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Marion Ruth Curham

There is a painful side to the family history. Marian Ruth Curham died at the age of 19 in Freeman's Bay in Auckland in 1911, as a result of an accidental pregnancy and complications arising from an abortion outside the health system. My siblings and I find this particular part of the family history particularly distressing. My brother has located Ruth's grave in Waikumete Cemetery and visits it occasionally. It feels important to remember this tragic history that occurred at a time in a society that was very different from ours, and very hard on woman who became pregnant outside of wedlock.

The pregnancy also seems to have occurred against a background of some difficulty within the Curham family with the death of Ruth's father at the age of 53 and the remarriage of her mother.