WW1: Local soldier’s P.O.W story

Personal diaries and letters, in many cases, provide us with some of the most interesting historic stories that have ever, or never, been told. Every memoir is special, but those that vividly recall events of war, adversity, triumph, failure, and hope through the eyes of someone we can easily relate to are perhaps the most... Continue Reading →

Coldstream Soldier: F W T Rogers’ WW1 Photo Album

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an album must be worth millions. Last year the Ashburton Museum had the pleasure of borrowing a very special photo album from Betty Wilson, who allowed the Museum to scan the photographs inside and keep digital copies for the community archives. (Note: this is not the... Continue Reading →

An egg-celent business

The phenomenon of the Ashburton Egg Circle was brought to my attention recently – it is one of those funny sounding things that once you hear it you just can’t let it go until you figure it out. Googling the term only comes up with kitchen gadgets for frying eggs – so what was this... 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 →

The highly respected Robert Galbraith was Ashburton mayor from 1915-1931. It was his misfortune to be the sitting mayor during and after The Great War. His story is linked to how the War Memorial in Baring Square came about. It is a classic story of debate, intrigue, politics, delay and money. Letters to the Editor,... Continue Reading →

Remembering after the war

This is the final in our series of Heavens XV and reserves. Although World War One officially ended on Armistice Day, on November 11, 1918, sadly deaths were still occurring or being reported after that date. By December, Ashburton High School’s magazine began the dreadful tally of casualties. Of the 285 High School Old Boys... Continue Reading →

The King’s Cup connection

Last year, visitors to our Balls, Bullets and Boots exhibition had a rare chance to see a very important part of international rugby history. The museum was honoured to have been able to borrow The Kings Cup, recognised as the first international rugby trophy, and precursor to the famous Rugby World Cup. The large silver... Continue Reading →

Heaven’s XV Part 3

Last week we remembered and commemorated the centennial of Passchendaele through a selection of World War One soldiers and rugby players. Today we continue to meet the team, through Ashburton High School players who fell in a variety of places. While as the war progressed, France on the Western Front was still the main focus... Continue Reading →

Heaven’s XV Part 2

This post continues our series on Ashburton rugby players who also served in World War One. By the December 1916 edition of the Ashburton High School magazine, it was clear Ashburton was reeling from the aftermath of the Somme. Ten boys from the school had been killed and many pages were dedicated to the wounded... Continue Reading →

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