It will be a change to do something instead of sitting in a trench. I believe it will be our last scrap here as the men need a month’s or two month’s holiday and I believe the General has definitely promised the NZ & A troops a spell. They need it.
(Priest’s diary, PCol-Priest-084)
A diary kept by Arthur Francis Lester Priest (1893-1915) from late 1914 to August 1915. The diary documents his experience in the first World War. The collection includes some memorabilia kept with the diary: a letter, newspaper clippings, postcard and photograph.
After weeks of anxiety Mr and Mrs J. S: Priest of Chorlton have found that their youngest son, Lieut Lester Priest was killed at Gallipoli on August 8th. It appears that Lieut Priest was wounded in the terrible action held that day and was being carried down to the base hospital on a stretcher when a shell wounded the two stretcher bearers and wounded Lt Prtest mortally. He lived for a quarter of a hour after the disaster and asked for a cigarette while smoked. Chaplin McMenamin who returned by the Willochra last week was with him when he died and speaks in high terms ol his great bravery. He said he knew he was dying, but it was the death he would have chosen above all others. In June last his death was reported and he read his own obituary notioe. The sad part of the whole thing is that in some way his real death was not officially reported and his relatives were only told he had been wounded a second time. Since that date they had been enquiring in every hospital and naturally were unable to locate him. The late Lieut Priest was 21 years of age …
20 October 1948
“Pleasure Garden” art controversy begins when a Frances Hodgkins painting (done in about 1933) is exhibited at “the Group” show. This fierce debate on art style was joined by people throughout New Zealand. It raged for 3 years until the City Council accepted the painting as a gift on September 3, 1951.
22 October 1863
First Agricultural and Pastoral Association show in showgrounds (which is now Sydenham Park). An “unofficial” show had been held in October, 1862.
22 October 1985
“Elizabeth” the one tonne sea elephant dies of a viral infection on Sumner Beach. She had lived for 5 years on the City’s beaches, estuary and rivers and was often found crawling up suburban streets. She was immortalised in 2014 in Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox.
23 October 1874 Canterbury Club building (designed by Frederick Strouts) inaugurated.
24 October 1870
Disastrous fire (New Zealand’s most extensive to that date) destroys the centre of Lyttelton.
25 October 1986
“Qin Shihuang” (Chinese Buried Army) exhibition opens at the McDougall Art Gallery. 71,145 people visited the exhibition over a seven week period.