Find your Kiwi soldier

Cover of Tracing Your First Worls War AncestorsIt was 100 years ago that soldiers from Germany, France, and Britain and her colonies went to war in a part of France and Belgium that was once known as Flanders.

It wasn’t long before the war had spread to Russia, Turkey, the Middle East and Africa. Thousands of men went to war and, although most came home, many did not.

Many of you will have an ancestor that took part in this great and terrible war. If you want to know what happened to them, we can help you. We just need a name.

  • Archway is a search engine for Archives New Zealand. With Archway, you can find your soldier’s personnel files. It’s not just soldiers listed in Archway. You will also find information on army nurses, deserters, defaulters and conscientious objectors. The files also include medical records, which are interesting to read if your soldier was sent home sick or wounded.
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission has a database commemorating those who died during the two world wars. I have tried searching using full name, but I have had very good results using last name and initials. Information on cemeteries and memorials make planning a trip to visit the grave easy.
  • Cenotaph Database has been created by Auckland Museum. It is a biographical database of New Zealanders who served in the military. It is a great database to use; type in the surname, the first name and the war. You should then find information about your soldier.
  • Cover of  Onward: Portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary ForceSome of these databases even have photos of your soldier. If they don’t, there is a book that you might find useful. Onward: Portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force by P. J. Beattie contains over 4,000 photographs of members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
  • Visit the library and we will help you. At the Shirley library, for the month of December, we have the use of an Apple iMac. This Apple iMac is a computer that has a selection of databases that will help find your soldier. If you don’t get the opportunity to use the iMac, don’t worry, the information can be found on our website. The iMac will go on tour around our libraries, so it might appear at a library near you soon.

Te Kupu o te Wiki – The Word of the Week

Kia ora. To celebrate Te Reo Māori we are publishing kupu (words).

Whakataukī (proverb)

Nāku te rourou nāu te rourou ka ora ai te iwi.
With your basket and my basket the people will live

Again referring to co-operation and the combination of resources to get ahead. This proverb can be very useful and is often said.

Kīwaha (colloquialism)

Kua Māui tonu atu koe
You think you are super human or something?

Kupu (word)

rā whānau
birthday

Happy Birthday to you!.

 

Maori
Browse our Te Reo Māori resources.

This week in Christchurch history (1 to 7 December)

1 December 1863
Opening of the Ferrymead to Moorhouse Avenue railway, New Zealand’s first public steam railway. (The gauge was 5ft 3ins.)

1 December 1949
Sidney G. (later Sir Sidney) Holland (Fendalton) becomes Prime Minister.

2 December 1866
Moa bones discovered at Glenmark. The international sale and exchange of these helped Haast, the Canterbury Museum’s first Director, to finance the new museum.

2 December 1960
Rehua meeting house opens, the first new meeting house in the South Island for over 100 years.

Photo of Rehua Marae
Matariki at Rehua Marae, St Albans, Christchurch. Saturday 28 June 2014. File Reference: 2014-06-28-IMG_0501
From the collection of Christchurch City Libraries

3 December 1867
Canterbury Museum (New Zealand’s first) opened to public in an upstairs room in the Canterbury Provincial Government Buildings. The collection had been assembled by Julius (later Sir Julius) Von Haast.

3 December 1924
Children’s Library opens in Hereford Street.

5 December 1881
Earthquake damages Cathedral spire.

6 December 1983
16 year old Christchurch student David Tan completes B.Sc Honours degree at Canterbury University to become New Zealand’s youngest ever university graduate.

More December events in the Chronology.

Code Club at our Libraries

Kid at Code ClubWay back in May this year, the Library began a trial in collaboration with Code Club Aotearoa to set up and run a volunteer led coding club for Year 7 and 8 students at Upper Riccarton Library. This was the first collaboration between Code Club and a Library anywhere in the country and due to our great venue and equipment in conjunction with brilliant volunteers organised by Michael Trengrove, (the Code Club Aotearoa founder) it was a resounding success. Numbers and interest grew and it was clear that we would need to look for new venues to accommodate the influx of keen young students.

Cover of Computer Coding for kidsAs of Term 4 this year we currently have another two full Code Clubs up and running. One at South Learning Centre and another at New Brighton Learning Centre. This has been and will continue to be a fantastic collaborative project between Libraries and an outside organisation that helps to lessen the growing shortage of young “Coders” in our country and we are very proud to be taking an active role in this. If you are interested in learning more about Code Club Aotearoa please take a look at their website (which can be viewed in either English or Te Reo Māori).