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

Artefact of the Week: WWII Ring With Photo

Artefact of the Week: WWII Ring With Photo

August 19th, 2013

This week’s museum artefact is a sterling silver signet ring. Many soldiers brought rings home as souvenirs or even made them themselves while overseas. What is special about this ring is the large, rounded, rectangular face with a photograph of a soldier in World War Two battledress uniform. Small grey gemstones are set on either side of the photo.

The ring is a small, portable image of a loved one that can be carried with the wearer permanently. A visual keepsake that never leaves the hand.

Although we do not know who this soldier is or much provenance about the ring full stop, the object caught my eye this week when I opened up the box it is stored in. To know who this World War Two soldier was, who the ring was made for and who, if anyone, wore it would be fantastic.

But, even if the object’s memories remain hidden the ring is still a visually striking memento and a personalised reminder of distance and loving support.

Find out about our other museum artefacts and recent acquisitions.

Mystery Object

August 5th, 2013

Can you identify this mystery object?

We are not sure what this object is – do you have any ideas?

It is a piece of World War One trench art but the purpose of the object is more elusive. The term trench art describes things which are made in response to military conflict. This piece is made out of an MKVI calibre bullet, which dates it to military conflict. The base of the bullet has been cut away and shaped to look like a scoop of some sort. It is a very small scoop though – the whole thing is only 50mm long.

And what is it designed to scoop? Or does it have another purpose altogether? Let us know what you think?

Learn more about our other museum artefacts and recent acquisitions.

Artefact of the Week: Bullet Crucifix

July 30th, 2013

This week’s museum artefact is a unique piece of trench art made during World War One – a crucifix made from bullets. The cross is made from two French 8 mm Lebel cartridge cases and at the top are three German projectiles which form the cross. Christ is mounted in the centre.

This intricate war treasure has recently been on display along with an array of mysterious objects in our “Peek at the Peculiar: Strange Stuff From the Backroom” exhibition where visitors had to tell us the story behind these objects.

Find out more about our other museum artefacts and recent acquisitions.

Artefact of the Week: Boer War Trench Biscuit

July 9th, 2013

This week’s artefact is a trench biscuit from the Boer War. This hard tack biscuit has a letter written on it by Trooper Alexander Goodwin (730) 6 Company, 3rd NZ Contingent, to his sister. The biscuit is held in a carved presentation ‘box’. Trooper Goodwin was a Labourer from the Manawatu region and served at Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Cape Colony and the Orange Free State. He also served with the 9th Contingent and the Provisional Transvaal Constabulary.

Find out about our other museum artefacts and recent acquisitions.

Artefact of the Week: Pistol

June 26th, 2013

This week’s museum artefact is an Indonesian Presentation Pistol. This 9mm calibre P-1 Pindad Automatic Pistol, presented by General Feisal Tanjung (CIC Indonesian Armed Forces) to Lieutenant General A. ‘Tony’ Birks, Chief of Defence Force, NZDF, in June 1996.

This pistol was recently on display as part of the Museum’s “Peek at the Peculiar: Strange Stuff From the Backroom” display where visitors had to guess what it was. Many suggested it was a ‘golden gun’ or from a James Bond movie.

Find out about our other museum artefacts and recent acquisitions.

Artefact of the Week: King George Figurine

June 19th, 2013

This week’s artefact is an interesting figurine of King George V dressed in khaki military uniform with cap. These figurines were sold on the streets of London during 1914 for one pound to raise funds for the Red Cross during World War One.

Find out about our other museum artefacts and recent acquisitions.

Artefact of the Week: Tropical Pith Helmet

June 9th, 2013

This week’s museum artefact is a World War I tropical Pith Helmet. The Pith Helmet is made of cork and covered with a khaki drill twill cloth. It was used by 7/324 Captain William Deans of the Canterbury Yeomanry (CYC). As a lieutenant, William Deans left New Zealand with the Main Body (16 October 1914) bound for Egypt and then Gallipoli. Serving with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, he was on a scouting party just out from Walker’s Ridge when on 10 June 1915, they came under attack from the Turks. They had to wait until darkness fell before making their way back to safety. Unfortunately, William Deans was wounded and had to be evacuated off the peninsula.

This Pith Helmet is currently on display as part of “Harnessed: New Zealand’s War Horses” exhibition in the Freyberg Gallery until December this year.

Find out about our other museum artefacts and recent acquisitions.

Artefact of the Week: Mounted Rifles Tureen

May 30th, 2013

This week’s artefact is a Tureen made by Royal Doulton which features the badge of the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry (CYC).  The CYC was first raised in November 1864 as a corps of three troops. It was the first cavalry unit to accept service under the 1865 Volunteer Act and gave the corps premier place in the list of precedence. For many years, the CYC was the only mounted unit in the South Island and after several changes to its size and name, it was part of the Canterbury Mounted Rifle Regiment in WWI. This Tureen is currently on display in the Harnessed: New Zealand’s War Horses display in the Freyberg Gallery.

Find out about our other museum artefacts and recent acquisitions.

 

Artefact of the Week: WWI Surgical Kit

April 30th, 2013

This week’s museum artefact is a World War I surgical kit. Surgical equipment is not normally for the squeamish, and a recent donation to the National Army Museum is no exception.

The World War I era’s surgeon’s kit includes items such as bone saws and a hand held trephine – an implement used to drill people’s skulls.

These items were the life saving tools of the trade for 3/2920 Captain Martin Tweed, a doctor who served with the New Zealand Medical Corps in Field Ambulances and the No. 2 New Zealand General Hospital. Tweed joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1916 in London, where he had been studying medicine.

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Artefact of the Week: Sword & Scabbard

March 26th, 2013

This week’s museum artefact is a 1822 Pattern Cavalry sword & scabbard currently on display as part of the “Harnessed: New Zealand’s War Horses” exhibition. This sword & scabbard belonged to Colonel Thomas William Porter. Colonel Porter had a distinguished military career. He served in the New Zealand Wars, both in Imperial and Militia units; he served in the Anglo-Boer War (South Africa) and commanded the 7th and 9th New Zealand Contingents; and in May 1902, he took up command of the New Zealand Contingent that represented the New Zealand forces at the Coronation of King Edward VII. It was at this time, that the horse Major travelled with him and would eventually make its way back to New Zealand as the only horse to return home from the Anglo Boer War.

Colonel Porter held other important military and administrative positions leading up to and including WWI and died in Wellington on 12 November 1920.

Find out more about our other museum artefacts and recent acquisitions.


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