Posts categorized as World War 1

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 »

The image above is my favourite from a WWI album with photos by NZ soldier Herbert (Bert) Green. The group seems just perfectly composed. There is also the sense of it being two photographs somehow layered together, with another scene unfolding quite independently behind the soldiers. The way the hat of the man at right veers towards… Read more »

German Samoa captured by New Zealand Troops – 29 August 1914

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Today marks the 100th anniversary of the occupation of Samoa by New Zealand troops. It was the first military action of New Zealanders in the first world war. This postcard titled ’German War Flag captured at Samoa by New Zealand Expeditionary Force’ is one of a small group of items at Te Papa that reference… Read more »

Official photographs and reading Herman Wollerman’s postcard

Takapau Divisional Camp 1914, photographic postcard, Hawke's Bay, by James Daroux, Te Papa PS.003297

Can you spot the arrow in the sky? This photographic postcard by photographer, James Daroux, was sent by Herman Wollerman to his father in Wellington from the Takapau Divisional training camp in the Hawkes’ Bay in May 1914. The camp was one of an annual series of training exercises organised by the New Zealand Territorial Forces from 1912 to… Read more »

Choose your favourite World War I objects from Te Papa Press’s new book Holding on to Home

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One designer, two authors, nine chapters, 28 library, archive and museum collections, and more than 300 illustrations: these are some of the ingredients that have gone into Holding on to Home: New Zealand Stories and Objects for the First World War which was launched by Te Papa Press last night. When the First World War began,… Read more »

Māori at Gallipoli – TedX talk “Forgotten grandfathers: Maori men of WW1″

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Kia ora koutou Last month I gave a talk at a TedX conference in Tauranga where I discussed some of the research I’ve undertaken as part of our exhibition development project here for an exhibition about Gallipoli (due to open April next year at Te Papa). I’ve been very busy assembling potential Māori content for that… Read more »

An evening with Sir Hew Strachan, Britain’s leading First World War historian

Monday, 25 August, 6-7pm, Soundings Theatre, Te Papa In New Zealand, as elsewhere in the world, the debate is hotting up about how communities, and most specifically governments, should commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. With millions being spent world-wide, the question is certainly being debated by many, with votes being passionately… Read more »

Berry Cover Boys

 Gerald Gower (left) and Alfred Featherston Gower (right) are the two brothers who grace rather strikingly the cover of Berry Boys: Portraits of First World War Soldiers and Families by Michael Fitzgerald and Claire Regnault. The studio paraphernalia you see in the image above would have been cropped out in prints made from the original… Read more »

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 »