Genealogy Blog

5 February 2015

100 Years Since First New Zealand Death in WWI

Private William Ham from the small settlement of Ngatimoti near Nelson died from his wounds at the Battle of the Suez Canal in February 1915.

In all, some 18,000 New Zealanders died during World War I from the 100,000 that served overseas during the four-year conflict. Born in Ireland in 1892, William Ham emigrated with his family to New Zealand in 1900, eventually ending up in Ngatimoti in 1905.

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3 February 2015

Australian Students To Explore World War I in Unique Project

It was through the heroic, horrific sacrifice of its best and brightest in World War I that the federated states and territories of the Great South Land became a nation in spirit as well as name. It is why Anzac Day is now our de facto national day.

With the centenary of that momentous first Anzac Day drawing near, NewsLocal today launches a unique competition for junior high school students to bring to life the impact and experiences the conflict wrought on this young country.

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30 January 2015

Meet Ida May Fuller, Recipient of the First Social Security Check Numbered 00-000-001

Seventy-five years ago, the government cut 65-year-old Ida May Fuller a check. It was numbered 00-000-001 - the first Social Security payout.

Fuller, of Ludlow, Vermont, didn't realize it at the time, but her check helped launch the granddaddy of all entitlement programs. She had only paid three years' worth of payroll taxes before retiring but by the time of her death in 1975 at age 100, she collected $22,888.92 from Social Security monthly benefits.

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29 January 2015

Scenes From the History of Snow Removal

In some areas, the weather outside is pretty frightful. And since you've no place to go but outside to shovel, get cozy and read about snow removal in the good old days.

For a good stretch of American history, getting rid of snow was of no great concern. In fact, people actually wanted it around. While this might blow the minds of modern Northeasterners and Midwesterners, keep in mind that these were the days of the horse-drawn vehicle, not the Prius.

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28 January 2015

RELIC Program To Explore History of Creoles

Creole identity and culture have become uniquely associated with Louisiana and have both persisted and undergone dynamic change in our state's history, but who or what is Creole?

The Calcasieu Parish Public Library is offering the public an opportunity to consider why Creole identity migrated among groups over history and how class, race, and culture have been used by writers of the Creole experience.

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23 January 2015

A 16th Century View of North America in the Vallard Atlas

The prolific Dieppe school of Northern France produced some of the atlases with the most innovative and beautiful marginalia.

The Vallard Atlas, which was made in 1547 and ascribed to the Dieppe cartography school, has a clearly Portuguese flavour due to either its anonymous creator or the model that inspired it.

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6 January 2015

Hidden World War II Battlefields Reveal Germans' Tactics

Deep in the forests of northwestern Europe, the ghosts of battle from World War II remain. These landscapes preserve troves of bomb craters, trenches and even the remains of supply depots — all of which have not been well studied until now.

These battleground remnants may shed new light on logistical support of German field armies and the impact of Allied bombings, researchers said in a new study.

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1 December 2014

Japanese Newspaper Prints Apology for Using the Term ‘Sex Slaves’

The Yomiuri Shimbun, the conservative newspaper that is the largest-circulation daily in Japan, has apologized for using the term “sex slaves” to refer to the women many historians say were coerced into working in a sprawling network of brothels supervised by the Japanese military during World War II.

In a challenge to the view held by those historians, as well as by the governments of South Korea and China, the newspaper said it was “inappropriate” to suggest that the women had been recruited against their will. Writing “as if coercion by the Japanese government or the army was an objective fact” was incorrect, it said.

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26 November 2014

New Ulster Museum Exhibition Is Insight Into 500 Years of History in Northern Ireland

Ulster's fascinating past is on display in a major new exhibition at the Ulster Museum, showcasing 500 years of history.

Almost 400 objects have now been put on show at the Belfast museum, some 150 of which have not previously been on display. The exhibit, Modern History, is arranged around particular events and themes and tells the story of the historic province of Ulster from 1500 to 1968.

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13 November 2014

Photographer Unearths 'Lost' Underground Cities of World War I

A Houston area doctor is revealing for the first time photographs taken of underground cities used to house troops in France during World War I. The vast giant underground spaces, sometimes measuring over 18 miles long, are forgotten quarries which ran under the Western front line.

During the Great War, which began a century ago this year, the quarries were transformed into fully-functioning cities with electric lighting systems, plumbing, railways, chapels and formal living quarters. Some even had street signs on the walls so soldiers wouldn't get lost.

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12 November 2014

France Unveils New Monument To Commemorate WWI

President François Hollande on Tuesday is presiding over a series of commemorations marking the end of World War I, culminating with the inauguration of a breathtaking new monument in northern France.

Tributes will be paid in France and around the world on Tuesday to the millions of servicemen who died in the Great War.

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10 November 2014

The Saddest Selfie: Touching Self Portrait Taken By WW1 Soldier Reveals Proud Young Man in His Bedroom Shortly Before Flying To His Death at the Age of Just 21

A photograph uncovered among records from World War I shows a fresh-faced soldier taking a picture of himself in front of a bedroom mirror.

Just months later, the 21-year-old soldier was shot down during an air battle over Germany along with a comrade from No 4. Squadron. His story, and haunting photo, has been released ahead of Remembrance Day next week, and to commemorate 2014 as the 100-year anniversary since the start of the Great War.

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30 October 2014

End of the Line: The Rusting Relics of an Eerie Hungarian Train Graveyard, Including Carriages That Carried Jews To Their Deaths at Auschwitz

These are the eerie images of an abandoned train yard in Hungary where visitors can see rotting carriages once used by the Nazis to transport hundreds of thousands of Jews to their deaths at Auschwitz concentration camp.

The pictures, taken at the Istvantelek train workshop near Budapest, are a snapshot of a bygone era, with huge locomotives standing in a crumbling shed that is slowly being reclaimed by nature.

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24 October 2014

Secret WWI History of Australian Soldiers with Venereal Disease

Around 60,000 Australian soldiers ended up contracting venereal disease by the end of the First World War. Just as they were hidden away to undergo treatment at the time, their story has, up until now, remained largely untold.

The image of a soldier riddled with gonorrhoea and syphilis, hiding weeping ulcers on his genitals beneath the emblematic khaki uniform, is a far cry from the usual portrayal of the ANZAC digger.

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17 October 2014

10 Things You Didn’t Know Were Canadian World War I Memorials

When we think of war memorials, we picture cenotaphs, statues of angels and soldiers, but after the First World War, communities searched for original ways to honour their fallen citizens.

Some took the traditional route, while others came up with other methods to memorialize the dead. Here are 10 places and things that you may not realize were meant to honour Canada’s war dead.

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