A Fatigue Party On Duty, Addington Camp, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

These men are shown carrying out their duties at a camp in Addington where recruits were trained before leaving for the South African (Boer) War (1899-1902). They are riding on a wagon owned by J.M. Heywood & Co. who were general cartage contractors of Christchurch and Lyttelton. Do you have any photographs of Canterbury's involvement […]

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The Sixteen Trees of the Somme

Wood has always held a mysterious fascination for me - mysterious inasmuch as I can never quite fathom what it is that I find so appealing. Is it the grain? The texture? Or the capacity (in skilled hands) for it to be made into something functional — sailing vessels, basic furniture and everyday utensils — and also its […]

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The Alice Network – Review

I spent the last couple of weeks down the rabbit hole, head buried in The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. The story captured me from the very beginning—no need to read to page 90 with this one; I was hooked by page two! Nineteen forty-seven was hell for little bony girls like me who couldn't wear the […]

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Not such a strange meeting – Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon

100 years ago last week at Craiglockhart Hospital for Neurasthenic Officers in Edinburgh, Wilfred Owen introduced himself to Siegfried Sassoon and one of the great literary friendships was born. Wilfred was recovering from shellshock, deeply traumatised by his time on the Western Front in 1917. Siegfried, grieving and angry at the deaths of his friends […]

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Week in History 17-23 July – The “Monty tour” arrives in Christchurch 70 years ago

Those of us who remember a certain movie from the 1990's may jump to particular conclusions of what the "Monty tour" may be. It actually was the 1947 tour of Australasia by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein. Born in 1887 and active in both the First and Second World Wars, he […]

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80 years old : Citizens’ War Memorial (Cathedral Square)

The Citizens' War Memorial is still there, hidden behind the cordon. The Citizens' War Memorial has stood outside the  Christchurch Anglican Cathedral for eighty years. It survived the earthquakes of 2010/2011 undamaged. On 9 June 1937 the statue was unveiled by Colonel S.C.P. Nicholls, after a service by Anglican Archbishop Julius. Originally modelled in clay by local artist […]

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All about Ada – Ada Wells, the first female elected to Christchurch City Council

On 2 May 1917, Ada Wells was the first woman elected to the Christchurch City Council. I stand for better housing, for municipal markets, for proper working conditions for all employees, for rest-rooms and play gardens for mothers and children, I shall work for municipal activities in the direction of the uplifting of the people. […]

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