Even if you aren’t familiar with Bernard Freyberg’s story, most New Zealanders will recongise the name. Streets, swimming pools, sports awards, buildings are all named after him – if I recall correctly a house at a primary school I attended was named after him too, a popular choice. […]
Well somehow another year has passed so, as usual, here is a list of upcoming anniversaries to look out for. Some international ones and some local New Zealand dates as well, some notable ones and some others that will likely pass with little commemoration.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
As a follow-up to my earlier post on the HMAS Encounter I thought I’d share another photograph from the same collection. Last time the identity of the ship was written on the back of the image by the photographer, but this time I know a lot less about […]
One of my largest collections of vintage postcards focuses on those sent by soldiers during the First World War. When I started collecting as a teenager I used to pick them up at stamp fairs, from dealers, auctions, antique shops and secondhand book stores – but I had […]
In my last post I shared a Christmas card that was sent by a New Zealand soldier who was about to head off to fight in the Battle of El Alamein in the Second World War. To make sure it arrived in time the card was sent on […]