This is the story behind a remarkable collection of photographs that remained hidden for over a century. Glass plate negatives with forgotten scenes of everyday life in Edwardian New Zealand. It is also the story of my personal quest to discover who was behind the lens – the […]
These previously unpublished photographs of the Home Guard offer a rare candid view of an often-overlooked part of New Zealand’s experience during the Second World War.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 […]
To start the new year on History Geek I’ve put together a list of some local and international historical anniversaries to watch out for over the next twelve months. Some are well-known, but I’ve included a few lesser known events as well.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
As a collector of interesting old things it is natural that Christmas related items frequently fall into my hands. I often find examples that fit well in my collections of maritime, military and New Zealand historical ephemera, photos and postcards. This Christmas postcard happens to also be from […]