Posts categorized as World War 1

Wonderful days of holiday happiness

A rosebud for Fido , 26 December 1914, Hastings, by Leslie Adkin. Gift of G. L. Adkin family estate, 1964. Te Papa (B.022231)

Summer holidays are over. Some schools have re-opened and offices have filled up with workers returning to their routines. As for Christmas – well that feels like ancient history now. But you can relive past holiday happiness by reading these joy-filled diary entries written by Horowhenua farmer, Leslie Adkin, describing his Christmas break in Hastings… 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 »

Christmas cake cuties

santa cake decoration

Not everyone loves traditional Christmas cake, but what’s not to love about these cute Christmas cake decorations? These miniature Santas are part of a collection of cake decorations associated with the Wellington bakery and coffee house Konditorei Aida. They would be more at home on a white iced, firm rich fruit cake, rather than on… 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 »

A silver ribbon of bayonets

Berry projection

‘Sometimes they marched with fixed bayonets and you saw this silver ribbon come winding through the crowd…’  Ena Ryan This wonderful, almost cinematic line comes from an interview with Ena Ryan, a Wellingtonian who was born in 1908. In the interview she vividly recalls the outbreak of the First World War, and the trips with her father… 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 »

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 »