Posts written by Kirstie Ross

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 »

How Many New Zealanders Landed on Gallipoli? The Story Continues

Saying goodbye to mates before leaving Gallipoli. Photo by Norman Prior. Wairarapa Archive

Dr Chris Pugsley, the Historical Director of Gallipoli: The scale of our war provides some background as to why he stood by the use of the original official figures to calculate a 93% casualty rate for the NZEF on Gallipoli: As Historical Director of the Gallipoli: The Scale of our War Exhibition at Te Papa… Read more »

Gallipoli: The scale of our war marked its first anniversary this week, on Monday 18th April. The phenomenal numbers visiting the exhibition have left an enormous number of poppies in the shell crater occupied by Cecil Malthus. Skimming the poppies from this ‘pool’ – to stop them from spilling into the gallery and causing a tidal surge… Read more »

Brothers and sisters: The scale of our war

  • Hospital at the Featherston Military Camp. Photograph taken by Frederick George Radcliffe between circa 1914-1918. National Library, New Zealand 1-2-005955-G,
  • Letter to Leddie Le Gallais returned to Lottie Le Gallais. Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum (MS 95-11 folder 3)
  • Lottie Le Gallais, about 1913. Photographer unknown. Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum (PH-95-02)
  • Lottie Le Gallais, about 1913. Photographer unknown. Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum (PH-95-02)

Through military nursing, a group of more than 500 New Zealand women participated directly in the Great War, including Lottie (Charlotte) Le Gallais, who is our seventh larger-than-life figure in Gallipoli: The scale of our war (above). This blog is about her war and the impact it had on the Le Gallais family. Lottie was on… Read more »

Doubling the scale of our war

  • Comparative casulty rate on Gallipoli. Photograph by Kirstie Ross
  • Numbers of NZers landing on Gallipoli. Photograph by Kirstie Ross
  • Sister Lottie Le Gallais. Photograph by Norm Heke
  • Sister Charlotte Le Gallais WWI 22/137 from Archives NZ personnel file

On Monday 21 March, I eagerly read the results of an intensive research project that gives us the clearest indication, to date, of the number of New Zealanders that served on Gallipoli. This research, undertaken by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the New Zealand Defence Force, reveals that the total number of New… Read more »

‘Bravest and best of scouts’: Colin Warden 1890-1915

giants with rachael-39

This is the third blog in our series about the real people behind the eight Weta Workshop-crafted models featured in Gallipoli: The scale of our war. The previous two blogs have been about Spencer Westmacott and Percival Fenwick. This one focuses on Colin ‘Col’ Warden, shown in this pre-war photograph, which I think would have… Read more »

Amongst the many events happening this weekend during Wellington’s 150th birthday is the official unveiling of a plaque (below). The plaque commemorates 150 years since the founding of Te Papa’s predecessor, the Colonial Museum, and the role of James Hector in setting up and running the museum, amongst many other things. (Hector was an amazing scientific… Read more »

History curator Michael Fitzgerald introduces Lieutenant Colonel Percival Fenwick, the second, larger-than-life figure encountered in Gallipoli: The scale of our war. The 45-year-old surgeon’s despair is palpable, as leans over Jack Aitken on May 4th 1915, knowing that he has been unable to save the fatally wounded Canterbury infantryman. Fenwick (1870–1958) was born in London where he qualified as… Read more »

You can’t sink a rainbow

GH011827; Badge, 'If it's safe'; 1980s; Unknown; Plastic wrapped printed paper and metal badge; metal; printing; New Zealand

History curator Stephanie Gibson looks back to the 1980s, and an explosive event that shook New Zealand. Thirty years ago, on 10 July 1985, French government agents attached bombs to the hull of the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior and sank it in Auckland Harbour. The French government had feared that the ship would draw attention to… Read more »

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 »