Schoolgirl life and love during the war
There was a sharp divide between rich and poor in New Zealand at the time of the First World War. Marjorie Lees, the daughter of an upper-class Wellington family, was attending boarding school in 1914. Young women of her social status faced a restricted life, with very few options apart from marriage once they left school. But like young people from all walks of life, she was soon to experience the heartbreak of war.
Penny trails and white feathers
During WW1, those at home were encouraged to support the men at the front by donating money or goods to the war effort. Colin Franklin-Browne recalls watching fundraising parades and penny trails (lines of coins which the public were encouraged to add to) on Wellington’s streets in 1914-15. He also remembers the dark side of this patriotic fervor. Women’s patriotic groups sent white feathers, symbols of cowardice, to men who had not enlisted. The women targeted pacifists, men not yet in uniform and even those unable to enlist for medical reasons.