Story: Arts and the nation

War memorial window, University of Canterbury

War memorial window, University of Canterbury

This window was unveiled in the Great Hall at Canterbury University College in 1938 to commemorate the 400 students and teachers from the college who served in the First World War, of whom 98 died. It displays a procession of the heroes of British civilisation, including writer William Shakespeare, nurse Florence Nightingale and explorer James Cook with his 1769 ship misnamed as the Resolution (the ship on his first voyage of 1769 was actually the Endeavour). The heroes of Britain are being protected from the German dragon, named 'Brutality and ignorance' by a row of New Zealand soldiers. The figures create the shape of England and Wales. The window, which was the work of an English artist, Martin Travers, illustrates well how New Zealanders at that time conceived of themselves as upholders of the heritage of Great Britain.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Jock Phillips

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Arts and the nation - The 19th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/44997/war-memorial-window-university-of-canterbury (accessed 28 May 2020)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014