“Offspring of the battlefield” – WWI Kiwi soldiers in their own words at WCL

009100 years on from the First World War, there is no shortage of beautifully researched and written books on the subject by historians, sociologists, poets and others. Over the last few months, Wellington City Libraries has highlighted some of these books in our collection. However, our collection doesn’t stop with books written about New Zealanders in the First World War – we also hold those beloved items, original sources – items written and published by New Zealand troops, while still engaged in the war. New Zealand at the Front is one of these – words (and pictures and cartoons) from soldiers’ own pens.

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The two editions of New Zealand At the Front (1917 and 1918) were written as an ‘annual’, a yearly magazine stuffed full of poetry, short funny stories, cartoons and drawings. “Written and illustrated”, as the cover boasts, “in France by Men of the New Zealand Division”. The editor’s note introduces the contributions and the men who wrote them:

   The contributions for this book have come from Trench, Dug-out, and Billet. They are the offspring of the Battlefield. … If they have neither the quality of culture nor of genius, at least they … reflect something of the ideas, the temperament, and the life of men who, from a sense of duty, find themselves engaged in a mighty conflict in a strange environment, far from their own land.

These might be modified raptures, but the contents of the annual lived up to their introduction as a reflection of the men who wrote and drew for its pages, many of whom are identified only by initials, or various nom de plumes.

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The articles are stuffed with in-jokes and references obviously well-understood among the troops who penned them at the time, but bewildering today. Luckily, the editors seem to have anticipated some difficulties in translation, and provided a handy and tongue-in-cheek glossary for confused readers (a modern reader may wish to have a dictionary handy nevertheless!)

Other sections, and formats, are instantly recognisable. The annual contains many cartoons, often poking fun at officers or other soldiers’ quirks – the familiarity of life in close quarters visible in modern comic strips. Those familiar with the “How my boss sees me/ how my mother sees me/ how my friends see me” internet comic form can even see a distant cousin in one cartoon published in the annual, which compares, wryly, how “the padre sees us”, “higher command ‘seize’ us”, “mademoiselle sees us”, and “Mater sees us” – each sketch wildly different from the others (and proving the point that acute punning transcends time!).

013010The pre-occupations and domestic details of life behind the line loom large in the contents of the annual. From a full-colour watercolour of “Private Purripeef” displaying a haul of cans, to a story of nicknaming friends after “bulla-biff”, to a mournful piece titled “A Tragedy of the Line” – in which the tragic victim of a bombing is revealed to be a can of ‘Fray Bentos’ bully beef – tinned beef recurs as a subject at the top of many minds. Long marches are also a popular subject – a soldier identified only as ‘Rewi’ writes a tragi-comic poem about the significance of good footwear, which including the lines

Boots! Boots! Boots!

Till your latest breath

They will climb the hill to fame,

Trudge the road to Death,

Or march back the road you came.

Although many articles in the annuals are light-hearted or tongue-in-cheek, others are sombre, describing the desolation of their authors’ surroundings. A soldier named only as “Q” submits an article describing the “Red Lodge … as lovely a spot, maybe, as there is in the whole of Flanders”, which he and his companion Bob discovered in a Flemish field. Q writes “Bob said I remember, that it reminded him of a scarlet poppy on the mossy bank” – echoing the now-familiar theme of poppies marking war graves. “It is all changed now,” Q continues, describing the later destruction of the lodge. “Bob was killed on that accursed corner…” It’s possible that Q had read the 1915 poem “In Flanders Fields”, published in Punch, before he wrote his 1917 piece. The image of red poppies marking a war grave or memorial is one we now all recognise.020

The editor, who hoped these annuals would provide an honest reflection of their authors, may have been more right than he knew. The two volumes of New Zealand at the Front display incredible diversity of subjects, tone, and breadth of ability, many contributions beautifully and humorously done. The diversity of the men who wrote and sent in their contributions from “Trench, Dug-out and Billet” is just as apparent as their humour, and leaves us, 100 years later, a fascinatingly direct snapshot of New Zealanders at war.

New Zealand at The Front is held in the New Zealand Reference Stack Collection, and can be requested for viewing at the Second Floor Reference Desk, Central Library.

Socks & Plum Pudding for Christmas

In 1912, Lord Liverpool became governor of New Zealand. Alongside him, stood his wife, Annette Louise Foljambe, Countess of Liverpool. As soon as the War started in 1914, Lady Liverpool became an active supporter and fundraiser for the New Zealand troops sent to fight overseas.

Her Excellency's Knitting Book coverHer Excellency’s knitting book , compiled under the personal supervision of Her Excellency the Countess of Liverpool was published in 1915.  It was intended to encourage the women of New Zealand, as well as children (boys and girls!), to take up knitting as a valuable skill and turn it into a mass war effort by crafting useful items that would be sent to soldiers fighting for the Empire. Socks in particular were in high demand, a pair only lasting a couple of weeks. Often, the knitter would add a little hand-sewn personal note inside the garment for its recipient. The initiative became hugely popular and contributed to making soldiers feel that they weren’t forgotten back home.
One of these little books has been a treasure in our Rare Books room at the Central Library. It contains a hand-written introduction by Lady Liverpool herself, encouraging “the women of New Zealand” to take their part in the war effort by using the patterns in the book to produce some much needed comfort for the troops.

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The book despite its very modest dimensions as it was designed to be carried in a knitting bag, contains a myriad patterns and knitting instructions to guide the novice (“To wind wool so that you work from the inside of the ball, p.41) as much as the accomplished knitters . It is also dotted with quaint advertising from businesses all over New Zealand such as this Harringtons ad:

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The patterns not only cover garments of use to soldiers such as cholera belts, but items for women, children and babies. In case you always wanted to knit a cholera belt, here are instructions:

Cholera belt

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Christmas in the trenches Dominion articleThis clipping from The Dominion’s 16 July 1917 issue is a testimony of the extent of the contributions from the civilians back home. You can access the full article in the Paperspast database. Published in July, it was calling for “funds of gifts of various kinds” to ensure that soldiers on the front would receive comforting parcels from home, in time for Christmas. Plum puddings were highly prized for their capacity to travel well and their festive significance: “This year, owing to the shortage of certain classes of foodstuffs in the Motherland, these gifts, particularly plum puddings and fancy articles of food, should be more welcome than ever to the men in the fighting lines.”

 

Syndetics book coverOne of the most likely sources of the time for recipes of plum pudding would have been Mrs Beeton’s Every-day Cookery and Housekeeping Book as suggested in A Distant Feast : the origins of New Zealand’s cuisine by Tony Simpson (recipe p. 66).

Here are images of our own original copy of Mrs Beeton’s 1893 edition, available from our stacks on the second floor of the central library. It includes several versions of the Plum Pudding recipe (p. 379-381, pictured).

Mrs BeetonMrs Beeton Plum Pudding

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Syndetics book coverMrs Beeton was an incredibly popular influence in the  kitchens of the time and has remained a seminal influence in the art of cookery, as our collection bears testimony.
However, “her reputation as an innovator is unjustified“, according to Tony Simpson, author of A Distant Feast, who believes that Eliza Action should have claimed the title.
And indeed, Simon Hopkinson’s (British former chef and critic, considered to be one of the best cookery writers) quote on the cover of Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for private Families stands as more than a stamp of approval: “The Author’s Christmas Pudding is as perfect as any festive pudding can be. I would not cook, nor eat I wish to eat, any other than Acton’s.” You will find her recipe p. 416 of this edition.

To read more about Eliza Acton refer to Syndetics book coverThe real Mrs Beeton : the story of Eliza Acton  by Sheila M. Hardy with foreword by Delia Smith.
For her own recipes, read Modern Cookery for private families : reduced to a system of easy practice in a series of carefully tested receipts in which the principles of Baron Liebig and other eminent writers have been as much as possible applied and explained  with an introduction by Jill Norman.

And finally, another source of recipes that has withstood the test of time is Auguste Escoffier’s A Guide to Modern Cookery. Published in English in 1907, it became a Bible for many generations of chefs and amateurs cooks. Hailed as one of the greatest chefs and food writers of all times, Escoffier redefined French cuisine and propelled it into the 20th Century, influencing cookery internationally.  Here is a photo of the 1951 reprint we hold in the stacks with Escoffier’s version of the very British Plum Pudding.

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For more contemporary publications regarding “The King of Chefs and the Chef of Kings”, Escoffier’s nickname, check our catalogue here.

Notes:
A very interesting documentary about Lady Liverpool and her war efforts, screened on TV3 News last August can be watched on this New Zealand History page with an accompanying article.

And for the francophiles out there, a recent episode of the highly entertaining food programme “On va déguster” produced by the French national radio station France Inter has a very informative piece on Auguste Escoffier. You can read and listen here! Bon Appétit et Joyeux Noël!

New Other Genre fiction for November/December featuring historical fiction

This month we feature historical fiction in our ‘Other Genre’ selection of new novels. From Medieval England to Cyprus in the 70’s, from the convicts in the Penal colonies of Australia to Bob Marley’s Jamaica, there is bound to be something to stimulate the imagination, and provide a great reading experience.

Syndetics book coverWinter siege / Ariana Franklin and Samantha Norman.
“1141. A mercenary watches from the icy reeds as a little girl with red hair is attacked by his own men. He is powerless to stop them. But a strange twist of fate brings them together again. Sheltering in a church, he finds the girl freezing cold, close to death, clutching a sliver of parchment and now he is certain of what he must do. He will bring her back to life. He will train her to fight and he will protect her from the man who calls himself a monk, who lost a piece of parchment he will do anything to get back.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe confabulist / Steven Galloway.
“If one repeats the lie often enough, does it then become truth? This story centers on narrator Martin Strauss, diagnosed with a degenerative disease that affects memory, as he struggles to recall, and atone for, the fateful night that he and the great magician first crossed paths. Martin and his lover Clara were attending Houdini’s performance in Montreal when a confluence of circumstances resulted in Martin’s delivering the sucker punch to Houdini’s gut that would lead to his death from a ruptured appendix. Confused and guilt ridden, Martin abandons Clara and becomes obsessed with meeting Houdini’s widow, Bess, to make amends.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGrand duchess of nowhere / Laurie Graham.
“For Ducky, Princess Victoria Melita, hers was a Romanov cousin, a member of the doomed Russian royal family. Her father is Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son. Her mother is Grand Duchess Marie, the daughter of Tsar Alexander III. Ducky seems doomed to be a pawn on her grandmother’s dynastic chessboard. But Ducky is not so easily controlled. In an era when death is considered preferable to divorce she fights for the freedom to be with the true love of her life. From disgraced exile in Paris to the glitter of St Petersburg and the mud and carnage of the Eastern Front, she forges her own path.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverMiss Carter’s war / Sheila Hancock.
“In 1948 post-war Britain, Marguerite Carter, half French, half English, is struggling to survive. She is one of the first women to receive a degree from the University of Cambridge, then takes up a post as a teacher of English in a girls’ grammar school. Her story continues through the fifties and sixties, into Thatcher’s time and beyond.” (Adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe sunrise / Victoria Hislop.
“In the summer of 1972, Famagusta in Cyprus is the most desirable resort in the Mediterranean, a city bathed in the glow of good fortune. An ambitious couple are about to open the island’s most spectacular hotel, where Greek and Turkish Cypriots work in harmony. Two neighboring families, the Georgious and the Ozkans, are among many who moved to Famagusta to escape the years of unrest and ethnic violence elsewhere on the island. But beneath the city’s facade of glamour and success, tension is building. When a Greek coup plunges the island into chaos, Cyprus faces a disastrous conflict. Turkey invades to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority, and Famagusta is shelled. Forty thousand people seize their most precious possessions and flee from the advancing soldiers. In the deserted city, just two families remain. This is their story.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe surfacing / Cormac James.
“Set largely on board a ship in the 1850s, searching for Franklin’s lost expedition. It’s a challenging and dangerous endeavour in a very male world – that is until Morgan, the second-in-command of the Impetus, realises there is a pregnant stowaway on board and that he is the father. It is too late to turn back, the ice is closing in, and the child will have to be born into the vast and icy wilderness of the Arctic. The men, especially the ship’s doctor, DeHaven, and the second in command, Lieutenant Morgan, have doubts about the judgement of their captain, and soon their own vessel becomes trapped in the remote Arctic.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverA brief history of seven killings / Marlon James.
“On 3 December 1976, just weeks before the general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions, seven gunmen from West Kingston stormed his house with machine guns blazing. Marley survived and went on to perform at the free concert, but the next day he left the country, and didn’t return for two years. Not a lot was recorded about the fate of the seven gunmen, but much has been said, only to sink into rumour and misinformation. Inspired by this near-mythic event, this novel takes the form of an imagined oral biography, told by ghosts, witnesses, killers, members of parliament, drug dealers, conmen, beauty queens, FBI and CIA agents, reporters, journalists, and even Keith Richards’ drug dealer.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverMathew’s Tale.
“In 1818 Mathew Fleming returns home to Scotland following heroic service at the Battle of Waterloo. After seven years away, he is a ghostly presence to those he left behind. But Mathew is ambitious and soon becomes a man of influence in his county and beyond. Yet through all his success, he still hides the loss of his one true love. When a terrible act of murder occurs, Mathew must choose between the rule of blood and the rule of law. As a man of honour with a warrior’s instincts, he embarks on a journey of vengeance that will test every sinew of his faith in mankind.’ (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverSouth of darkness / John Marsden.
“Thirteen-year-old Barnaby Fletch is a bag-and-bones orphan in London in the late 1700s. Barnaby lives on his wits and ill-gotten gains, on streets seething with the press of the throng and shadowed by sinister figures. Life is a precarious business. When he hears of a paradise on the other side of the world, a place called Botany Bay, he decides to commit a crime and get himself transported to a new life, a better life. To succeed, he must survive the trials of Newgate Prison, the stinking hull of a prison ship and the unknown terrors of a journey across the world. And Botany Bay is far from the paradise Barnaby has imagined. When his past and present suddenly collide, he is soon fleeing for his life once again.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe sacred river : a novel / Wendy Wallace.
“A young Victorian woman who is ailing, a proper but worried mother, and a spinster aunt sent to chaperone all leave London in 1882 aboard the Star of the East, in the hopes that the dry Egyptian air will help 23-year-old Harriet survive her worsening asthma. Harriet has spent her youth as an invalid, her only joy the study of Egyptian hieroglyphics, and, she is determined to see Egypt before she dies. Her mother prefers to stay in the comfort and safety of London but is desperate to keep Harriet alive. Her worries are compounded when the ship turns up a figure from her past, a man who threatens to expose long-buried secrets and bends his malevolent attention toward Harriet.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Science Feature – The Rosetta Space probe

Image: ESA/ATG medialab; Comet image: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam
Image: ESA/ATG medialab; Comet image: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam
At ~5am NZ time, 13/11/2014, the comet lander Philae landed on the nucleus (central part) of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. 7 hours earlier it had separated from its parent craft, the space probe Rosetta.

This is the first time a man-made craft has landed on a comet. Rosetta was launched in 2004, on a mission to rendezvous with a comet, send a lander to it, and escort the comet to observe any changes to the comet on its path around the sun.

On its travels to the comet, Rosetta has flown by Earth three times, Mars once, and an asteroid. It was also forced into a 31 month hibernation, to conserve energy. It awoke in January 2014 and continued its journey to the comet, culminating in the landing of Philae.

Though the landing can be considered successful, in that Philae made it down in one piece, the harpoons meant to hold it onto the comet did not fire upon landing, raising concerns about how stable it is, on the surface.

More information on the Rosetta mission can be found on the European Space Agency website.

Books on comets and asteroids:

Syndetics book coverThe solar system : a visual exploration of the planets, moons, and other heavenly bodies that orbit our sun / written by Marcus Chown.
Bestselling author Marcus Chown leads us on a grand tour through the incredible diversity of planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and spacecraft that surround the Sun in our cosmic backyard. Illuminating his insightful and surprising text are a wealth of beautiful images and diagrams, printed in full colour, richly detailed and accurately based on real scientific data. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNear-Earth objects : finding them before they find us / Donald K. Yeomans.
“Humans may fret over earthquakes, nuclear meltdown, and heart attacks, but only collision with a near-Earth object has “the capacity to wipe out an entire civilization with a single blow.” Balancing the wonders of astronomy with the looming potential for an epic, planetwide disaster, Yeomans, a fellow and research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, explores the origins of near-Earth objects-asteroids, comets, meteors, and meteoroids-and the threat they can pose to our planet. Though brief, Yeomans’s book is an accessible and far-ranging primer on the science of near-Earth objects.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Books for the Kids:

Syndetics book coverComets, asteroids, and meteors / Stuart Atkinson.
“What are comets and asteroids like, and could we ever visit one? Taking the form of an imaginary trip, this book explores the science and history of these objects, looking at recent studies and possibilities for the future.” (Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe lonely existence of asteroids and comets / by Mark Weakland ; illustrated by Carlos Aón.
“It can be tricky to keep all those chunks floating around in space comets, asteroids, meteors straight. And though these space rocks don’t have quite the brain-bendingly cool allure of other cosmic wowers like black holes and supernovae, they provide a solid thematic bedrock for a wide-ranging tour of the vastness of the universe in this graphic-format title in the Adventures in Science series.” (Adapted from Booklist)

Further online Rosetta reading:

— The Guardian – Why is the Rosetta landing so exciting: This article gives a good, basic outline of the mission, and why we should be excited!
— Stuff.co.nz – Philae landing: An article on the landing of Philae.
— Stuff.co.nz – Philae landing-Malfunctions made Philae bounce kilometre off comet: Outlines what didn’t quite work with the landing, and gives a history of man’s landings on other worlds.
— Wikipedia – Rosetta: Wikipedia’s article on Rosetta.
— Wikipedia – Philae: Wikipedia’s article on Philae.

New Other Genre fiction for October

Short story collections by a single author feature in this month’s selection of new ‘Other Genre’ fiction. All the authors show astounding skill writing in this difficult genre. The story collections range from suspense to crime, love to horror, from the Mexican American border to Sri Lanka. Sometimes they will shock or amuse, surprise or sadden, but they will all leave the reader wanting more.

Syndetics book coverBorderline / by Lawrence Block.
“This book includes three of Lawrence Block’s rarest short stories, from the pages of pulp magazines of half a century ago. This is MWA Grand Master Lawrence Block at his rawest and most visceral, bloody, bawdy, brutal stories of passion and punishment and of lines that were never meant to be crossed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverShots fired : stories from Joe Pickett Country / C.J. Box.
“From C. J. Box, the New York Times-bestselling author of the Joe Pickett novels, comes a thrilling book of suspense stories about the Wyoming he knows so well and the dark deeds and impulses that can be found there. Over the course of eighteen books, C. J. Box has been consistently hailed for his brilliant storytelling and extraordinary skills at creating character, suspense, and a deep sense of place. All of those strengths are in the ten riveting stories; three of them never before published that make up Shots Fired.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNoontide toll : stories / Romesh Gunesekera.
“The driver’s job is to stay in control behind the wheel and that is all. The past is what you leave as you go. There is nothing more to it. Vasantha retired early, bought himself a van with his savings, and now works as a driver for hire. As he drives through Sri Lanka, carrying aid workers, businessmen, and families and meeting lonely soldiers and eager hoteliers, he engages them with self-deprecating wit and folksy wisdom-and reveals for us their uncertain lives .A wonderful collection of stories that are perceptive, somber, and draw a potent portrait of postwar Sri Lanka and the ghosts of civil war.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverProblems with People : Stories / David Guterson.
“Ten sharply observed, funny, and wise new stories that are stunning explorations of the mysteries of love and our complex desire for connection. From youth to old age, the voices that inhabit Problems with People offer tender, unexpected, and always tightly focused accounts of our quest to understand each other, individually, and as part of a political and historical moment. They celebrate the ordinary yet brightening surprises that lurk within the dramas of our daily lives.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe assassination of Margaret Thatcher and other stories / Hilary Mantel.
“A brilliant and rather transgressive collection of short stories from the double Man Booker Prize-winning author of ‘Wolf Hall’ and ‘Bring Up the Bodies’.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe love object : selected stories / Edna O’Brien.
“Collected here together for the first time in one volume are the stories of an expert practitioner of the shorter form. Spanning five decades of writing, here you will find stories about families, feuds, love and land; enchantment, disenchantment, and throughout, the manifold bonds of love. Here are stories about the tension between country and city life, the instinct towards escape and nostalgia for home.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEngland and other stories / Graham Swift.
“These twenty-five new stories mark Graham Swift’s return to the short form after seven acclaimed novels and confirm him as a master storyteller. They unite into a richly peopled vision of a country that is both a crucible of history and a maze of contemporary confusions. From the Civil War to the present day, from world-shaking events to the secret dramas lived out in rooms, workplaces, homes, Graham Swift charts an intimate human geography, and always with a constant eye for comedy.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLast stories and other stories / William T. Vollmann.
“In this magnificent new work of fiction, his first in nine years, celebrated author William T. Vollmann offers a collection of ghost stories linked by themes of love, death, and the erotic. Are ghosts memories, fantasies, or monsters? Is there life in death? In the shadowy borderland between categories, and these eerie tales, however far-flung their settings, all focus on the attempts of the living to avoid, control, or even seduce death.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMothers Grimm / Danielle Wood.
“In a fairytale, the only good mother is six feet under. All the others are bad news. A fairytale mother will exchange her first-born child for a handful of leafy greens. And if times get tough, she’ll walk her babes into the woods and leave them there. But mothers of today do no such things. Do they? In this collection of heart breaking honest stories, the mothers of the Brothers Grimm are brought, with wit, subversion and lyrical prose, into the here and now.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

World War I online resources for children Part 3

Over the next year many schools will have a World War One focus, requiring children to research some aspect of the war, or the war time era. The list of potential topics is long and the sheer amount of information available out there can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to find reliable information that is age-appropriate for your children. Here we have created a guide to reputable online resources that are suitable for children. This is the final of three parts published in this series. They will soon be available as resources on one page, which we will provide a link to once it has gone live.

Primary Sources


Moule, D, fl 1919. Moule, D, fl 1919 :Record of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Great War. 4th Aug. 1914 [to] 28th June 1919 / D Moule del. Published by the Government Life Insurance Department. [ca 1919].. Ref: Eph-D-WAR-WI-1919-01. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22790825

— Christchurch City Libraries has a online digital archive of primary resources: http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/DigitalCollection/WarsandConflicts/WorldWarI/

— DigitalNZ is an online resource for images and other media: http://www.digitalnz.org/ Use their search box to find World War One (or Great War) media.

— Papers past is a digital archive of New Zealand Newspapers: http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast Search for World War One, Great War, or individual battles and campaigns. You can limit the results by date, region and title of publication.

General World War One sites


Ian McGibbon. ‘First World War’, Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 9-Nov-12 URL: http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/first-world-war

— BBC: http://www.bbc.com/ww1
— BBC Schools page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/0/ww1/
— Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/first-world-war
— New Zealand History: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/first-world-war
— WW100: http://ww100.govt.nz/
— Imperial War Museum: http://www.iwm.org.uk/
— FirstWorldWar.com: http://www.firstworldwar.com/
— Archives New Zealand: http://archives.govt.nz/world-war-one
— The British Library: http://www.bl.uk/world-war-one
— National Library New Zealand: http://natlib.govt.nz/ww100

Children are also welcome to chat live with an online librarian, who will help them with their research and finding online resources. AnyQuestions is a government-funded homework help service for New Zealand School Students. It’s open 1pm – 6pm Monday to Friday: http://www.anyquestions.co.nz

WWI Soldiers and Archived Records

Lest we forgetLFor New Zealanders April 25th is the day we remember those from our nation who left our shores to fight in wars. For many of us it’s the day we wear a red poppy and perhaps attend the local memorial service. The number attending the memorial services is growing and all day television coverage with interviews and war documentaries are now part of our Anzac Day experience. Next year the chance to attend the ANZAC memorial service, to be held at Anzac Cove, to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli was much sought after and a ticket ballot was announced for family members of those who fought at Gallipoli. A newspaper article War records minefield by Michelle Duff in the Sunday Star Times highlighted the fact that sometimes the families did not know the details of family member’s war records and that a common misconception was the thinking that if your family member fought in the First World War then they would have been at Gallipoli. This brings us to the question, do you know where your relatives served in World War One?

Genealogy is a popular topic here at Wellington City Libraries and we have a number of resources to help you discover if your relative did indeed serve at Gallipoli. Your first point of call may be our Genealogy Popular Topics Page. Here you can find general information on researching your family history. From this page there are links to Military Resources. This page is a wealth of information for finding out about your family members’ military service.

Some of the most popular and useful links are:

AncestryAncestry Library
Available from internet PCs within our libraries. Contains millions of records accessible in one powerful search. Access is through the My Gateway page on our library website.

It includes:

Nominal Roll – NZ Army WWI Nominal Rolls, 1914-1918,
– New Zealand Army WWI Roll of Honour, 1914-1919,
– New Zealand Army WWI Reserve Rolls, 1916-1917,
– New Zealand Army WWI Casualty Lists, 1914-1919, and
– New Zealand Army WWII Nominal Rolls, 1939-1948.

Archives New Zealand offer a reference guide to the war information they hold in PDF form.

You can search the National Archives Archway Database to discover what military records are held by Archives and it also searches on probate records. Searching your relatives name may give you the names and dates of the files, record numbers and where the files are kept.

CWGCCommonwealth War Graves Commission The “Debt of Honour Register” is the Commission’s database listing the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars and the 23,000 cemeteries, memorials and other locations world-wide where they are commemorated. The register can also be searched for details of the 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action in the Second World War. Information includes age, date of death, parents and parents’ place of residence.

With the celebrations and remembrance of the centenary of the declaration and start of World War One there are also many new books being published on World War One topics. The following two are good sources of material to be able to learn about the soldiers experiences through the eyes of the soldiers who were there.

Syndetics book coverFighting for empire: New Zealand and the Great War of 1914-1918 / Christopher Pugsley.
“One hundred thousand New Zealanders sailed to war between 1914 and 1918, and at the end of four years of conflict the country had suffered 60,000 casualties, including 18,000 dead. Dr Chris Pugsley’s account of the First World War (first published as a section in Scars on the Heart: 200 Years of NZ at War, Bateman, 1996), is a tale of learning about war the hard way, by bitter and costly experience, drawing on photographs, letters and diaries to examine the impact of war through the eyes of those involved. This lively mix of text, photographs and soldiers, own accounts covers all aspects of the war: from NZ’s seizing German Samoa five days after war was declared, ANZAC Cove and Gallipoli, patriotism at home, Mounted Rifles in Sinai and Palestine, the role of our nurses, the Western Front, and `Sea Dogs and Flying Aces’.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn awfully big adventure : New Zealand World War One veterans tell their stories / selected and edited by Jane Tolerton from interviews for the World War One Oral History Archive.
“[On] New Zealand Listener’s ‘100 Best Books of 2013’. What was it like to be a New Zealand soldier in the First World War? What impact did the war have on those who returned? Let them tell you. An Awfully Big Adventure traces the reminiscences and reflections of 80 veterans interviewed for the World War One Oral History Archive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

World War I online resources for children Part 2

Over the next year many schools will have a World War One focus, requiring children to research some aspect of the war, or the war time era. The list of potential topics is long and the sheer amount of information available out there can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to find reliable information that is age-appropriate for your children. Here we have created a guide to reputable online resources that are suitable for children. This is the second of three parts to be published. They will then be available as resources on one page, which we will provide a link to once it has gone live.

ANZAC Day


Landing at Anzac, April 25, 1915 by Charles Dixon’, URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/the-landing-at-anzac-cove, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 30-Jul-2014
— New Zealand History provide information about the history of the day, the ceremony, and modern ANZAC day: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/anzac-day/introduction

— The government’s site for Gallipoli2015 (100 year anniversary) has information on the 2015 commemoration: http://www.gallipoli2015.govt.nz

— The government also runs an official site for ANZAC day with lots of good information: http://anzac.govt.nz

— The returned Services Association (RSA) has some brief information on ANZAC Day, and is good for finding out about what happens at an ANZAC Day service and where they are happening: http://www.rsa.org.nz/anzac-day-%E2%80%93-25-april

— For the Australian perspective, the Australian Army has a page with information: http://www.army.gov.au/Our-history/Traditions/ANZAC-Day and the Australian War Memorial has a site that includes speeches, photographs and historical facts: http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac-day/

— Information about the red poppy can be found on the New Zealand History site: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/anzac-day/poppies, the RSA site: http://www.rsa.org.nz/poppy and the British RSL site: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/how-the-nation-remembers/the-story-of-the-poppy

New Zealand’s Involvement


Payne, Henry Joseph, 1858-1927. Payne, Henry Joseph, 1858-1927 :”Kia ora”. Hancock’s “Imperial” ale, stout. Calendar 1917.. Ref: Eph-D-WAR-WI-1917-02. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23095500
— Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand has a comprehensive section on the war from the New Zealand perspective: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/first-world-war

— Similarly, New Zealand History has lots of information about our involvement in the war, including media such has campaign maps: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/nz-goes-to-war

— The National Army Museum website has stories about individual New Zealand Soldiers: http://www.armymuseum.co.nz/kiwis-at-war/voices-from-the-past/

ANZAC Poetry


McDuff, Laura, fl 2004. 1917 Souvenir de France. [Embroidered postcard to Olive McDuff from Lance/Sgt Walter Henry Saunders]. [Ephemera relating to World War I. 1917. Folder 1].. Ref: Eph-A-WAR-WI-1917-05. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23082261
— Australia’s ANZAC day site has a list of poetry with an ANZAC theme: http://www.anzacday.org.au/anzacservices/poetry/poetry01.htm

— The Australian War memorial site has 2 poems about the ANZACs: http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/customs/poems/

— New Zealand’s ANZAC Day site has an order of ceremony for ANZAC day: http://www.anzac.govt.nz/today/orderofceremony.html

— Wellington City Libraries’ review of poetry, memoirs and letters written during and about World War One: http://www.wcl.govt.nz/blog/index.php/2014/07/16/the-pen-and-the-sword-first-world-war-poetry-letters-and-memoirs/

Children are also welcome to chat live with an online librarian, who will help them with their research and finding online resources. AnyQuestions is a government-funded homework help service for New Zealand School Students. It’s open 1pm – 6pm Monday to Friday: http://www.anyquestions.co.nz

World War I online resources for children Part 1

Over the next year many schools will have a World War One focus, requiring children to research some aspect of the war, or the war time era. The list of potential topics is long and the sheer amount of information available out there can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to find reliable information that is age-appropriate for your children. Here we have created a guide to reputable online resources that are suitable for children. This is the first of three parts to be published over the next week. They will then be available as resources on one page, which we will provide a link to once it has gone live.


Soldiers inside the YMCA library in Beauvois, France, World War I. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-013635-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22720580

The causes of World War One

— The BBC has a great site dedicated to WWI including a section on the causes of the conflict: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/0/ww1/25365441

— BBC’s Bitesize section (tailored to the English school curriculum) has a section on the causes and interactive tests: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/mwh/ir1/

— Closer to home, the New Zealand History site has a page dedicated to the origins of the war: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/first-world-war-overview/origins

— Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand also has a war origins page: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/first-world-war/page-1

— The Imperial War Museum, one of the best war museums, has a page on their website about the ‘path to war’: http://www.iwm.org.uk/history-terms/first-world-war/path-to-war

— FirstWorldWar.com has a comprehensive page on how the war began: http://www.firstworldwar.com/origins/index.htm (this site hasn’t been updated since 2009 so we suggest checking any information you find against other websites). This site contains advertising.

 

‘Map of the German Empire in 1914’, URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/german-empire-1914, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 14-Aug-2014

The Treaty of Versailles

— Good for answering ‘what is..?’ questions, Wisegeek has a section on the treaty: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-treaty-of-versailles.htm This site contains advertising.

— BBC history has a page about the treaty that’s pitched at a secondary school level: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/versailles_01.shtml

— FirstWorldWar.com has a primary documents page that focuses on the treaty, and includes a breakdown of the treaty’s articles: http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/versailles.htm (this site contains advertising).

— The Museum of Australian Democracy has images of the treaty with information about its significance: http://www.foundingdocs.gov.au/item-did-23.html

— Omni Atlas contains an interactive map of Europe that illustrates the impact of the treaty on the boarders and alliances: http://maps.omniatlas.com/europe/19190628/ (this site contains advertising).

Casualties, wounded, and graves


A rabbit hutch at Hornchurch Convalescent Camp, World War I. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association: New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-013989-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23033188

— FirstWorldWar.com has a list of the dead, wounded and missing from each country involved in the war: http://firstworldwar.com/features/casualties.htm (this site contains advertising)

— New Zealand History provide a month-by-month breakdown of New Zealand casualties for the war: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/first-world-war-casualties-monthhttp://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/first-world-war-casualties-month

— New Zealand History also have a memorials register: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/memorials

— A UK site dedicated the World War One has information about records of the dead and war graves. Also contains links through to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission: http://www.greatwar.co.uk/research/military-records/ww1-war-dead-records.htm#recordsbritishcwealthdead

— Commonwealth War Graves Commission has information about burial grounds and memorials: http://www.cwgc.org/

— Auckland War Memorial Museum have a online cenotaph register: http://muse.aucklandmuseum.com/databases/cenotaph/locations.aspx

Children are also welcome to chat live with an online librarian, who will help them with their research and finding online resources. AnyQuestions is a government-funded homework help service for New Zealand School Students. It’s open 1pm – 6pm Monday to Friday: http://www.anyquestions.co.nz

From the brain to the bowel – New health books in October

This month’s selection leans heavily on the subject of the brain which gets a look in from several perspectives, from neuroscience, psychology and evolutionary biology. We also delves into the fascinating science of gut health and its crucial role in our overall health. Environmental factors affecting our health are also discussed and what we can do to mitigate them.

Syndetics book coverThe wandering mind : what the brain does when you’re not looking
“Rooted in neuroscience, psychology and evolutionary biology … The Wandering Mind takes us into the world of the ‘default-mode network’ to tackle the big questions. What do rats dream about? What’s with our fiction addiction? Is the hippocampus where free will takes a holiday? And does mind-wandering drive creativity? In Pieces of Mind,Michael Corballis took 21 short walks around the human brain. In The Wandering Mind he stretches out for a longer hike into those murky regions of the brain where dreams and religion, fiction and fantasy lurk.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe answer to the riddle is me : a tale of amnesia
“Imagine waking up in a crowded train station in India with no idea who you are or how you got there… At 28, David Stuart McLean woke up in a foreign land with his memory wiped clean. No money, no passport, no identity.
The Answer to the Riddle is Me confronts and celebrates the dark, mysterious depths of our psyches and a myriad ways we are all unknowable…especially ourselves.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverChicken soup for the soul : recovering from traumatic brain injuries : 101 stories of hope, healing, and hard work
“Whether you are recovering from a traumatic brain injury or supporting someone with a TBI, this collection of 101 inspiring and encouraging stories by others like you will uplift and encourage you on your healing journey. With a traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurring every 18.5 seconds in the US – concussions the most common – chances are you have been touched in some way by this experience. TBIs occur due to accidents and sports, and are also common in returning soldiers. The personal stories in this book, by TBI survivors and those who love and support them, will help and encourage you and your family on your road to recovery.” (Syndetics)

The new laws of psychology
“This controversial new book describes how human behaviour  can be largely explained if we understand how people make sense of their world and how that framework of understanding has been learned. The author challenges notions such as ‘mental illness’ and ‘abnormal psychology’ as old-fashioned, demeaning and invalid, and argues that diagnoses such as ‘depression’ and ‘schizophrenia’ are unhelpful. Kinderman argues that one consequence of our current obsession with a medical approach to human well-being and distress, is that human problems are too often merely diagnosed and treated, rather than understood. Written by an expert in his field, and accessible to all those interested in and affected by mental health issues, The New Laws of Psychology will change the way we define mental illness forever.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHealthy bowel healthy body
“You Can Overcome Your Bowel problems with Holistic Medicine. Hippocrates the father of medicine said that all diseases begin in the gut. Well we have come a long way since Hippocrates, but it is still true today, that if your digestive tract is unhealthy you will not be a healthy individual. New research has found that gut health plays a crucial role in all aspects of our health and has a profound influence on mental health, energy levels, risk of cancer, allergies and more. This book presents the latest research and holistic strategies to overcome common bowel problems including excess gas and bloating, bad breath, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and much more.” (adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverDr Libby’s the Calorie Fallacy : stop dieting start nourishing
“How many of us have been told that if we burn more calories than we eat, weight loss will be inevitable? How many of us have discovered that this century old philosophy does not seem to apply to our body no matter how hard we work, in this modern world? What if the foundation nutritional philosophy that the calorie equation is the sole determinant of weight loss is completely outdated and in many cases wrong? Through sharing her own personal story and the journey that set her on to uncover and explore the biochemistry of sustainable weight loss, Dr Libby shares countless case studies of clients she has worked with over the past 16 years, along with her two decades of scientific research into the principles of body fat loss.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverToxic world, toxic people : the essential guide to health, happiness, parenting and conscious living
“Two of the most pressing yet often ignored issues of today are: toxicity induced disease, depression and illness and toxic parenting. Both of these are detrimentally affecting society in countless ways. Dangerous, untested chemicals are destroying our health and we aren’t raising happy and healthy children. What can we do to beat these silent epidemics?” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverThe country almanac of home remedies : time-tested & almost-forgotten wisdom for treating hundreds of common ailments, aches & pains quickly and naturally
“Filled with thousands of surprising cures, each entry gives multiple remedies for each condition – everything from herbs to healing foods. Step-by-step illustrations show you the right way to administer treatments from making herbal tinctures to applying poultice. Dosage guidelines are given for every remedy as well as safety guidelines, contraindications and when to call the doctor.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverMoving into meditation : a 12-week mindfulness program for yoga practitioners
“Moving into Meditation is a practical yet fresh guide to integrating mindful yoga and embodied meditation, in a 12-week format. One week at a time, Moving into Meditation lays out a plan for exploring body-based practices to get you more in tune with not only your limbs and core but your mind and heart. The book is presented in a systematic, week-by-week format for ease of use and accessibility, and because the author is also developing an online course for which the book will be a central text. The program progresses through the Buddha’s four foundations of mindfulness as well as the koshas”. (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe whole heart solution : halt heart disease now with the best alternative and traditional medicine / Joel K. Kahn, MD.
“Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the western world. #1 by a lot. But it doesn’t need to be. The truth is that more than 75 percent of cases of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular disease events are preventable. In The Whole Heart Solution, Joel K. Kahn, MD, will reveal more than 75 simple, low-cost things you can do right away to avoid this terrible killer. You will also discover sample plans to help you incorporate these lifesavers into your day.” (Book cover)