Travels with Tim and Lisa

"If my discoveries are other people's commonplaces I cannot help it – for me they retain a momentous freshness" (Elizabeth Bowen)

WW2 Museum, Noumea, New Caledonia, Friday September 8th

Posted by Lisa Hill on September 8, 2017

And in the afternoon, we went to the WW2 Museum…

It’s interesting to see the ‘same’ history from a different perspective.  In Europe, if Britain’s Commonwealth allies get a mention, they often forget about the Anzacs, and New Zealand in particular.  But in this museum, the Aussies and the Kiwis were welcome allies against the Japanese, especially before the Americans joined the war.

Can you spot the difference?  Hint: there’s more difference in the hats than in the flags.

IMG_2701 (768x1024)It was interesting to learn that when France capitulated, New Caledonia came under Vichy law but – not keen on that at all – they had a coup toute suite and joined the Free French under De Gaulle.   And say what you like about De Gaulle, he knew how to do a rousing call to arms and heaps of New Caledonians including tribal Kanak chiefs enlisted and fought bravely against fascism.

I learned all this and much more from reading the signage, which is much more detailed in the French version.

They didn’t really have much in the way of actual exhibits, but there were two jeeps:

and IMG_2711 (768x1024)

and some bits and pieces from a soldier’s kitbag (including a book on how to speak ‘Egyptian’ in a few days…

IMG_2704 (1024x768)

and what appeared to be a genuine army issue washbasin (with modern facilities discreetly behind the doors!

IMG_2712 (1024x768)

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6 Responses to “WW2 Museum, Noumea, New Caledonia, Friday September 8th”

  1. I was fascinated when my daughter and I visited Mauritius around 2005 to see an exhibition about Baudin and Flinders. A somewhat different history, with very different emphases. So, I enjoyed this post.

  2. […] WW2 Museum, Noumea, New Caledonia, Friday September 8th […]

  3. […] marked contrast to the prominence given to WW2 history on New Caledonia where they have a whole museum dedicated to it, there’s only a little bit of signage about Norfolk Island in WW2. Due to its strategic position […]

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