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New Zealand at War : 1914-1918

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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Jul 2012 13:09    Onderwerp: New Zealand at War : 1914-1918 Reageer met quote

Presbyterian Archives Research Centre

Photo Gallery No 14 :

"New Zealand at War : 1914-1918

Just over ninety years ago, hostilities ceased on the Western Front and peace finally reigned supreme after four years of bloodshed. Our Autumn Photo Gallery features a diverse and rather eclectic range of images and ephemera from our varied collections which relate to New Zealand's involvement in the 'Great War' of 1914-1918. The purpose of this gallery is not only to highlight our collection of 'Great War' related images, ephemera and related manuscript material, but also to remember a generation from 'the furtherest ends of the earth' who answered the Empire's call to take up arms for King and Country and to fight a war on the other side of the world. These images do not portray any combat scenes or damage.

The majority of these images were taken as a permanent record of various people, places and events, as well as for family and friends back home. Diaries and letters held in the Archives often contain detailed descriptions of the events and places pictured however military censorship of letters generally forbade detailed descriptions of or photos of combat zones. War diaries we hold do however reveal much of the true nature of the war in personal terms.

Interspersed with these images are extracts from New Zealand Presbyterian Church journals and sermons which attempt to portray how the church and its ministers at home viewed the war, or at least attempted to justify and support it from a religious perspective. Please take the time to read these fascinating excerpts. Ministers of the church, who held considerable influence over their Parishioners, often held very strong opinions on the nature of the war and many did not hesitate to expound such views from the pulpit or in published form. Such diverse views ranged from fighting a just 'holy war' to the bitter end; to smashing German militarism in order to 'free' the German people; to promoting a 'League of Nations' where conference would henceforth replace armament and war; to promoting temperance in order to save ourselves and our soldiers from the moral and financial collapse attributable to drink; and not forgetting ones own sin and self interest by 'profiteering' from the war. We would welcome further academic and student research of this wealth of fascinating published and primary material.

The majority of these photos were taken by the soldiers themselves on small amateur Kodak roll film cameras, and despite some rather grainy or now faded images they have left us with a unique record. A number of faded or indistinct images have however needed to be digitally enhanced to provide an acceptable viewing standard. But quite remarkably, a number of images have also been scanned from the original highly inflammable and inherently unstable nitrate negatives. These have often survived in better condition after 90 years than the original prints.

We would value your comments and feedback :

Presbyterian Church Archives Research Centre Home Page.

Donald Cochrane
Curator of Photographs
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