The Great War Exhibition

“at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month…”

One of the main reasons for coming to Wellington this time, was to visit The Great War Exhibition before it closes in early December this year. The Pukeahu National War Memorial Park has been home to this stunning event, and if you miss it, you are missing a world-class exhibition about World War 1, a pivotal historical event, and a must-see look into the hardships, horrors and bravery of those who took part, in the years 1914 – 1918.

Over this last weekend, the world has commemorated 100 years since Armistice Day, so it seems fitting for us to remember too.

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Pukeahu War Memorial, Wellington

Created by Sir Peter Jackson, the exhibition tells the story of the terrible war that took so many lives.

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It appears we are embarking a ship as we walk up the gangplank

The story tells how the war started, with the European Monarchies, and the quest for power.

There are sets depicting battles, uniforms, weapons, machines…

year by year.

Recruitmeant

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The goodbyes

The Headwear. Those French red-feather-topped hats attracted a lot of fire, and caused many to lose their lives

The Uniforms

The Machinery

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The reality of war

The use of converted London buses, and horses

The protective gas masks 

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I will never forget the Quinn’s Post Trench experience (photography not permitted).

A bomb’s throw away from the Turks in a real-life re-creation of Quinn’s Post…

the noise,

the explosions,

the stench,

the underground tunnels and uneven ground,

the confinement,

the soldiers we met in there…

 

I was glad to get out, and we were in there for minutes only. The soldiers were there for months.

 

To end the exhibition, there are hundreds of photographs from the war years which have been carefully and painstakingly colourised… poignant, heartbreaking, emotional, bringing to life the realities of this period.

The loss, the horrors, the hardship, the bravery and spirit. Lest we forget.

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