Topic: ANZAC

Peter Jackson ANZAC exhibition open to public tomorrow

By Maiki Sherman
  • Wellington

ANZAC ceremonies got underway in the capital today, bringing alive the memories and experiences of ANZAC soldiers who fought in Gallipoli 100 years ago through exhibitions and life-like displays.

Tomorrow, the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park opens but our reporter Maiki Sherman got a sneak preview.

You can smell the dirt and see many of the different cavalry used by the armies, their different uniforms, firearms and much more.

This is the first instalment of a three-part exhibition by Peter Jackson, the rest being unveiled in due course.

An exhibition of The Great War by the great director Sir Peter Jackson, despite his belief it was a hopeless battle.

“As a war, it was a hopeless war. A war for no reason. At no point was anybody fighting for anything that really meant anything,” says Peter Jackson.

However, the brave efforts of our soldiers are certainly nothing to criticise, which he knows first-hand. 

Jackson says, “My grandfather was in the First World War and two or three of my great uncles were in the First World War. So as I grew up, I was hearing stories, looking at their medals, asking what happened to them and what they did and where they went.”

The challenges faced by the soldiers were embodied in the exhibition. From the first time cavalry tanks were used in battle, to the different camouflage paint used in those days, through to turning old black and white photos into colour. 

Ngawai Walden says, “You can see the pain and the sadness in those pictures, more so than you could when they were black and white.”

Ngawai Walden is the customer services manager of the exhibition. She says there's something new for everyone to learn.

“I have a strong knowledge of the 28th (Battalion) during WWII, but we don't know the same about what happened in WWI so I encourage everyone to learn about it.”

18,166 New Zealand soldiers died in the First World War, from 1914-1918. This is part one of a three-part exhibition.  

Walden says, “They did a great deal for us and we're privileged to be living the way we do today. I pray for them and their great sacrifices at that time.”

Tomorrow the exhibition will open to the public.

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