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Edith Somervell was born in Tauranga in 1867, the daughter of James and Louisa Somervell nee Healy.  Prior to coming to Hawera in 1901, she married John Fulton in Napier, and he died at Palmerston North.  In 1904, she married widower James McLean, who became a Sergeant and was buried at sea during the course of a return journey from Samoa during World War One.


During the First World War, Edith took a very keen interest in all patriotic activities and was a foundation member of the Hawera Women's National Reserve.  She also had the distinction of being for many years the only woman member of the Egmont Racing Club.


Elsie ran a boarding house in Union Street called Somerset House for 30 years. Always ready and willing to help those in trouble, Edith did a great deal for those in unfortunate circumstances during the depression years, no visitor to her establishment was refused assistance.


Edith McLean died on the 26 November 1947 at Hawera aged 79 years and is buried at the Hawera cemetery.



Obituary "Hawera Star" 27 Nov 1947