided upon for Lansdowne streets was “noted commanders” and the 1904 Masterton County Council meeting named a number of streets under that criterion.
The street “running eastward from the Lansdowne homestead” was designated Kitchener Street. Kitchener was a popular figure in 1904, having been British Commander-in-Chief in the South African War. He was to become even more famous as the Secretary for War during World War One, recruiting a great army before he died when H.M.S. Hampshire struck a mine in 1916.
The street running parallel to Kitchener Street, behind the old hospital in Totara Street, was named after another South African War general, General Roberts. Roberts was Commander-in-Chief of India 1885-93 and served as Supreme Commander in South Africa.
The first road running from Roberts Road to Kitchener Street was named after Sir John French, who was Cavalry Commander in the South African War. He also served in World War One, being in charge of the British Expeditionary Force in France before being replaced by General Haig.
The next street was named Raglan Street for Fitzroy Raglan, who served at Waterloo under Wellington. He was later to lead the British Forces in the Crimea, and gave the order for the fateful charge of the Light Brigade. The raglan overcoat is also named after him.
The last of the streets named after military leaders in 1904 was Gordon Street, named after one of Britain’s greatest generals, Charles Gordon. This Victorian hero is mainly remembered for his defence of Khartoum during a protracted siege which ultimately resulted in his death.
The naming of streets after “noted commanders” continued after World War Two when more subdivisions were created. When the first of these streets was created in 1949 it is hardly surprising that commanders and leaders from the war just ended should figure prominently.
Churchill Avenue commemorates the inspirational British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. Montgomery Place and later Montgomery Crescent recall the revered leader of the Eighth Army in North Africa, Viscount Montgomery.
When the Masterton Borough Council built a housing area off Montgomery Place in 1976 it was proposed to call it Anzac Place, but it was decided that it was more appropriate to name it after a battle more closely allied with Montgomery, and Alamein Court was chosen. Montgomery’s defeat of Rommel’s Afrika Korps at El Alamein proved to be the turning point of the war in North Africa.
Further subdivision in the area in the early 1960s resulted in the creation of two new streets, Wavell Crescent and Gort Place.
Earl Wavell had been Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in the Middle East, and was later Supreme Commander Allied Forces Southwest Pacific. He served as Viceroy in India from 1943 until 1947.
Viscount Gort was an Irish aristocrat renowned for his bravery, winning the Victoria Cross and other medals for courage during World War One. In World War Two he commanded the British Expeditionary Force in France from the outset of war until the evacuation from Dunkirk.
A further military street was added in 1969 when Allenby Street was built. Viscount Allenby served in both the South African War and in France during World War One but is best remembered for his deeds in defeating the Turkish armies in Palestine during the last months of World War One.The last of the streets to be named after a military figure was Kippenberger Street, commemorating Sir Howard Kippenberger. The only New Zealander among these “noted commanders”, Kippenberger was born in 1897 in Canterbury and practiced as a solicitor.
He served as a private in World War One but joined the Territorial Force after the war, rising to Lieutenant Colonel. During World War Two he commanded the New Zealand Division at various times, and was decorated with the DSO and bar. After the war he was the Dominion President of the Returned Servicemen’s Association for many years.
In three cases streets were named after local citizens.
Cooper Street was formed in 1920, and named after the developer, Alexander Cooper, a Masterton stock agent and auctioneer.
When the Cooper Street extension was added in the late 1960s it was at first intended to call the new street Kauri Place, but the name was dropped and the extension retained Cooper’s name.
Lett Street is one of Lansdowne’s older streets, having been constructed in the early years of the 20th century. The Lett brothers who were well known as builders and contractors in Lansdowne and Masterton, developed the street, reputedly building most of its houses. In 1949 Churchill Avenue was built to connect Lett Street to Te Ore Ore Road
Boltons Road at the top of Manuka Street was named for the farmer/builder/race horse owner Jimmy Bolton, who bought much of the land on the south side of the street and built a large house. The Masterton Golf Club occupies the north side of the street.
The area lying between the bank and the Waipoua River, to the west of Opaki Road, was known to Mastertonians at the turn of the century as Adamsville, after William Adams, the first white person to have lived on the site of Masterton. Adams bought a block of land in the area, and lived in a large house approximately at Terrace End.
When Adams sold the land in the early 1900s a consortium of Masterton businessmen purchased the area for development, and named it Oxford Street, after the English city. For many years the maps of Masterton recorded the top of Oxford Street (from Opaki Road to below the hill) as being an extension of Bentley Street which would connect with Oxford Street if the river were bridged. This piece of Oxford Street had houses on it before the turn of the century.
The street which followed the edge of the bank along the river was originally called The Terrace but, following the death of Mayor Thomas Jordan in 1945, the area was renamed Jordan Terrace in his honour. Terrace End is a small street leading from Jordan Terrace to the bank.
Rahiwi Place was formed in 1967 as a subdivision, and named after the property, previously owned by the Jameson family. Joe Jameson also farmed Tuhitarata in the South Wairarapa.
The small street that runs along the top of the Lansdowne terrace, from Te Ore Ore Road down to the old entrance to Masterton Hospital, is named after the Chairman of the Wellington Education Board at the turn of the century, John Rutherford Blair. A prominent Wellington businessman, Blair owned a property at Tutaekara, north of Eketahuna.
QUEEN ALEXANDRA STREET
KING EDWARD STREET
Lansdowne’s two regal streets, Queen Alexandra and King Edward Streets were made during the early years of this century and commemorate the newly crowned King Edward VII and his wife, the Danish Princess Alexandra.
The Maunsell family has had a long association with Lansdowne and a number of members of the family have lived in the area. In 1990, when John Maunsell developed part of his Milford Farm into an exclusive subdivision at the northern end of Manuka Street, he proposed to name the new street after the old Maunsell home in Titoki Street, “Eridge”.
When that proposal was declined he opted for Milford Downs, Milford being the name of the Maunsell family’s ancestral home in the Irish village of Rathkeale. Rathkeale College is on the site of another Maunsell property.