Germans in Tonga 1855-1960


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Surname Quensell
First name(s) Walter George
Date of birth 04/11/1880
Date of death 06/05/1956
Sex Male
Biography Walter George Quensell was born on 4 November 1880 in Helmstedt, Germany to August Quensell and Ana Quensell, nee Müller. He arrived in Tonga in 1903. Sometime after the death of his first wife in 1912, Walter George Quensell married Emma Loise Hoeft. They had four children together: Albert Joseph, b. c. 1917, Charles August, b. 1919, and twins August and Luisa, b. 1925. From his previous marriage, to Sela Vaha'i Tonga or Tuipulotu, Walter Quensell had had three children: George Dugald, b. 1908, August William Henry, b. 1910, and Anna Elfride, b. 1912. In 1919 Walter and Emma arrived on Niuafo'ou Island, where he established himself as a trader for Burns Philp (South Seas) Co. Ltd. In 1926, Walter took his wife, Emma and six of his children to New Zealand where Emma and the children remained for their education and Walter returned to Niuafo’ou Island to commence his “Tin Can Mail” service, whereby the mail was brought to and from ships by swimmers, as there is no safe anchorage for ships. In a letter, Quensell wrote that during his 27 years on the island, he had sent more than one and a half million letters to 148 different countries, and that towards the end, excursion vessels had brought as many as 40,000 letters a visit, mostly from the USA. Walter George Quensell died on 6 May 1956 in Tonga. (Julie Hoeft, NZ) (Enemy Alien Files no. 13; 06/05/1916; BCT 4 / 1; 8-18, 23; BCT 4 / 4; 6; Despatch no. 99, date of despatch 02/08/1918; Reg. no: F. 2/56)

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