Century-old photos donation a mystery
By Harrison Christian
The owner of a 100-year-old Anzac photo album remains a mystery after the heirloom was dropped off at the Hastings Cranford Hospice Shop about three months ago,
A Presbyterian Support East Coast spokeswoman said: “Nobody knows where it came from. It got dropped off in a box.”
It contains photos of Hawke’s Bay soldiers at war sites in Gallipoli during World War I. The binding is as old as the photos. “It’s from 1914 – it’s absolutely ancient.”
The album also features detailed descriptions and the names of the soldiers pictured. There are some recurring Hawke’s Bay family surnames, including Burnett, Campbell and McAuley [McAulay].
Hospice shop staff had managed to contact some of the soldiers’ family members, but the question of who the album belonged to had gone unanswered.
“The families recognised the family members in the album, but no one knows who dropped it off,” the spokeswoman said.
Hastings Cranford Hospice Shop retail manager Anke Hoggett-Schnebeck said staff wanted the album’s owner to come forward.
“When we receive items that cannot be sold, such as this photo album, we will make every effort to care for the memories that this item holds, and if possible, track down the families who may want to be reunited with a piece of their heritage.”
There will be a showing of the album at the hospice shop at 1pm tomorrow. Some of the family members connected to the album will be there to see the photos for the first time.
The showing is open to the public.
“The families recognised the family members in the album, but no one knows who dropped it off.”
Presbyterian Support East Coast spokeswoman
Photo captions –
WARTIME: A picture of Anzac soldiers in an old album that was left at the Hastings Cranford Hospice Shop. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
MYSTERY: Anke Hoggett-Schnebeck (left), Hastings Cranford Hospice Shop retail manager, and Jennie Crawley, Presbyterian Support East Coast fundraising database manager, leaf through the Anzac album.
PHOTO / DUNCAN BROWN