National Army Museum Newsletter – May, 2009

May Despatches

Passchendaele, The Belgians Have Not Forgotten

Passchendaele, The Belgians Have Not ForgottenThis exciting exhibition is currently touring New Zealand and coming to the National Army Museum; 24th August - 27th September.

The sacrifices of the New Zealand Division on World War I Belgium battlefields, such as Passchendaele and Messines, will not be forgotten thanks to the efforts of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917.

Whilst in recent years New Zealand has tended to identify Gallipoli as the key battle of World War I in regards to our growing national consciousness, we have begun to appreciate the significance of these other battles and their devastating effects on our tiny nation.

This exhibition focuses on how the memories of New Zealanders who fought more than 90 years ago continue to occupy a place in the Belgian consciousness. As recalled on the New Zealand battlefield memorials at Messines and Passchendaele, New Zealand soldiers came from 'the uttermost ends of the earth.'

For dates and venues of touring exhibition click here.

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New Look Gallipoli Gallery

New Look Gallipoli GalleryAs part of our ongoing refurbishment programme - and in time for ANZAC Day 2009 - the museum's Gallipoli Gallery has received a complete overhaul. The new display tells the story of the New Zealand campaign from December 1914 to December 1915, and contains new stories and artefacts.

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A Story of Bravery

Kenneth Anderson Bayne11/774a Trooper Kenneth Anderson Bayne,
Wellington Mounted Rifles

Kenneth 'Kenny' Bayne, originally from Tapanui, started his tour of duty training in Egypt with the Wellington Mounted Rifles in March 1915. He missed the initial landing at Gallipoli thanks to a bout of influenza, but once out of hospital he was shipped to Gallipoli and on 27 August he suffered severe bullet wounds to the left arm.

After being wounded Kenny was shipped to England and spent time working at two different hospitals before being sent home due to the awful pain in his wounded arm. In October 1916 Kenny boarded the SS Ruahine and began the journey home. Just 120 kilometres from Pitcairn Island a baby crawled through an unlocked porthole and fell into the sea. Kenny, who was leaning over the rail above the cabin, saw the child fall and immediately jumped overboard to try and save it. Illuminated buoys were thrown overboard and an emergency lifeboat was launched, but neither Kenny nor the baby were recovered. It was stated that the sea was infested with sharks, some up to 4 metres long, and more than likely both had been attacked.

Kenny was 28 when he died and, as there was no body, he is commemorated on the Wellington Provincial Memorial and the "Kenny" Bayne Memorial in Pahiatua.

The National Army Museum tells the personal stories of countless kiwi soldiers who, like Trooper Kenny Bayne, lost their lives in their service of New Zealand. This story, along with many others, is featured in our latest World War I exhibition; "The Last 100 Days - Victory & Home". Click here for full story.

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New Acquisition

Did you know that there was an ammunition company founded in New Zealand in the late 1800s to remedy the shortage of small arms ammunition from Britain - a business which would later supply ammunition needs during World War I and World War II? MORE

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Collection Support from Canada

We have recently bid farewell to our latest Canadian intern, Kylie Cumming, who spent the last six months working on the museum's priceless collection. Kylie is the museum's 8th intern from the "Young Canada Works at Building Careers in Heritage" internship programme and during her time in Waiouru she focused mainly on researching and enhancing pre-existing information on artefacts in the textiles collection. MORE

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Golf Tournament Raises Over $8,000

The annual Ex Servicemen's South Island Golf Tournament was held in March amongst beautiful weather at Burnham Golf Course. The tournament has now been running for 29 years and continues to be a fantastic fundraiser for the Museum's Trust.

Special thanks to Brig (Rtd) Tom Leighs and his organising committee who did another fine job.

Special mention needs to be made of two very notable absentees. Firstly, George Clarkson, a World War II veteran who passed away in his 99th year. George participated in the 2008 tournament, completing 9 holes of golf aged 98. Secondly, Col (Rtd) Lindsay Williams MC OBE was also sadly missed. Lindsay, who recently passed away, had been the chairman of the tournament's organising committee for most of the 29 years the tournament has been running.

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Website Update

We have recently created a new area on our website to allow visitors to learn more about our collection, the artefacts and personal stories. This includes a frequently updated area on new acquisitions, profiles of items from the vehicle and artillery collections currently not on public display, and refurbishment projects. Please follow the links.

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Book News From the Gift Shop

Before ANZAC, Beyond Armistice: The Central Otago soldiers of World War One and the home they left behind"Before ANZAC, Beyond Armistice: The Central Otago soldiers of World War One and the home they left behind"  by Keith Scott

This book tells the personal stories of soldiers from the Maniototo and the story of the community back home.

The inspiration for the book began with a photograph of the author's great uncle and his subsequent personal research to find out more lead to the discovery of the stories of a group of men who grew up together and went to war together.

Available through the Gift Shop.

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