Posts categorized as World War 1

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.

Yesterday Te Papa achieved a significant milestone 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. That’s a… Read more »

Guess who’s coming to dinner? Ethel Tweedie’s celebrity table-cloths

What dinner party conversation riled up this well dressed gent?

Following a recent blog post featuring a suffragette signature handkerchief, I became curious about the origins of what is collectively known as ‘signature cloths’. Just when did signature cloths become ‘a thing’ and what was their purpose?  Rozsika Parker, author of The Subversive Stitch, describes signature cloths as a ‘female social tradition by which guests would embroider their signatures for their hostess to commemorate… 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


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 »

Special screening: The Battle of the Somme

Black and white photo of William Keith Berry

This year marks the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. The British High Commission, in partnership with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Wellington City Council, Ticketek New Zealand present a special screening of the internationally acclaimed film “The Battle of the Somme”.

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 »

Max Gimblett and ‘The Art of Remembrance’

  • Large Quatrefoils_02_2
  • 'The Art of Remembrance', St David’s Memorial Church, Auckland, 2015. Photo: Jessica Chloe Photography. Courtesy of Max Gimblett ONZM and The Friends of St David’s Trust
  • 'The Art of Remembrance', St David’s Memorial Church, Auckland, 2015. Photo: Jessica Chloe Photography. Courtesy of Max Gimblett ONZM and The Friends of St David’s Trust
  • Gimblet Rememberance Upfront_49

On display as part of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa is an exhibition called The Art of Remembrance, featuring the work of contemporary New Zealand artist Max Gimblett ONZM. This blog post gives some more information about the project and its earlier incarnation as a public art project in Auckland last year.   The exhibition contains… 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 »

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 »