During the long process of digitising the cemetery records at the Congregational cemetery on Gorge Road I've encountered a few rather sad stories behind the names on the grave stones. In the case of Lionel Major Hardy, he was a young man at just 24 years old working for the Railways Department. Just six weeks before his tragic death Hardy had been transferred from the Maungaturoto station to Auckland, On the 14 December 1929, Hardy was out with some friends when the vehicle they were in rolled on Gorge Road. Hardy died as a result of his injuries before he reached Whangarei Hospital.
New Zealand Herald, Volume LXVI, Issue 20441, 18 December 1929, Page 14
CAR GOES OVER BANK.: ONE PASSENGER KILLED. TWO MEN IN HOSPITAL [BY TELEGRAPH. —OWN CORRESPONDENT.] WHANGAREI, Monday.
A fatal motoring accident occurred at Maungaturoto late on Saturday afternoon.
Details are:— Killed Mr. Lionel M. Hardy, aged 24, a member of the refreshment room staff of the New Zealand Railways, Auckland.
Injured. Mr. John Dodds, of Huarau, aged 60, extensive injury to scalp. Mr. Alfred King, of Maungaturoto; fractured ribs and injuries to right side. The two other occupants of the car, Messrs. Williams and Peacock, also of the railway refreshment room staff, were not sufficiently injured to warrant admission to hospital.
For some years Mr. Hardy was a well known member of the Maungaturoto railway refreshment room staff, and was transferred to Auckland six weeks ago. He was single, and as far as is known had no relatives in New Zealand. He had come to pay a weekend visit to friends at Maungaturoto.
The car in which the party of five was travelling was driven by Mr. Dodds, and was travelling down the steep siding in the vicinity of the Maungaturoto public hall at about 5.30 p.m., when it left the road, plunged over a sloping bank 5ft. high, and capsized. Evidently Mr. Hardy was crushed against a log or some hard obstacle and was terribly injured. He was alive when removed from the wreckage, and was attended to by Dr Dawson, but died half an hour before the Whangarei Hospital was reached at 8.15 p.m.
Mr. Dodds injuries lead to the conclusion that his head came in contact with the windscreen, but both he and Mr. King are progressing satisfactorily. The inquest into Mr. Hardy's death was opened at the hospital before Mr. G. N. Morris, S.M., yesterday, and. after medical testimony and evidence, of identification had been given, was adjourned to Maungaturoto on January 16.
New Zealand Herald, Volume LXVI, Issue 20440, 17 December 1929, Page 12