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To care always
- Atawhaihia, Manaakihia Mo Ake Tonu
❚ Continued from page 6
A Comfortable Sock, with
patterns for younger knitters.
Her Excellency’s Knitting
Book encouraged the war
effort at home.
ties to the front line
Morris Brown’s identity disc.
we don’t know anything about the soldier
who owned this watch.’’
Some of them didn’t stand up too well to
the salt air on the long sea voyages or in the
conditions in the trenches but it marked a
change in the mechanised nature of war,
when timing was everything to co-ordinate
attacks with artillery and other masses of
It also had an emotional link in that a
watch was worn close on the skin, making
it a personal item.
Another personal memento in the book
is the cigarette case that belonged to Harry
A labourer at
engraved on the
case, but he was
killed, like so
veterans, at the
Somme the next
family was very
involved in the
war,’’ Ross said.
brother and a
brother also enlisted. Brother Bernard,
who was with the Machine Gun Squadron,
died of disease in Egypt.
His sister Mabel was a nurse with the
New Zealand Army Nursing Service and
served at the Featherston Military Camp.
She asked not to be sent overseas
because she was also looking after her
But she died from influenza during the
1918 epidemic after catching it from men
she was nursing.
A key effort on the home front was to
knit all kinds of things for soldiers. There
were socks, scarves, pyjama cords and even
cholera belts which were worn over the
kidneys in the belief of the time that
cholera and other diseases were caused by
getting cold abdomens.
Hunter said that due to factories turning
out finished knitted products for a long
time, knitting was something of a forgotten
skill by 1914.
‘‘So the generation of 1914 had to learn
how to knit,’’ she said.
And it was then the civilian knitting
army stepped in, with a bit of a hand from
Annette, Lady Liverpool, the Governor
‘‘Lady Liverpool had Her Excellency’s
Knitting Book and it uses the imagery of the
soldier and the woman at home, and it is
small enough to put into your knitting
bag,’’ Hunter said.
It had the patterns for a wide range of
products including mittens and balaclavas
as well as small skull caps designed for
young Belgian refugees who had fled the
German military juggernaut.
The quote on the cover read:
For the Empire and for Freedom,
We all must do our bit
The men go forth to battle
The women wait – and knit.
There were also patterns for the
younger folk such as A Comfortable Sock.
The knitting book featured in Ross’ and
Hunter’s book was owned by Ina Preston,
who was in form 6B at Wellington Girls’
College in 1916.
Funds from the sales of the booklet went
to the Wounded Soldiers’ Fund and the
socks could then also be donated to Lady
Liverpool’s Comforts Fund.
And while others were knitting for
victory, at the sharp end of the Dardanelles
campaign amateur insect collectors
William Henry and Harry Browne were
searching for different species of scarab
While it might be one of the least likely
things you’d think soldiers would be up to
while battling ‘‘Johnny Turk’’ it was an
illustration that between terrifying bits of
out-and-out warfare, a soldier’s life often
involved a lot of waiting around with little
Henry and Browne spent their idle time
more scientifically than most and packaged
up their collection and sent it home to the
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