WW2: Memories of a local dispatch rider

Tales from WW1 and WW2 about local nurses and soldiers never fail to spark our imagination and they help us to understand their lives and the world they lived in. We are fortunate to be able to share in their highs and lows, triumphs and tragedies via their letters, diaries and photograph albums. Previous blog... Continue Reading →

Anzac Day 1919 and the influenza pandemic

Ashburtonians celebrating Anzac Day in 1919 must have felt very strange – they were still feeling the aftereffects of a deadly disease outbreak. It would have been surreal for two reasons, being that the outbreak of H1N1 influenza had affected Ashburton quite severely, and that the tragedies of the Great War were still fresh in... Continue Reading →

Remembering Soldiers

  In 1918 Ashburton’s third Anzac Day was commemorated. The Ashburton Guardian anticipated it would ‘differ slightly’ from previous celebrations. Indeed, the government had declared Anzac Day 1918 a whole day holiday. A free day meant more time for more people to be involved, and more time for more expansive demonstrations. The proposed re-introduction of... Continue Reading →

We shall not sleep though poppies grow

From red poppies seen flowering on the battlefields of Belgium, France and Gallipoli during the spring of 1915, to their use today, the red poppy is a poignant reminder of wartime loss. The red poppy is a symbol of remembrance that reminds us of service and sacrifice during war. Yet while the poppy is recognised... Continue Reading →

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