Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
With the spotlight on war horses at the moment with the recent release of Spielberg’s latest movie, “War Horse”, the National Army Museum is focusing some attention to New Zealand war horses.
The new film chronicles the story of a horse serving in World War I’s Western Front and sheds some deserving light on the courage and sacrifice of animals during that conflict.
Horses were the unsung hereos of World War I and instrumental in keeping the army operating. Horses served as mounts for the Mounted Rifle Brigade, provided logistical support for the army as a whole, and their companionship increased morale amongst the soldiers.
Thursday, January 12th, 2012
New Zealander Barry Deed from Tauranga recently witnessed a truly remarkable incident when visiting the Normandy landing beaches on an overseas trip. Mr Deed retold the story to the staff of the National Army Museum during his Christmas time visit.
Two World War II veterans and comrades were remarkably reunited in October last year, more than 67 years since they had stormed the Normandy landing beaches on D Day and one had left the other for dead.
Bill Betts and Clifford Baker were amongst the first ashore that day having spent the two previous years training together as radio operators whose role it was to send radio messages from the advancing frontline, to Alli
ed guns so they wouldn't shell their own troops.
On D Day, Bill was hit by enemy fire and the last time Clifford saw him he was lying wounded on the beach telling everyone else to keep going.
Miraculously both men visited the same D Day museum at Arromanches on the same day, with Clifford signing the museum's visitor's book just 20 minutes after Bill and recognised his name.
Monday, October 10th, 2011
All Black WWI Roll of Honour
11/448 Sergeant Henry DEWAR
Henry Dewar was born in Foxton in 1883, but spent most of his early years in Wellington before moving to Taranaki at the age of 27. He worked there as an Ironmoulder until World War I broke out four years later in 1914.
Dewar began his rugby career with Wellington’s Melrose Club and played his first provincial rugby with Wellington in 1907. The following year he was in the Wellington team which beat the touring Anglo Welsh.
Known by the nickname “Norkey”, Dewar was strong and ruggedly built for those years, and was an industrious forward who could play either as a hooker or in the loose. In fact, some said he could play in any position in the scrum. (more…)
Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
“Biscuits! Army Biscuits! Consider the hardness of them. Remember the cracking of your dental plate, the breaking of this tooth, the splintering of that.”
(From “Army biscuits” by Ormond Burton in “The ANZAC book”)
Does this bring to mind images of our troops at Gallipoli eating the ANZAC biscuits we know and love today? Contrary to popular belief there were no ANZAC biscuits at Gallipoli. The standard Army biscuit at this time was a rock-hard tooth breaker also called a ship’s biscuit.
Although it’s a myth that ANZAC biscuits were sent and eaten by troops in Gallipoli, some evidence suggests a rolled oats based biscuit was sent to troops on the Western Front, although this is not widespread.