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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. 

Joan Corbett’s wedding dress with lace inserts, circa 1947

Gift of Wayne and Linda Chapman Auckland Museum Collection: 2015.53.1

Joan Corbett's wedding dress was sewn from a parachute. It was picked up by her fiance, Leading Aircraftman Eric Chapman, from a stockpile while being demobilised from the Pacific at the end of World War II. Her mother sewed this inventive wedding dress, and also crocheted the delicate lace inserts.

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.

  • 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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