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On display

Wartime weddings

ON Display from Wed 20 Apr
WWII Hall of Memories

Marriage in wartime was far from conventional. This display celebrates two memorable weddings from the First and Second World Wars. 

Thomas and Constance Blake were married at Zeitoun Military Camp in 1915. The couple walked down the aisle under a guard of honour while the Auckland Mounted Rifles band played Mendelssohn's 'Wedding March'.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. PH-2014-69-1-p3-1.

During the First World War, Captain Thomas Blake and Miss Mabel Constance (Connie) Deane were married in the desert at Zeitoun Camp, Egypt. They made do with a marquee for a church but had a military band on hand for their walk up the aisle.

In 1943, Jack Mayall and Peg Ward began writing to each other while Jack was a prisoner of war in Poland and Peg served as a driver in England. After three years of corresponding they finally met in person and were married a year later in Auckland.

  • Weddings and war in 1940s New Zealand

    Weddings in New Zealand during the Second World War continued the tradition of long white or ivory coloured dresses, often with trains and flowing veils. This was in contrast to Britain for example where clothing was severely rationed.

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  • A wedding in the North African desert

    The wartime wedding of Captain Thomas Blake and Connie Deane captured imaginations when it was reported in newspapers in late 1915. The ceremony took place at Zeitoun Camp, near Cairo, in full military style. ​​

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