Posts categorized as World War 1

Fate of the Berry Boys and the ‘disastrous fiasco’ of Passchendaele

  • El Mariscal de Campo Sir Douglas Haig, circa 1918, Spain, by Francis Dodd. Te Papa (CA000316/001/0017/0001)
  • Three portraits each on one negative of William Horace James and Gertrude Miriam James., 1915, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.045525)
  • Portrait of Francis Edward Beaufort, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.045050)
  • Portrait of Harry Luckman with Ellen Luckman and baby Harry George Luckman, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.043586)

The death of over 840 troops over a single day during the Battle of Passchendaele, compounded by a further 1,860 wounded, was a low point in New Zealand’s military contribution to WWI, 100 years ago today. History curator Kirstie Ross outlines the impact of the battle on seven New Zealand soldiers, all of whom were photographed… Read more »

Adkin diaries update: Your help still needed to bring them to life

  • Screenshot of a search result in Collections Online
  • Empty paddock
  • Two women and a baby sit on a picnic blanket
  • Man stands in a field holding a scythe

An update from history curator Kirstie Ross on the progress made transcribing selected diaries from those kept by Horowhenua farmer Leslie Adkin for 40 years. Thanks transcribers! A few weeks ago I invited blog readers to transcribe diaries from October 1917 to November 1918 kept by Leslie Adkin, a Levin farmer, photographer, husband and father,… Read more »

We need you to help bring Leslie Adkin’s diaries to life

  • George Leslie Adkin's diary, well-worn and with a sticker on the cover saying May 1917 to Feb 1919
  • Poster featurign the flags of the Allies nations
  • Palmerston North library building from the early 1900s
  • Close up of Nancy in pram with teething bone in mouth

Horowhenua farmer Leslie Adkin kept a diary for 40 years from 1905, recording a huge amount of information of early 20th century New Zealand life, through war and peace. Te Papa is calling for volunteers to transcribe Leslie’s dairies from October 1917, just after he was conscripted to serve in the army, through to the end of… Read more »

The missing Military Cross from the Battle of Messines

  • Ruins of a building, Messines, during World War I. Photograph taken 1917 by Henry Armytage Sanders. Ref: 1/2-012778-G, Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918: H Series negatives, PAColl-5311-3, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington
  • Uniform sleeve (partial), cap badge and hat pins, 1914-1918, New Zealand, maker unknown. Gift of Marianne Abraham, 2010. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (GH016805)
  • Doll, Soldier, 1914-1916, New Zealand, by Dorothy Broad. Purchased 2009. © Te Papa. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (GH016389)
  • Officer’s medal stripes, 1914-1918, New Zealand, maker unknown. Gift of Marianne Abraham, 2010. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (GH016807)

Wyville Rutherford’s ‘conspicuous gallantry’ during the Battle of Messines won him a Military Cross. But the medal, like Wyville, didn’t make it back to New Zealand. History curator Kirstie Ross shares details of Wyvillle’s WWI experiences and a unique group of mementos that survived him instead. Wyville Rutherfurd (sometimes spelled Rutherford) was awarded a Military… Read more »

Appealing the lottery of death

MA_I221614.640x640 answer the call right quickly

What would you do if your wife was expecting your first child and you were compulsorily called up for military service? James Dempsey faced this dilemma in January 1917. History curator Kirstie Ross shows how James, like thousands of New Zealand men who juggled the calls made by King and Country, work, and family, appealed his conscription…. Read more »

An action-packed Anzac week: WWI, live performances, arts and craft, and fashion

S. Rosamond Praeger working on the decoration of the 
façade of the Thomas Andrews/Titanic Memorial Hall. Photo courtesy of Joseph McBrinn.

The forthcoming ‘Anzac week’ is going to be an action packed one for Te Papa, with a wide range of events on offer for both adult and family audiences that explores aspects of the First World War and beyond. Family theatre – An Awfully Big Adventure If you are looking for a family outing over Anzac Weekend, you might… Read more »

Berry Boys in the fourth ballot: Battersby and Scambary

Portrait of Walter George, George and Ida Scambary, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.046400)

During WWI, monthly conscription ballots were drawn between November 1916 and October 1918 to make up for a shortfall in numbers volunteering for the army. History curator Kirstie Ross shares the stories of two Wellingtonians whose names were selected in the fourth ballot. On 13 February 1917, 100 years ago, marbles with the military registration numbers… Read more »

Conflicted loyalties: Berry Boys conscripted for war

  • Portrait of Cecil Theobald Coate, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.046296)
  • Portrait of Jack Langley Braddock, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.044362)
  • Portrait of Herbert James Freeman with Marguerita Freeman and baby Zena, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.045581)
  • Portrait of Harry Luckman with Ellen Luckman and baby Harry George Luckman, 1917, Wellington, by William Berry. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (B.043586)

History curator Kirstie Ross explores the stories of four ‘Berry Boys’ who were conscripted in the first and second conscription ballots 100 years ago. In 1916, after two years of fighting, it was clear that New Zealanders’ loyalty to ‘King and Country’ was competing with other concerns – and fewer men were volunteering. Conscription was… Read more »

A ‘gamble in human life’: military conscription begins 100 years ago

End view of box used in conscription ballots from 1916-1918

In 1916, after two years of fighting, it was clear that New Zealanders’ loyalty to ‘King and Country’ was competing with other concerns – and fewer men were volunteering. History curator Kirstie Ross takes a look at conscription – introduced 100 years ago to ensure a constant supply of New Zealand soldiers for military service in the… Read more »