Passchendaele Talks

7- 12 Oct 2017

To commemorate the tragic Battle of Passchendaele, The Great War Exhibition has Passchendaele talks and a temporary exhibition running.

Passchendaele Talks

Ian Wards, our exhibition manager, has created introductory Passchendaele talks for visitors at The Great War Exhibition. Learn about wider context to the events as they unfolded around Passchendaele, the village overlooking the Ypres salient, in Belgium. In 1917, hundreds of thousands of troops from both sides fought and died there, amid mud, mayhem and carnage.

When you attend these Passchendaele talks, you’ll also see real mustard gas shells and other artefacts on loan from the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, in Belgium. Mustard gas was first used by the Germans during the 3rd Battle of Ypres (aka Passchendaele). It caused painful blistering to the skin, lungs, throat – anywhere that was moist on the victim’s body. Most victims recovered but could have permanent scaring, and often suffered psychological trauma.

Passchendaele Talks - gas shells

Free introductory talks about Passchendaele were held at The Great War Exhibition between 7-12th October. We welcome you to contact us in advance if you would like a arrange a Passchendaele talk for your group (minimum 10 visitors required). Entry fees apply.

  • Please call our friendly staff on 04 978 2500 or email
  • There is no charge for these ten-minute floor talks.
  • You’re also welcome to book a guided tour of The Great War Exhibition, before or after your talk. Allow 50 minutes for the tour.
  • Longer in-depth talks on Passchendaele are available for pre-booked private functions.

Passchendaele Temporary Exhibition

Passchendaele—New Zealand’s Darkest Day is a powerful new temporary exhibition about New Zealander’s experiences in the tragic Battle of Passchendaele. This audio-visual based exhibition portrays the disastrous events of October 12th 1917 at Passchendaele, and features original letters and military equipment loaned from Wellington families, whose forbears fought or died on that day.

More information is available by clicking here. The exhibition runs until early December 2017 and was covered by Radio NZ , Stuff and the NZ Herald.

Passchendaele – 1917 in Great War Exhibition

Let the Great War Exhibition take you from a peaceful Belgium village before war broke out into the hell that was World War I. A remarkable collection of objects, hundreds of colourised photographs, movie-like sets and miniature models immerse you in the story. Learn of mateship and heroism. Get a sense of the mud and mayhem and dreadful loss of life in the 1917 section of exhibition, which features genuine artefacts and soil from Passchendaele.