Posts written by Kirstie Ross

WWI case studies of courage and despair

Thirteen unidentified WWI soldiers mending boots at Oatlands Park England,1918

In May this year, Road to Recovery: Disabled Soldiers of World War I closed, after its ten-month-long display at Te Papa. This exhibition, which explored how New Zealand soldiers disabled by World War I were supported to regain their economic independence, included 8 sepia photographs of limbless soldiers demonstrating new work skills they were taught while… Read more »

End of the road

Untitled [portrait of a WWI soldier (Allan McMillan) with an amputated arm sitting at a desk at Oatlands Park, Surrey, England], 1918, England, maker unknown. Te Papa (O.031468)

Before or after visiting Gallipoli: The scale of our war, take some time to head up to level 4 to see The Road to Recovery: Disabled Soldiers of World War I. This small-scale exhibition contains sobering content showing the long-term impact of the Great War on individuals, families and communities. In the exhibition, eight large sepia photographs taken… Read more »

NZ’s WWI hospital ship and Annie’s autographs

Maheno signature embroidery, 1915. Te Papa

This embroidered cloth was created on the New Zealand hospital ship Maheno as it steamed its way north to Egypt in July and August 1915. The words stitched on it are actually the signatures of the ship’s staff and crew. Two weeks ago this Te Papa object was placed into its display case in Gallipoli:… Read more »

Wonderful days of holiday happiness

A rosebud for Fido , 26 December 1914, Hastings, by Leslie Adkin. Gift of G. L. Adkin family estate, 1964. Te Papa (B.022231)

Summer holidays are over. Some schools have re-opened and offices have filled up with workers returning to their routines. As for Christmas – well that feels like ancient history now. But you can relive past holiday happiness by reading these joy-filled diary entries written by Horowhenua farmer, Leslie Adkin, describing his Christmas break in Hastings… Read more »

A Princess’s present for Chrismas

Princess Mary's gift box 1914

The war that erupted in Europe in August 1914 was supposed to over by Christmas that year. This confident view did not stop Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George V (he appears on the poster below) and Queen Mary, from initiating a scheme to distribute Christmas gifts to the British forces fighting far from… Read more »

Christmas cake cuties

santa cake decoration

Not everyone loves traditional Christmas cake, but what’s not to love about these cute Christmas cake decorations? These miniature Santas are part of a collection of cake decorations associated with the Wellington bakery and coffee house Konditorei Aida. They would be more at home on a white iced, firm rich fruit cake, rather than on… Read more »

No Mo December

Old Spice set

Put those moustache cups away for another year, and splash on some bracing aftershave. Here are some shaving related items in Te Papa’s collections to inspire you Movember-ites to lather up and remove the moustaches you have tended over the last month. What about this shaving mug for the politically-minded moustache-remover, below. It features an illustration of the… Read more »

Inspiring disabled designs

GH021216 Wallpaper sample

Pokerwork, or ‘pyrography’ if you want to be fancy, was one of the craft activities encouraged by doctors who supervised the recuperation of soldiers wounded during World War One. Generally, medical experts recognised the benefits of gentle, repetitive actions for damaged muscles. Squeezing the bulb of a pokerwork machine – that created the heat required… Read more »

Farewell Berry Boys, George, Roy, Frank, and Alfred

Berry Boys exhibition on level 4 April-October 2014

Four of Te Papa’s ‘Berry Boys’ were amongst the 8500 men who left with the Main Body of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 16 October 1914. These men, in their fresh uniforms, were draper George Hornig (above, in a photo taken in 1912), cabinetmaker Roy Houchen, and Frank Barber, from Wellington, plus Alfred Gower, a… Read more »