• The basis of the museum project is the former Mayor’s residence and headquarters of the Gendarmerie in Le Quesnoy, the largest piece of land under one title within the original town ramparts. Studies by the New Zealand Memorial Museum Trust indicate that it is entirely suitable for the purpose of establishing a New Zealand presence in France, centred in Le Quesnoy

The Great War – Commemorating the Armistice

October 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

It’s difficult for us today to absorb the extent of the misery and heartache that was being experienced throughout the length and breadth of New Zealand 100 years ago, as “the guns fell silent” in Europe’s Great War with the signing of the Armistice in the Forest of Compiègne in the Picardy region of France, [...]

  • Memorials large and small, many of them featuring poppies. The war memorial building is in Kaeo and the obelisk is at Mangonui (above)

The Eleventh Hour – Commemorating the Armistice

October 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

By the time an armistice between the Allied Forces and Germany was signed on November 11, 1918, more than 18,000 New Zealanders had died. During the four years leading up to that day, WWI – the ‘Great War’, the ‘war to end all wars’ – claimed lives and injured many thousands, physically, psychologically and in some [...]

Poignant reminders of WWI sacrifices

October 5th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

Two dramatic and poignant symbols that testify to the human tragedy that was the First World War are on display at the New Zealand Army Museum in Waiouru. One is a sandstone grave marker from Gallipoli that in 1915 marked the resting place of a 34-year-old trooper of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, and the second [...]

  • Sculptor Susan Bahary and Nigel Allsopp (far right) (photo National Army Museum)

They Had No Say But Also Served – Commemorating the Armistice

October 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

It was the donkey that did it. When I saw the image (provided by the National Army Museum) of that patient beast in its Red Cross headdress, exemplifying the way that a myriad animals joined military personnel in hell on earth for up to four long years, I wanted to pay a small tribute to [...]

  • Malone outside improvised bivouac

Experiencing the Trench at Gallipoli

June 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

On the 25th of April 1915 at 4:30am, four thousand ANZAC troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula, a mile north of their intended landing point and advanced quickly into the hills. The objective was to capture the high ground and ultimately to advance up the peninsula to capture Constantinople, the then capital of the Turkish Empire, [...]

  • John Leslie, middle row far right and James Leslie, middle row far left – photo Whangaroa County Museum and Archives

Passchendaele – A Long Way to Go to Die

October 7th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , |

“My poor boys, my poor boys!” Young Tom McGee stopped short in the doorway, bewildered and afraid at the sound of his big, strong grandfather’s plaintive crying and the sight of tears coursing through the weather-beaten fingers supporting his bowed head. Coming, as it did, in an era where males learned early in life not [...]