The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Wakefield, Felix
Wakefield, Felix, was the fifth son of Edward Wakefield, of Burnham Hall, Essex, and younger brother of Edward Gibbon Wakefield. He was born in 1807, and was educated as an engineer. In early life he was Superintendent of Public Works in Tasmania. Returning to England in 1847, he threw himself with energy into his brother's colonising schemes, and took an active part in establishing the Canterbury settlement in the colony of New Zealand, to which he himself emigrated in 1851, the allotment which he took up being No. 2, now the site of the town of Sumner. Being an enthusiastic botanist, he distributed seeds and cuttings, from which many of the plantations in the vicinity of Christchurch had their rise. On his return after a visit to England in 1854, he brought out to Nelson the first red deer, pheasants, and other animals and birds. On the outbreak of the Crimean war he returned to England, and was made principal superintendent of the Army Works Corps at the seat of war, being given the rank of lieutenant-colonel and employed in making the railway from Balaclava to Sebastopol. After the peace he travelled in Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Egypt, returning in 1863 to New Zealand, where he at first lived at Nelson, and subsequently at Sumner. He died suddenly at the latter place on Dec. 24th, 1876.