National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand : Military History & Army War Museum

Make-A-Wish Special Visit

Make-A-Wish Special Visit

August 26th, 2011

Amy and Lance Akehurst have fun in the Kids HQ

The Make A Wish Foundation helped four year old Lance Akehurst make his wish to travel and visit family and friends in a campervan come true. Luckily for the National Army Museum, Lance, his sister Amy, and their Mum and Dad, decided they would love to stop and visit us along the way.

Knowing of their imminent arrival, the Education Team prepared a couple of rank identifying badges, and some exciting activities and goodies for the family. Lance and Amy particularly loved dressing up in Army DPM’s (uniform) in the Kids HQ, and having a ride on the M548 tracked carge carrier.

“Make -A-Wish grants the wishes of children (3-17 years) with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Granting a wish creates a piece of pure magic which can provide an escape for children and their families facing the most challenging times”. (Make A Wish Foundation)

Rugby Legends Bob Scott & Stan Young at the Army Museum

August 22nd, 2011

The story of New Zealand’s wartime rugby playing hereos is the focus of an exciting new exhibition, “Khaki & Black – New Zealand’s Rugby Supremacy in Times of War” which was opened on Saturday.

All Black legend Bob Scott kicks a goal to open new exhibition at the National Army Museum

Who better to open such an exhibition than two of the four remaining members of the famous 1945-46 “Kiwis” Army Rugby Team, rugby great Stan Young and All Black legend Bob Scott.

Bob Scott, arguably one of New Zealand’s best fullbacks to have worn the All Black jersey true to history took off his shoes and socks and together with Stan Young, a forward they both kicked a goal to open the exhibition.

Rugby legends, Stan Young and Bob Scott outside the National Army Museum's Khaki & Black exhibition.

At the end of the war in 1945, a rugby team was selected from the battlefields of North Africa and Europe following a series of trials. The team played with determination and pride in the ‘silver fern’ on their jerseys and soon became known as “The Kiwis”. Freyberg fostered the idea of playing a brand of attacking rugby that thrilled the crowds and raised morale in war-torn Europe, and thus the Kiwis created a renewed interest in the great game of rugby.

It was both an honour and a pleasure to meet these 2 gentlemen who were very entertaining, providing staff at the Museum with not only some great stories of the rugby and war years but also plenty of laughs. Special thanks to Stan, Bob and Bob’s son Bruce.

Remembering the Contribution of WWI Kiwi Soldiers

June 28th, 2011

The prized colours of the Wellington Infantry Regiment of World War One have been donated to the National Army Museum.

Over 10,000 men from all walks of life represented the province of Wellington during the war and the colours represent recognition by King George V who approved the presentation of a silk union flag, termed ‘colour’, to each of the Regiment’s three Battalions who served during the war. Read the rest of this entry »

Tourism Students Thrilled on Military Vehicle Ride

June 16th, 2011

A group of students studying tourism and travel courses from UCOL in Palmerston North spent several hours at the National Army Museum on 15 June as part of a two day trip to Taupo to experience the local attractions and activities. The students enjoyed a guided visit of the Museum, lunch and an exhilarating ride on the M548 Tracked Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC).

National Army Museum Armoured Personnel Carrier Ride

UCOL Tourism students experience a ride on National Army Museum Armoured Personnel Carrier

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US Marine Contemplates Revenge

May 8th, 2011

A handmade cosh made by a US Marine while posted in New Zealand during World War II has been donated to the National Army Musuem. We think it has a rather interesting back-story.

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The ANZAC Biscuit

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.

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Fashion At War

April 8th, 2011

The impact of World War Two on fashion is explored in a new exhibition, Fashion At War currently on display at the National Army Museum.

During World War Two with the threat of Japanese invasion and importing goods difficult, shortages took hold and rationing of many items including clothing became necessary on the Home Front.

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Bible Lost in WWI Trenches Returns Home

March 24th, 2011

New Zealand soldier Pte Richard Cook’s bible he lost near Messines during World War I was yesterday returned to his family in a moving ceremony at the National Army Museum in Waiouru.

On 12 April 1918 British soldier, Herbert Hodgson found the mud encrusted bible when he fell into a shell hole during an attack. His diary says: ‘There was no name inside it but the army service number 34816 had been written across the top outer edges of the pages.’

His family later tried to trace the army service number without success. But in June 2010, using the internet, Geoffrey Hodgson (the publisher of Herbert Hodgson’s memoirs) identified the original owner of the Bible as Richard Cook from the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

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Museum Gives $1000 Groceries to Worthy Recipient

March 7th, 2011

Congratulations to Mrs Erica Dixon who won the National Army Museum $1000 grocery voucher as part of our recent promotion. Mrs Dixon is a worthy recipient following a recent run of bad luck. Having relocated to Tauranga after the September earthquake in Christchurch, Mrs Dixon then had a car crash which has ended her driving days. She is still recovering from the accident, the two incidents have placed a huge strain on the retired 69 year old. “Winning the grocery voucher will give her a smile and help ease the strain of the llast few months” says her

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Childhood Memories of WWII Universal Carrier

March 2nd, 2011

Susan Kaschula (nee Hart) visited the National Army Museum, with hopes of seeing the Universal Carrier her father donated to the Museum many years ago. Susan was not disappointed as the World War II vehicle is the centre piece of the Museum’s iconic North Africa display which also contains the famous soldier eating baked beans.

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