Posts categorized as Conflict and Identity

Introducing Spencer Westmacott: farmer, soldier, artist

Lieutenant Spencer Westmacott, 1914. Photographer unknown, courtesy of Yvonne Riddiford

Behind every man in uniform is a rich story. Spencer Westmacott (1885-1960) was an officer with the 16th Waikato Regiment which departed New Zealand for the First World War in October 1914. His story is the first that visitors will encounter in Te Papa’s new exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war opening on April 18…. Read more »

Maori soldiers that served at Gallipoli

Sons of Lawrence Marshall Grace and Te Kahui Grace. Photograph taken in 1911 by S P Andrew Ltd. From left: Haami, Lawrence, Richard. Photo courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library.  http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23135461

In our second blog ahead of our new exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war opening on April 18, Maori curator Puawai Cairns reveals some of her research into a Maori soldier that served at Gallipoli. Unlike many of the other Maori soldiers I researched for this exhibition, 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Marshall Percy Grace (10/127… Read more »

The significance of March 18 in the history of WW1

Gallipoli_ID_B-BG_RGB_750px

A month today Te Papa’s new exhibition Gallipoli: The scale of our war opens to the public. Keep an eye out each Wednesday over the next couple of months for a new blog from the team working on creating this exhibition. To kick things off, we’ve got a post from History Curator Michael Fitzgerald on the… 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 »

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 »

Who are the people in your neighbourhood?

  • Ernest Kilby from Island Bay refused to fight. Photo: John Cordner
  • Playing hide n seek in Seatoun. Photo:  Caroline Sarfati
  • Photographer William Berry and his family revisit 147 Cuba St. Photo: Claire Regnault
  • Norman at the top of the Cable Car. Photo: An anonymous friend.

Just as the old Sesame Street song enthuses, take a little walk through your neighbourhood and see who you meet. Chances are that this week you will come across some faces from the past. For bent, the mysterious artist responsible for many magical happenings around the city, from giant pigeons to miniature box cities, has been busy reuniting people of the past with… Read more »

Taking to the streets lest we forget

Berry and Co Building_02

This week Te Papa, Archives New Zealand and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision are  taking our collections to the streets for an outdoor multi-media presentation as part of the Wellington City Council’s First World War commemoration programme. The launch of Lest We Forget on the 16 October marks the 100th anniversary of the departure of 8000 New Zealand troops… Read more »

William Gemmell: WWI amputee postively identified

Te Papa holds 28 sepia-toned photographs taken of New Zealand servicemen who were wounded during World War I. None of the men in these photographs are identified. However, thanks to Julie Gemmell of Waikouaiti, we now know that one of the men in two of these photos is William Clement Gemmell, Julie’s grandfather. In the photograph above,… Read more »