Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Letter to Henry Nicholas





This envelope contained a letter for Henry Nicholas, a new Zealander soldier fighting in France, written by his girlfriend, Ethel Martin. Shortly before Ethel wrote the letter, Henry had been awarded a Victoria Cross medal for bravery. The Victoria Cross is the highest military award possible and receiving one was a rare distinction. Of the 100 000 New Zealand soldiers who fought in the First World War, only 11 were awarded the Victoria Cross. Henry Nicholas died before reading Ethel's letter, just 19 days before the armistice. (an armistice is an agreement to stop fighting. The armistice that marked the end of the First World War was signed by England, France and Germany on the 11 November 1918)

The story of Ethel's letter is told through an interactive comic strip. This comic strip contrasts the different experiences of a woman left at home and a man at the front, each with their sorrows


Key Questions:

  • What can we observe?
  • What do we already know?
  • How might people view this envelope in different ways?
Possible questions for further investigation:

  • What can you see on this envelope?
  • Where was its intended destination?
  • Why do you think it looks so tattered?
  • At what stage of the war was it sent?
  • How do you think Ethel Martin felt when the letter was returned to her?
  • Why did she decide to keep the envelope and the letter inside it/
  • Why was this letter in the Canterbury Museum? What is the VC collection?
  • What do you think life was like for Ethel Martin, and other women in New Zealand, during the war?
  • Henry Nicholas won a Victoria Cross for his bravery. In what ways were Ethel Martin and other New Zealand women brave during the war? How was this bravery recognized?


10 comments:

  1. What do we already know.
    Henry Nicholas died 19 days before the armistice
    He took out a German machine gun turret and 11 German soldiers with one bomb and his bayonet.
    He won the Victoria Cross for bravery.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How Might people see this in different ways?

    War item collectors will see it in a money way and think of how much money they could get.
    Museums will see it as a historical item which can be put in the museum as another piece of history.
    Ethel will see it as a reminder that her beloved boy was killed 19 days before the end of the war but died an honorable death by being killed in battle.
    Public in the museum might think of it as a sad thing or a awesome war item that was in the war.

    ReplyDelete
  3. People might view the envelope as money so they could sell it, some might see it with grief and some would want to add it to their collectors item.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What do you think life was like for Ethel Martin, and other women in New Zealand, during the war?

    The Women would feel horrible throughout the war because they know their man could be dead because they know how dangerous war is. They would be relieved when they heard from them but that didn't always happen.

    ReplyDelete
  5. how might people view this envelope in different ways?


    1. they might see it as a story to write about

    2. collectors item

    3. as an emotional piece from family

    4. a piece of their past

    5. a piece to remember someone by

    6. news that someone has died

    ReplyDelete
  6. How do you think Ethel Martin felt when the letter was returned to her?
    The stamp on the front of the envelope said 'deceased' it was red. She would have been emotionally heart broken to see that on the front.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What can we observe?
    The letter says he was Deceased.
    K.I.A (Killed In Action)
    The letter has been torn at the top right corner and it looks like there was a stamp there.
    This was the letter that Ethel Martian wrote and it was sent back to her.
    Henry never read the note.

    ReplyDelete
  8. what we already know henry nicholas was reworded the victorein cross

    ReplyDelete
  9. Why did she decide to keep the envelope and the letter inside it?
    She didint want to feel the grief of death.
    What do you think life was like for Ethel Martin, and other women in New Zealand, during the war?
    They didint know if they would win or not.
    They felt like they would never see there bf/Husband again.
    they felt like they would never have a good life with war & there bf/husband Gone away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what do we already know
      he never got her letter and she new that he past-way

      Delete

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