Posts tagged with World War One

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 »

America’s First World War posters

Poster featuring Uncle Sam pointing a finger the viewer. Text says 'I Want You For U.S. Army'

One hundred years ago the United States of America declared war on Germany and its allies on 6 April 1917. History curator Stephanie Gibson looks at American propaganda posters from the time, some of which were on display in New Zealand. In the months that followed the declaration, millions of dramatic, emotional and persuasive American… 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 »

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 »

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 »

Over the Christmas holidays, Australian researcher Stephen Marshall visited Te Papa to view a little-known watercolour in our collection: John William Tristram’s ‘A Tremulous Dusk‘, painted in 1904. Stephen is currently writing a book on the artist, and wrote this blog to tell us more about the beautiful painting he found.  A rare early twentieth… Read more »

WWI case studies of courage and despair

Thirteen unidentified WWI soldiers mending boots at Oatlands Park England,1918

In May this year, Road to Recovery: Disabled Soldiers of World War I closed, after its ten-month-long display at Te Papa. This exhibition, which explored how New Zealand soldiers disabled by World War I were supported to regain their economic independence, included 8 sepia photographs of limbless soldiers demonstrating new work skills they were taught while… Read more »

Writing Gallipoli: The scale of our war – Part 2

How’s your war slang, cobber? A1 you reckon? Take the Great War Word Quiz Whence comes ‘the top brass’? The etymology of war In my earlier blog, I talked about writing from the soldiers’ perspective and creating our narrator – ‘the grunt’. An unexpected outcome was learning about the origins of many words we use… Read more »

Writing Gallipoli: The scale of our war – Part 1

Part of a letter written by a soldier named Kapper, Wellington Infantry Battalion, Gallipoli, 1915. Courtesy of Exhibition Historical Director Dr Christopher Pugsley.

In our latest Gallipoli blog, Te Papa’s Head Writer Frith Williams takes you behind the scenes with the writers of the exhibition. ‘By jove it was awful’: Writing from the soldiers’ perspective Gallipoli: the large-scale models by Weta Workshop, the powerful stories, the interactive experiences – they’ve all attracted a lot of attention. With any… Read more »

Building Gallipoli – the install

Rob Murphy working on the large scale figure of Sergeant Cecil Malthus. Photo by Weta Workshop.

In this Gallipoli: The scale of our war blog, Weta Workshop’s Rob Murphy talks about overseeing the installation of the exhibition. I’d only been working at Weta Workshop for about eight weeks when the first pieces of the Gallipoli exhibition started to hit the floor and work their way into the woodworking department. I still… Read more »