Given names: 
L. E.
Given address: 
Lichfield St
Sheet No: 197
Central Christchurch

Biography contributed by Terry Kennaway.

Lucy Ethel Lamb was born in Matakana, New Zealand in 1866, the ninth child of Mary and James Lamb. Her parents were farming in the area before moving to Christchurch, where her father established a funeral company, Lamb and Son. Another of Lucy’s brothers, William later established another funeral business, Lamb and Hayward, in partnership with William Hayward and William Boon.

Mary became involved in the Christchurch Central branch of the Women’s Suffrage movement, signing the petition at a meeting of the branch in 1893. Lucy, her sister Georgina and sister-in-law to be, Jane King all signed and proudly voted at the parliamentary election later in the year.

The family home was in Lichfield Street, where Lucy lived with her brother, Herbert and younger sister Ethel. She played an active role in St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, singing in the choir and teaching in the Sunday school.

After James died in 1897 and Mary in 1898, Lucy helped run Lamb and Son, with her brothers William and Herbert, until her marriage to James Gilbert in 1900. By now, Lucy was 34 and well skilled in running a business. She and James moved to Oriental Bay in Wellington, sharing the Gilbert family home there for a number of years, before moving to Auckland and later to Hamilton in 1919.

Lucy was later described by her daughter, Grace, as rather a cold woman and was known to have high expectations of her two daughters, Roma and Grace. However, as Grace was very much indulged by her father, perhaps Lucy found herself having to be the disciplinarian.

Lucy died in Hamilton 1934. Her obituary in the Waikato Times, described her as ‘a quiet and retiring person’.

Lucy Lamb

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

How to cite this page

'L. E. Lamb', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 7-Mar-2018

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