Posts categorized as History

Limbless, but not jobless or hopeless

  ‘Limbie’ is a word you don’t hear today. It seems a bit blunt to us now but, during and after World War I, it was an acceptable, informal term used to describe a limbless soldier – an ex-serviceman who lost a limb in the conflict. (Over 1000 New Zealand soldiers had to have limbs… Read more »

Girl Peace Scouts: a prophylactic against hoydenish romps

The Girl Peace Scout movement was founded in New Zealand by Lieutenant Colonel David Cossgrove in 1908, after his daughters expressed interest in becoming scouts – that is they were somewhat peeved that their brothers were having all the fun. Based in Christchurch, Cossgrove had been responsible for translating Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys into… Read more »

Berry Boys: First in, first served

Early enlister John Jessen (above) was the first of the soldiers photographed by Berry & Co to enlist for service. The 23-year-old signed up on 8 August 1914, just two days after the Defence Department invited single men between the ages of 20 and 35, weighing not more than 12 stone (76kg), to volunteer for… Read more »

Arohatia te Reo: learning 50 kupu hou (new Māori words) – Te Reo and WWI research

"HURRAH FOR THE KING: MEMBERS OF THE MAORI CONTINGENT IN THE NEW ZEALAND CAMP AT ZEITOUN BEFORE THEIR DEPARTURE TO MALTA." 
Taken from the supplement to the Auckland Weekly News 27 May 1915 p 43
(Image courtesy of Auckland Libraries)

In honour of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, here are a number of kupu Māori (Māori words) that I constantly use in my everyday mahi/work as a curator at Te Papa, and especially in my research for the First World War exhibition we are presently developing. Many of the sources written in te reo Māori that date… Read more »

The Berry Boys: Hot off the press (well almost)

  • Berry Boys - available from all good books stores come August.
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This coming August marks a climax of Te Papa’s Berry Boys soldier identification project, with the screening of a documentary on seven of the soldiers on TVNZ in early August (details to come), and the launch of Berry Boys: Portraits of First World War Soldiers and Families by Te Papa Press. The latter brings all of the soldier portraits… Read more »

Bubblegum Future

Space encyclopedia 3

When I was nine or ten I used to go to Jenkins Gym in Manners St, Wellington on Saturday mornings with a friend. I hated it but I suspect our respective fathers thought we needed toughening up. The good bit was that after the long trolley bus trip home (no being ferried around by parents… Read more »

New WOW Factor!

A sneaky peak!

This week we are changing over a number of garments in The WOW Factor, an exhibition celebrating the wonderful, creative and inventive World of WearableArt™. The exhibition itself has been extended to 2 November 2014 so that this year’s show attendees can also enjoy seeing a number of garments up close and personal. For those of… Read more »

Her Majesty’s bloomers

Bloomers front

Among the many treasures in the textiles collection at Te Papa there is one very large pair of drawers (or bloomers). These drawers were owned by Queen Victoria. After her death in 1901, Queen Victoria’s underwear was distributed to members of the Royal Household. This particular pair was owned by Lady Louisa Seddon, wife of… Read more »