de Montalk was born in Paris to a Polish émigré of noble descent who arrived in France after the 1830 revolt against Russia. He was educated at the University of Paris in literature, married and had two children before his wife died.
He served as a calvary officer in the Italian Wars of Unification and was an admirer of Garibaldi. He emigrated to New Zealand with his children and later married Alexandrina Williamina Sutherland Macalister in 1869. They had 12 children. In New Zealand he worked as a language teacher at Nelson College, Christchurch Boys High School, and Christs College, before being appointed a lecturer at Auckland University College, lecturing in French and German in 1894.
He died at his Mt Eden home in 1901 having helped establish the teaching of European languages in several major secondary schools and at two of the original university foundations in New Zealand. He also published a text-book on “Elements of French Literature” in 1879.
Edmond DE MONTALK
Block D, Row 27, Plot 064