Friday, 13 September 2013

Troopship magazines

During WW1 (and indeed WW2), soldiers aboard troopships en route to war sometimes published magazines. Theses troopship magazines ranged from hand-written to professional looking publications. They were highly valued and were intended to be informative, entertaining and to help the morale of soldiers. A number were also written on the return voyages back to NZ.

Ref: AWNS-19150708-47-3, 1915, NZ troopship Ludzow at Alexandria, Egypt, 1915, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Auckland War Memorial Museum Library has recently completed the digitisation of its troopship magazines. These are are listed on the library's online catalogue and are also available as pdfs (simply click on the publication, then click on the link in the Notes field). Examples of the museum's holdings of troopship magazines include:
Ref: AWNS-19150708-47-2, 1915, Aucklanders disembarking for Gaba Tepe, Gallipoli Peninsula from the troopship Ludzow, 1915, .Sir George Grey Special Collections
There is another collection at Dunedin Public Libraries, which includes 379 items from both WW1 and WW2. Created by librarian Mr W.G. McEwan, this collection includes not only troopship magazines but also souvenirs and journals.

The University of Otago Library also has a collection of troopship magazines (see p.12) which you can search for by entering in the name of the ship or the number of the reinforcements. Publications include:

Ref: 7-A15887, 16 New Zealand nurses aboard the deck of the troopship R.M.S. Athenic, 1916-1917, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Quick March (1918-1923), the official paper (monthly) of the New Zealand Returned Soldiers' Association (as it was known as at the time) is held in the heritage collections at the Auckland Libraries. Although the publication covers the post WW1 period, it contains important information about the lives of New Zealanders who served in the war. Contents include political articles; advice on resettlement issues; short stories and jokes; war stories and reminiscences; cartoons; and advertising aimed at returned servicemen.

Ref: AWNS-19141001-47-1, horses from the Otago mounted section of the NZ Expeditionary Force on board a troopship at Port Chalmers, Dunedin, 1914, Sir George Grey Special Collections
The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association (RSA) has generously permitted Auckland Libraries to digitise this important publication, and make it available online. This project is underway and forms part of Auckland Libraries' WW1 centenary commemoration activities and is listed on the WW100 Activities and Projects page.

Ref: AWNS-19140917-46-4, the advance party of the NZ Expeditionary Force who arrived in Auckland from Samoa on the troopships Monowai, 1914, Sir George Grey Special Collections

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