This post is dedicated to the memory of my great great uncle Thomas Alexander Gillanders, who was killed in action one hundred years ago today, and to those who fought alongside him at Gallipoli.
One hundred years ago today the Fairfield Freezing Works held a fancy dress ball in the Orange Hall in Ashburton. The men paid three shillings and sixpence each and the women provided the food. They were entertained by the tunes of Terris’s band, local favourites who played everything […]
Last month I was thrilled to receive a copy of Jim’s Letters, a new children’s book published by Penguin. They had approached me last year asking for permission to include images from my First World War postcard and postal history collection as elements within some of their illustrations. […]
As my regular readers will already be aware, among my collection of historical ephemera, military memorabilia and postal history are several albums of postcards sent by soldiers during the First World War. This year marks the centenary of the start of that conflict, so I’ll be sharing more […]
Prime Minister John Key recently reignited the debate about New Zealand’s national flag. The same old arguments for and against any change are already being trundled out and so I thought I’d add my two pence. I’m not yet entirely convinced that change is needed at all, but […]
The centenary of the First World War is rapidly approaching and it is exciting to see the many different ways that the ‘war to end all wars’ will be remembered. Museum exhibitions, memorials, books, television shows, digitization projects, social media campaigns and much more. Importantly, many of these […]
On 3 December, 1917 the men of the 1st Canterbury and 1st Otago battalions assembled along the front line opposite a German strongpoint that was backed with pillboxes, machine-guns, trenches; and at the heart of the position, the ruins of Polderhoek Chateau. At midday the whistles blew and […]