It isn’t often that one gets the opportunity to solve a secret message written over a century ago. I’ve been collecting vintage postcards for more than twenty years and this is the only one I’ve personally come across that has a message on the back actually written in […]
These previously unpublished photographs of the Home Guard offer a rare candid view of an often-overlooked part of New Zealand’s experience during the Second World War. Far from being a safe sideshow, with limited resources these men bravely faced a genuine threat and were prepared to defend their […]
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.
At the top of the South Island a sandspit stretches out with the wild Tasman Sea on one side and kilometres of mud flats on the other. This is Farewell Spit, New Zealand’s most notorious “whale trap”. It acts as a formidable obstacle for pilot whales, which frequently […]
A belated Happy New Year! As some of you may have noticed, unfortunately all has been quiet on the ‘History Geek’ front for a while now, partly due to the demands of having a glamorous job in television and partly because much of my research time has been […]
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 […]
It is a warm summer day and the young city of Wellington is celebrating its anniversary. A military band entertains crowds on the shore as waka and whaleboats compete in races out on the water. After the musical performance finishes a group of soldiers and band members from […]