…and the history continues in Franklin…..

Further to my blog about marking our history in Franklin, (as we are in the years of having notable historical events to recount), is a little info about connections to possibly one of the most famous kiwi warships, HMS Archilles – being the first NZ unit to engage the enemy in WWII.

A movie was made about the Archilles part in the war – this 1956 poster advertising the movie – river-plate-movie-poster

When the cruiser HMS Achilles opened fire on the German ‘pocket battleship’ Admiral Graf Spee in the South Atlantic, at 6.21 a.m. on 13 December 1939, it became the first New Zealand unit to strike a blow at the enemy in the Second World War. With the New Zealand ensign flying proudly from its mainmast – as battle loomed, a signalman had run aft with the ensign shouting ‘Make way for the Digger flag!’ – Achilles also became the first New Zealand warship to take part in a naval battle.

The 82-minute engagement between the Graf Spee and its three smaller British opponents – Achilles, Ajax and Exeter – was inconclusive. All four were damaged, with the British ships suffering 72 fatalities (among them two New Zealanders) to the Graf Spee’s 36. But the German warship’s subsequent withdrawal to the neutral Uruguayan port of Montevideo, and its dramatic scuttling by its own crew on 17 December, turned the Battle of the River Plate into a major British victory – and a welcome morale boost for the Allied cause.

Achilles’ role in the battle was a special source of pride for New Zealanders, who welcomed the ship’s crew home at huge parades in Auckland and Wellington in early 1940.

Archilles article Jan 2015

Archilles links wanted

The original Admirals Barge that was aboard the Archilles, was found on Waiheke Island and a Waiuku local managed to purchase the barge for restoration.
Franklin, as with other parts of the country and the world, has it’s share of history – albeit, younger than overseas, but history none-the-less! and here we have descendants of crew who served on the Archilles, as I can personally vouch for.

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A sad loss……

Whilst my blogs are 99.9% about our region here in Franklin Country – today I felt that I needed to do something a bit more worldwide.
Robin Williams actor

It was announced this morning that another very clever and respected person has passed away – Robin Williams, actor

The report states that Robin Williams had, reportedly, been suffering from depression of late, and is suspected of taking his own life.

The occurrence of suicide, mainly due to depression, seems to be becoming more widespread, or is it that we have more ways in which to hear of these things?
As the Depression info site says ” depression is more than just a low mood” – it is serious

Depression is one of the most common reasons that people are absent from work, or are unable to run a home.
The World Health Organisation estimates that by the year 2020, depression will be the second most common cause of ill-health and premature death worldwide.
Depression is the most common risk factor for suicidal behaviour (it’s estimated that depression increases the risk of suicide by 20 times).
There’s no simple answer as to why people become depressed. It’s often a combination of things and it varies from person to person. We do know that some people are more likely to become depressed than others. Depression can also be triggered by a difficult situation in your life, or it can build up over many years. Sometimes there’s no obvious reason.

We have seen on telly, Sir John Kerwan offering help and trying to do his “bit”, to make us more aware and offer help links.

It is very sad to lose friends, family and loved ones at the best of times, and often we tend to mask depression until it is too late – as the stars in Hollywood are proving! The list of high-profile people known to suffer from depression is quite long….and that doesn’t take into account the everyday person on the street, going about their everyday lives. We all need to take time out for ourselves, families and friends.

There is always someone out there who will listen and be available to help – depression helplines

+ depression helpline freephone 0800 111 757
Talk to a trained counsellor who can discuss your situation and find you the right support. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

+ lifeline freephone 0800 543 354
Lifeline’s telephone counselling service provides 24 hours a day, 7 days a week counselling and support. http://www.lifeline.org.nz

+ the lowdown
The Lowdown is a website to help young New Zealanders understand depression from their own perspective. Talk to a trained counsellor by free txt (5626) http://www.thelowdown.co.nz

+ samaritans freephone 0800 726 666
If you need someone to listen, call Samaritans at any time. They offer non-judgemental, confidential support to anyone in emotional distress and are available 24 hours a day. http://www.samaritans.org.nz