The prominent heights of Pointe du Hoc on the Normandy coast were the scene of a desperate battle during the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944. The strategic promontory overlooks Utah Beach to the west and Omaha Beach to the east, making it an obvious choice for a coastal battery. To mark the anniversary of D-Day I thought I’d share some photos I took during a visit to the site.
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.
The destruction of the White House is a scene most commonly associated with fictional alien invasions or terrorist plots on the big screen, but today marks two hundred years since an enemy force marched on Washington and set fire to the famous residence. This is the relatively unknown […]
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 […]
Today marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Last year I shared some of my experiences exploring Omaha Beach, to mark the anniversary this year I thought I’d share some of my photos from a D-Day commemoration I attended in Portsmouth five years ago. I was actually […]
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. […]
Cavalry units seldom saw combat in open terrain during the New Zealand Wars of the nineteenth century. The Māori had no wish to confront the British and colonial forces in conventional European battles in open fields, but instead usually fought in the bush, the hills, or behind the […]
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 […]