Holding on to Home

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More About This Title Holding on to Home


The Great War seeped and stormed into every aspect of New Zealanders’ lives, from the front line to the family home. The things that survived—a crumpled theatre ticket, an engraved cigarette case, a knitting pattern—bring this distant event back into our hands. Historians Kate Hunter and Kirstie Ross have scoured museums and archives across the country to uncover these personal possessions and the stories they tell. All-new photographs and original research illuminate the things that were worn, lugged, kissed, and held by soldiers and those at home, placing these objects at the center of this important new social history. Holding on to Home provides a fresh perspective on the First World War and gives valuable insights into the lives of New Zealanders during wartime, more than 100 years later.


Kate Hunter teaches in the history program at Victoria University and is an honorary research associate at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She is the author of Father’s Right-Hand Man: Women on Australia’s Family Farms, 1880s to the 1920s and Hunting: A New Zealand HistoryKirstie Ross is a curator of history at Te Papa, where she was the lead curator on Slice of Heaven: 20th Century Aotearoa. She is the author of Going Bush: New Zealanders and Nature in the Twentieth Century.