Watch, pocket

Maker and role
Recipient: John Nash (b.1822, d.1893)
Maker: Thos Russell & Son (estab. 1840s, closed 1906)
Other Contributor: New Zealand Police
Production date
04 Aug 1867
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Object Detail

Production place
Gold fob watch, engraved case with shield on front, white enamel face, roman numerals. Includes wind up and clock hand keys. Made by 'Thos Russell & Son 68575'. Engraved 'No 1 / John Nash / ACF / Nelson NZ / 4th August 1867'. Stamped 'CB', 'H', '18', and crown. Attached to heavy gold link fob chain with bar, watch key and double sided seal stone with red and green stone (r glass) inserts. Seal also stamped. Documented as being given to Sgt John Nash, member of the Provincial Police in Nelson for his work apprehending the Maungatapu Murderers and recovering the firearms involved in those murders in 1866.
Media and materials
Length=chain 420
Length (condref)=Chain 420
0 - Whole = Width (mm) = 50mm
0 - Whole = Depth (mm) = 15mm
0 - Whole = Height (mm) = 72mm
Maker biography
Nash was born in Killarney, Ireland, in about 1822. He sailed for New Zealand in 1845 with the 65th Regiment of the British Army. Nash is photographed later in life wearing a New Zealand Wars medal inscribed with "Horokiwi" along the top bar. That battle took place in August 1846, between British Forces and Ngāti Toa at Horokiwi in the Hutt region of the North Island. On leaving the Army in 1857 Nash joined the Nelson Provincial Armed Constabulary but was later stationed in 1863 at Westport during the goldrush. By 1866 Nash, back in Nelson, was third in command of the Provincial Police Force. He was awarded a gold watch for his work in the hunt for those responsible for the murders of five gold prospectors at Maungatapu. Nash was promoted to Sergeant after these events in September 1866 as reported in The Colonist, Volume IX, Issue 943, 9 October 1866.

Nash was registered as the first non-commissioned member of the newly formed New Zealand Police Force on 1 September 1886. He had the number '1' displayed prominently on his headgear. He retired a year later after 30 years of service and received the newly struck New Zealand Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal which he is photographed wearing alongside the New Zealand War medal.

After leaving the police, John Nash became Inspector of Nuisances and Registrar of Dogs for the Nelson City Council. He died in 1893, survived by four children of his first wife, Sarah (nee Newport), his second wife Selina (nee Goddard) and their six children. He had named the youngest - born in the year he became 'policeman number one' - Sargeant John Nash."

Written with some content from the New Zealand Police Website
Maungatapu Murders
Subject person
Accession number
Credit line
Gold fob watch, presented to Sgt. John Nash. Nelson Provincial Museum Collection: 53.53

Collection type




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