It’s not often I write about things other than technology and education on this blog, however one of my other great passions is, in fact, history. I was privileged to teach history for four years at Linwood College and Catholic Cathedral College when I first started teaching after leaving my first career in the ICT sector.
When I moved to St Andrew’s College in 2012, my job as the Director of ICT was full time, precluding me from continuing to actively teach history, however I was fortunate to be given a number of opportunities to speak at the weekly Chapel services the College held. It was at two of these that I researched former students and staff members and their roles in World War 2 and then shared their stories with students. I recount all of this because tomorrow, April 25th, is ANZAC Day in New Zealand and for those unacquainted with this, this public holiday commemorates the war time services of the Australia, New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who first served together during the ill fated Gallipoli Campaign in World War 1.
I was thrilled, therefore, to learn that at the ANZAC Memorial Service that will be hosted at the new St Andrew’s College Centennial Chapel tomorrow, a video will be shown of the College’s World War 2 Memorial Tour of Europe that happened in January. During this trip, each student was required to research about an Old Collegian and then a wreath and College thistle was placed at the grave site. You can see the video showing this tour here:
Keen observers will have heard two names mentioned:
- James Samuel Cartwright – a former teacher who was killed days after the D-Day landings when his destroyer, HMS Boadicea, was torpedoed and sunk in the English Channel
- Barry Martin – a student of the Preparatory College who was a navigator in Stirling Bombers and was shot down and killed over occupied Europe (his plane crashed near Rotterdam).
These names were two of the men that I had researched whilst at St Andrew’s College and shared their stories at Chapel services. At the time, I wrote a blog post showing off the considerable technology that went into researching and presenting these stories, including a Skype video call with the 92year old surviving sister of James Samuel Cartwright.
It seems appropriate at this time of ANZAC commemorations to revisit these presentations and, through the retelling of their stores, we will not forget the ultimate sacrifice these men made.
James Samuel Cartwright:
Technology is certainly enabling new generations to learn more about their forefathers’ service in both The Great War and World War 2 and it seems the fascination with new stories from this period are not diminishing. I read with interest this story in the press today, this story in the press today, bringing a degree of closure to a 93 year old Kiwi who piloted Lancaster bombers during the WW2. A great resource for New Zealander’s looking to find out more about relatives that have served (as far back as the Boer War), is the Auckland Museum’s Online Cenotaph:
For those interested, I have read the following history books over the last few months – they may be of interest to you as you pause and reflect this ANZAC Day:
- 28th (Maori) Battalion Official History (my wife’s grandfather served and fought overseas in this unit)
- Supply Company of the 2nd NZEF Official History (my grandfather served in this unit).
- The Devil’s Diary – Alfred Rosenburg & The Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich