New life for services newspapers

18:49, Nov 22 2012
History : Timaru Boys’ High School year 9 students, from left, Sam Early, Matthew Marsh, James Coupland, Oliver Prisk and Roy Ford look over military newspapers from the 1940s recently donated to the school.

A collection of historical military newspapers has found a new home and a new purpose as an educational resource for Timaru students.

The 1940s-era newspapers were carefully kept and bound into eight volumes by Sergeant Keith Marshall, who served in the 2nd New Zealand Division of the 8th Army in World War II.

Mr Marshall, a lifetime member of the Temuka RSA, died about two years ago, and his widow gave the newspapers to his friend and fellow RSA member, Blue Hogg.

Mr Hogg told the Herald last month that he was seeking a longterm home for the newspapers.

His wish was granted when he received a call from Roger Van Booma, a history teacher at Timaru Boys' High School.

Now Mr Van Booma is incorporating the papers into his lessons and using them as a research tool for student projects. "It's very likely that a student will eventually find some news about a family member, and he can use that as topic for a profile project," he said.


The collection includes copies of the United States military publication Stars and Stripes, the weekly British forces paper Crusader, early copies of the RSA Review and many editions of the New Zealand Defence Force Times.

On Thursday, a class of year 9 students pored over the yellowed pages and examining 70-year-old sport results, editorial cartoons and articles about the progress of the war and of life at home. One group of boys remarked on a long list of names of men who had gone missing that filled two pages.

"It helps to make it real for them," Mr Van Booma said.

Mr Hogg said he believed his friend Mr Marshall would have been pleased to see the newspapers used to help younger generations learn about their world.

"I think it's exactly the thing he would have liked," he said.

The Timaru Herald