Helen Leggatt


I am in my final year of a PhD in History (UC Doctoral Scholarship) at the University of Canterbury. My research interests include nineteenth- and early twentieth-century deathways with a focus on the British colonies, transnational histories, and social history.

My PhD thesis explores the introduction of modern cremation to New Zealand (1874-1946) with a focus on the technology’s reception and adoption through analysis of the people who were cremated.

I am proficient in the use of prosopography and data analysis and have employed these methodological approaches in both my Honours dissertation and my current PhD research.

My Honours dissertation (First Class) explored the biographies of Remittance Men in New Zealand. An article based on this research has been published in the University of Victoria (Canada) Graduate History Review (Autumn, 2020). https://doi.org/10.18357/ghr91202019344

I enjoy public speaking and have presented on several occasions including the Death and Culture III Conference (DACNET) at the University of York, UK (2020), the Canterbury Historical Association in October 2021, the New Zealand Cemetery and Crematoria Collective (NZCCC, 2022) and various internal seminars at the University of Canterbury.

I have been engaged in tutoring and grading at the University of Canterbury for the past four years and was Associate Secretary of the Canterbury Historical Association from Feb 2019 to Feb 2021.

A background in offline and digital marketing and project management in the UK and Asia has given me the communication, writing, and project management skills that enabled me to move from Hons to PhD.


  • Compiling bibliographies
  • Oral history
  • Project management
  • Proof-reading
  • Public speaking
  • Research
  • Writing


  • Biography
  • Genealogy
  • Health and medical
  • Heritage
  • Immigration
  • Local
  • Material culture
  • Medical and health
  • Migration
  • Religion