Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Be Sure We Are Winners

“Be Sure We Are Winners.” This patriotic postcard was published by the American Studio at Heliopolis in Cairo. An oval photographic portrait of a New Zealand soldier of the Field Artillery Regiment has been glued onto the front of the card. A printed message on the back reads:
“With Hearty Christmas greetings and every good wish for your Health, Happiness, and Prosperity throughout the coming year.”

Friday, 17 April 2015

Britannia rules the sands

“Britannia rules the waves, Britannia rules the sands.” 
Postcard published by Paul Barbey’s Printing Office, Cairo, and illustration by artist “Juan”. 

A tourist’s visit to Egypt often included a camel ride beside the Pyramids of Giza. This humourous artistic depiction shows a New Zealand soldier at the reins and an Australian soldier riding high on the camel’s hump. The handwritten message on the back of the postcard reads:
“Dear Mother, Send these two cards to Granny after you have seen her. Cecil.”

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Gallipoli Heights

An artist’s impression of Turkish troops at Gallipoli firing on the Anzacs. 
A German postcard printed and published in 1915. 

The rugged and inhospitable terrain of the heights above Anzac Cove, and the effect it had on ‘boxing-in’ opposing armies is cleverly caught in this scene. Many soldiers were caught by shellfire and snipers, others were captured and became prisoners of war. On 29 September 1915 the Ashburton Guardian advised readers on what to do to try and obtain information about missing individual soldiers:
 “The Postmaster-General states that persons having friends or relatives reported to be missing may write a postcard to a missing soldier and send it to the deputy chief postal censor at Wellington, who will forward it to the proper quarter for delivery. The postcard should be addressed to the soldier by his rank, number, name and regiment, the words ‘Believed to be prisoner of war in Turkey,’ being added. The card should be fully signed by the sender. No postage stamps are required to be affixed. Written matter should be strictly confined to social and domestic affairs. Any reference to the war or to politics or the state of the country will result in the destruction of the card.”

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Bairnsfather's "The Soldier's Dream"

“The Soldier’s Dream – A ‘Bitter’ disappointment on waking.” 
Postcard by artist Bruce Bairnsfather, “Fragments from France”, Series 6. 
It bears the handwritten message from what is thought to be a New Zealand soldier at Brockenhurst on 19 July 1917: “Dear Myrtle, Here I am back in this hospital again after 8 days in the Convalescent Camp. I expect to get a shift tomorrow either to Hornchurch or Codford. Today has turned out a real scorcher, after heavy rain all yesterday and the night before. Love to all.”

Artist Captain Bruce Bairnsfather served in the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment during the First World War. During this time he produced a regular cartoon in the highly popular British weekly magazine The Bystander. His artwork was often light-hearted depictions of life at the front line. Bairnsfather is perhaps best remembered for his creation of the lovable and mustachioed ‘Old Bill’ soldier character and for his work printed in the "Fragments from France" magazine.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

NZ Hospital Ship Maheno

“N.Z.H.S. Maheno.” Photograph taken by Lancashire-born Ughtred Hitchon, of Auckland, NZ. Hitchon was a district officer of the Auckland St John Ambulance Association.  He came to New Zealand on the ship Ionic in 1904 and was a member of the National Reserve section of the St John Ambulance Brigade during the war. On his passing in July 1945, his estate was valued at about £20,000 and he had made generous bequests to a number of charitable institutions including the St John Ambulance Association, a Salvation Army house for children under five known as the “Nest” in Hamilton, and Manurewa children’s homes.

The Maheno entered war service in 1915 as a hospital ship and was skippered by Captain Donald McLean on five charters from July 1915 to April 1919. Her busy war service resulted in the evacuation of thousands of patients from Gallipoli, Egypt, and France with casualties transported to hospitals in England and New Zealand. The Maheno had a long and successful career that spanned some 30 years. Her seaworthy days came to an abrupt end when she was wrecked on Fraser Island off the Queensland coast in Australia on 8 July 1935.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Protection of the NZ Main Body convoy

“H.I.M.S. Ibuki and H.M.S. Minotaur in Wellington Harbour.” An Ingleboro Photo Series postcard by Aldersley, card A.5. The Minotaur is the four-funnelled warship coming up behind the three-funnelled Ibuki as they leave Wellington Harbour in October 1914. These two warships were some of those used to escort and protect the NZ Main Body troopship convoy from an enemy attack on the long voyage to Egypt.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Back from lengthy absence...

Sorry Readers! I realise I haven't posted for quite some time. This was due to helping out on a number of WW1 Commemoration activities including an image used for one of the NZ postage stamps recently released (, presentations to Probus, Philatelic and Genealogy groups, providing material for museum exhibitions and working on a new publication.
Back on board now, so regular posts to follow. Warm regards, Glenn.

New Zealand Troopship "Hawke's Bay" 1914

“HMNZ Transport No.9.” A real photographic postcard produced in New Zealand, postmarked 24 September 1914, Wellington, NZ. On the back of the card Private Walter John Taylor of the Otago Infantry wrote home to his father in Mandeville near Gore:

“Dear Pater, Have arrived at Wellington. Am alright. Will write tomorrow if we stop here. Your son forever, Watty.” 

Walter was a Main Body soldier and sailed on the Hawkes Bay (HMNZT 9) to Egypt. He was sent into combat at the Dardanelles in April 1915 but fell sick some months later and was declared unfit for any further military service. He returned to New Zealand after receiving some medical treatment in an overseas hospital.