Posts written by Kirstie Ross

‘Bone dry’: The ups and downs of banning booze

Christmas and New Year empties, 4 January 2017. Photo by Kirstie Ross

Like a tipple? History curator Kirstie Ross looks at the ways New Zealand tried to curb excessive drinking in the early 1900s and its affect on society. As you get rid of the last of your Christmas and New Year’s empties, stop for a minute and reflect back 98 years, to 17 January 1919 when the 18th Amendment of the… Read more »

20th century history mixtape: ‘B’ side

Record - "Hit Tunes" by Johnny Devlin, circa 1958, New Zealand, by Johnny Devlin, Southern Music. Purchased 2001 with New Zealand Lotteries Grant funds. Te Papa (GH009364)

Slice of Heaven: 20th Century Aotearoa is Te Papa’s exhibition about four crucial social and political changes that occurred in New Zealand after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 and before the millennial panic of ‘Y2K’ (‘Year 2000’). I hope that the exhibition, which closes on 23rd January to make room for the new… Read more »

Conflicted loyalties: Berry Boys conscripted for war

  • Portrait of Cecil Theobald Coate, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.046296)
  • Portrait of Jack Langley Braddock, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.044362)
  • Portrait of Herbert James Freeman with Marguerita Freeman and baby Zena, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.045581)
  • Portrait of Harry Luckman with Ellen Luckman and baby Harry George Luckman, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.043586)

History curator Kirstie Ross explores the stories of four ‘Berry Boys’ who were conscripted in the first and second conscription ballots 100 years ago. In 1916, after two years of fighting, it was clear that New Zealanders’ loyalty to ‘King and Country’ was competing with other concerns – and fewer men were volunteering. Conscription was… Read more »

A ‘gamble in human life’: military conscription begins 100 years ago

End view of box used in conscription ballots from 1916-1918

In 1916, after two years of fighting, it was clear that New Zealanders’ loyalty to ‘King and Country’ was competing with other concerns – and fewer men were volunteering. History curator Kirstie Ross takes a look at conscription – introduced 100 years ago to ensure a constant supply of New Zealand soldiers for military service in the… Read more »

One million visitors: myriad meanings

Weta Workshop's Richard Taylor applies the finishing touches to the large scale model of Lottie Le Gallais. Photograph by Michael Hall, Te Papa.

20 October marked a significant milestone at Te Papa when Gallipoli: The scale of our war’s one millionth visitor and a friend were escorted through the exhibition. That number is almost equal to New Zealand’s population (1.1 million) during the war, 100 years ago. We’ve reached this phenomenal figure in just 18 months since the exhibition opened…. Read more »

‘A taste of hell’: Cecil Malthus on the Somme

Cecil Malthus, 1914. Courtesy of the Malthus family.

Finding Cecil Malthus in a muddy shell hole at the end of Gallipoli: The scale of our war reminds visitors that many Gallipoli veterans like Cecil went on to face more hardship on the Western Front. Just over 100 years ago, in September 1916, Cecil fought in the Battle of the Somme – the New… Read more »

The Battle of the Somme, September 1916: survival and loss

copy-of-a-portrait-of-norman-cummins-1916-1917-wellington-by-william-berry-purchased-1998-with-new-zealand-lottery-grants-board-funds-te-papa-b-045351

Guest blogger and long-serving, recently retired Te Papa history curator Michael Fitzgerald introduces the Battle of the Somme, and one man who survived the ferocious fighting that occurred there 100 years ago and another – one of Te Papa’s ‘Berry Boys’ – who lost his life. As visitors leave Gallipoli: The scale of our war… Read more »

Dissent during the First World War: by the numbers

Socialist Cross of Honour no. 5 awarded to J K Worrall, courtesy of Jared Davidson

Guest blogger Jared Davidson asks how historians and others have measured and defined dissent, sedition and conscientious objection to military conscription during the Great War. The new statistics he arrives at will surprise you. Jared opens his blog with the numbers of individuals known to have opposed conscription (and compulsory military training) even before the declaration of war in 1914,… Read more »

St David’s church and the history of the art of remembrance

Detail showing quatrefoils in Max Gimblett's 'Art of Remembrance'. St David's Church, Auckland, 2015 from Art of Remembrance website

Last year, thousands of bronze quatrefoils transformed the exterior of Auckland’s St David’s Presbyterian Church in Khyber Pass (see detail here). This was Max Gimblett’s World War One commemorative project ,‘Remembrance’. The connection between the church and war remembrance has a long history. In 1920, parishioners decided to replace their current place of worship with… Read more »