Free public talk Thursday: Eastbourne and WWI connection
Soldiers’ reflections from the Taumaru Military Convalescent Home. 1916 – 1919
Date: Thursday, 24 March, 2016
Time: 12.10pm - 1.00pm
Location: Te Ahumairangi, ground floor, National Library Building, Wellington
'Taumaru', situated in Lowry Bay, was the family home of New Zealand politician and lawyer, Francis HD Bell. In 1916
Bell offered the house to the New Zealand government as a military convalescent home to assist with the ever-increasing
numbers of New Zealand service personnel returning wounded from action overseas.
Between 1916 and 1919 approximately 500 men passed through its doors. With the aid of photographs from the time, and the
Taumaru Trifler – the magazine the men published while recuperating – a picture emerges of their daily lives as they
were nursed back to the point at which they could either return to active service or civilian life.
This presentation outlines how the home operated; the mutual admiration that developed between the patients and the
staff; and the men's reflections on their time at the front, their journey home and the haven that Taumaru provided away
from the realities of war.
ANDREW FRANCIS is a historian specializing in the home front during the First World War. His 2012 book, ‘To Be Truly
British We Must Be Anti-German’: New Zealand, Enemy Aliens and the Great War Experience, 1914-1919, is a study of the
treatment of New Zealand’s enemy alien population during the First World War. Other research interests include the role
of wartime juvenile literature, and British imperial advertising up to 1920. He lives in Wellington.
Watch the national Library website for information about future talks and events www.natlib.govt.nz