Helen Leggatt


I am a second-year PhD candidate (UC Scholarship) in History 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 history from ‘the bottom up’.

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 archival and testamentary sources. I am experienced 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

Several articles based on my PhD research are in the pipeline (as of October 2021).

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, and various internal seminars at the University of Canterbury.

I have been engaged in tutoring and marking at the University of Canterbury for the past two years.

I was Associate Secretary of the Canterbury Historical Association for two years (Feb 2019- Feb 2021).

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


  • Oral history
  • Project management
  • Proof-reading
  • Public speaking
  • Publication production
  • Research
  • Writing


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