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

Stories From the Samoan Garrison

Men on fatigue order, Vaea Camp (NAM 2003.100)

Men on fatigue order, Vaea Camp (NAM 2003.100)

One of the personal stories profiled in the latest museum exhibition, ‘Samoa: A Great and Urgent Imperial Service’  is that of Sergeant Laurence “Harry” McCalman who worked at the Samoan wireless station during and after WWI ensuring the plant and equipment ran smoothly.

Harry, originally from Christchurch, was working as a Telegraphist before the war and enlisted with the New Zealand Post & Telegraph Corps for service in Samoa.

In 1920 after two stints of service at the wireless station in Samoa he took up a role back in Christchurch with the New Zealand Post Office where he spent the rest of his working days until retirement, eventually reaching the position of Postmaster.

Harry’s original Tropical Khaki Drill Service Jacket that he wore in Samoa is on display as part of the new display in the Thornton Gallery.