Medallist and sculpture artist Christine Massey was asked to create a medal for the Museum, inspired by the stories of courage in the First World War. The medal she created takes the shape of a feather, cast in bronze. Christine chose to create a medal that recognises 'the bravery of those men who did not go to War'.
In Wartime, the white feather was given to men in an attempt to shame those who had not signed up for duty. Some of those men who were given feathers could not go and some of them refused to.
The back of the medal is inscribed with these words from a Dornford Yates short story:
Dolly never took her eyes from his face. He did not look at her at all.
In that silence, under the female gaze, he makes his decision and joins up.
Otherwise he’d have had to have awarded himself the white feather.
Image caption: Ture Whakarite Mahi Hoia, 1916, EPH-PW-1-32, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Tamaki Paenga Hira