Tag Archives: Events

Open 6:30am on ANZAC Day in Wellington

This ANZAC Day in Wellington, The Great War Exhibition will open at 6:30 a.m. to welcome visitors who have attended the 6 a.m. memorial service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, next door.

A full list of ANZAC memorial services is available at The Ministry of Culture and Heritage and the Wellington City Council.  After attending memorial services for our ANZAC troops, visitors are welcome to explore The Great War Exhibition at their leisure.

We have a variety of attractions with the Exhibition, including:

We welcome you to explore an important part of New Zealand’s history.


Dr Gusky – The Human Connection – Messages to the Future from WW1

The American Embassy are hosting an a talk by Dr. Jeff Gusky, open to the public, on Wednesday February 28th at 6pm at The Great War Exhibition.

In 2014, National Geographic Photographer, Emergency Physician & Explorer, Dr. Jeff Gusky made a startling discovery. The underground site with the most WWI soldiers inscriptions anywhere on the Western Front was filled with century-old, handwritten messages by ANZAC soldiers. ANZAC forces hold the record as most prolific, having written more graffiti than any other army of WWI.

The most prolific American WWI unit was New England’s Yankee Division, which included Native American heroes who volunteered to fight though they would not be offered citizenship until years after WWI.  They left behind emotional carvings reflecting their ancient tribal traditions in underground cities in Picardy, not knowing that other native peoples like the New Zealand Maori were also contributing to the war effort and leaving their mark underground 100 miles north in Arras.

Thousands of WWI soldiers lived in hundreds of underground cities throughout The Great War.  The vastness of this network of WWI underground cities is still largely unknown.  Now in total darkness, these are time capsules which form a direct human connection between then and now.  The passage of hundred years seems like only a day. Once illuminated by electric lights, the walls of these underground cities contain beautiful works of art carved by soldiers who reconstituted a human world underground as the world’s first modern mass destruction raged on the surface.

Dr. Gusky’s presentation will take the audience on an emotional journey to experience The Hidden World of World War I.  He invites you to help him gain a deeper understanding of those who travelled to France ‘From the Uttermost Ends of the Earth’.

Admission to the talk is free of charge.

Palestine Exploration Fund features War in the Holy Lands

Photographs from the Palestine Exploration Fund of London were used by Story Inc. and Dusk in creating our latest touring exhibition, War in the Holy Lands, which tells the story of New Zealanders serving in the Middle East in the First world War.

Palestine Exploration Fund features War in the Holy Lands on blog

This blog post on the Palestine Exploration Fund’s website examines the exhibition, which tells heart-wrenching tales, often in the soldier’s own words. Here are a  few excerpts from the post:

“The exhibit uses six big projection screens and an immersive audio environment to create a powerful visitor experience out of still imagery and first-hand verbatim accounts of soldiers’ experiences.”

“Other moments that pack an emotional punch in War in the Holy Lands come from the stories about the bonds between the men and their horses.

We’d hear a heavy smack and know a horse had been hit. Mostly they were hit through the stomach and would just shake themselves a little. The owner would take the saddle off immediately, for it was always a mortal wound. The horse would nose around among his mates, shake himself, and five minutes later roll on the sand. It was the beginning of the end.”

— Captain Arthur Rhodes, New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade, World War 1

See the full Palestine Exploration Fund article here.

Holy Lands World War One in Egypt - Palestine Exploration Fund

War in the Holy Lands – Cook Strait News

Our latest touring exhibition, War in the Holy Lands featured in the Cook Strait News in late December. Reporter Jamie Adams interviewed James McLean, one of the creators from Story Inc., who co-produced War in the Holy Lands and many of our other touring exhibitions.

War in the Holy Lands runs until 20 February 2018 and shows a side of the Middle East that our soldiers never learned about in Sunday school. Read the article below or here.


Cook Strait - War in the Holy Lands
Jamie Adams interviews James McLean, whose silhouette is featured as General Allenby behind them in shadow play.

Passchendaele Reunion 100 O’Malley Descendants

Emma Bradley organised a family reunion for over 100 relatives, all descendants of her grandfather who was wounded at Passchendaele in 1917. The reunion, held at The Great War Exhibition, was a chance for some of Paul O’Malley’s 11 children, 45 grandchildren and over 80 great-grandchildren to gather together while learning more about the First World War.

Emma’s grandfather, Second Lieutenant Peter Paul O’Malley, known as Paul, was born in 1897 in Ireland and immigrated to Central Otago. He and his brother enlisted from Nasbey, Central Otago while Paul was a law student. He served with the North Otago Regiment.

Sir Peter Jackson, whose company WingNut Films created the Exhibition, supplied a signed colourised image of Passchendaele, which was presented to Emma. The family members viewed the temporary exhibition, Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day, and had a special guided tour of The Great War Exhibition.

Fairfax reporters recognised the significance of this event and attended the family reunion. Click here to see their article and accompanying photos, and click here to see an Otago Daily Times article.

Emma Bradley, who organised her family reunion for 100 descendants of Passchendaele survivor Paul O’Malley, holding a colourised, signed image of Passchendaele, from Sir Peter Jackson. Behind Emma, is the 1.7m family tree she created for the occasion.
O'Mally Family Reunion at The Great War Exhibition.
Descendants of Paul O’Malley with the colourised image of Passchendaele signed and donated by Sir Peter Jackson.

Passchendaele survivor's descendants gather at The Great War Exhibition.

To book a function at The Great War Exhibition, please contact our friendly staff on 04 978 2500 or email Info@GreatWarExhibition.nz

Pukeahu Historic Tours – Wellington City Heritage Week

The Great War Exhibition are thrilled to be hosting specialty tours during Wellington City Heritage Week (23rd – 29th  October).

Fascinating Pukeahu historic tours

Let our knowledgeable tour guides take you on a journey through layers of fascinating history at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

Understand the history at Pukeahu, Mt Cook, in the heart of the city and how it was transformed from a site of Maori occupation, to a military barracks, and now a site of national remembrance.

Pukeahu Historic Tour
Great War Exhibition tour guide, Chris Harp, will show you tunnels from the First World War as part of the Pukeahu Historic Tour (Wellington City Heritage Week 2018).

More information about Pukeahu Historic Tours is available here.

Wellington City Heritage Week, 23rd – 29th  October, explores Wellington’s people, places, and stories through tours, exhibitions, open properties, films, and discussions. Over 20 events are spread through the week, suitable for all interests and ages.

Pukeahu Historic Tours Wellington City Heritage Week

Dissent in the Cook Strait News

Our temporary exhibition, Dissent is in the newspaper, making the front page of the Cook Strait News. The exhibition, which focuses on opposition to the First World War, runs until October. More information about Dissent is available here.

The Cook Strait News Article is online here.

Other media coverage of Dissent is Radio New Zealand and Maori Television.

Dissent - a different type of courage

Dissent on Radio NZ Checkpoint

Dissent, The Great War Exhibition’s latest temporary exhibition about New Zealand opposition to the First World War, is featured Radio New Zealand’s Checkpoint programme. To view Radio NZ Checkpoint, click here.

Dissent was also featured on Radio NZ’s  Midday News. To hear the news about Dissent click here and forward to 13:02 minutes.

Dissent on Māori Television

Dissent, The Great War Exhibition’s latest temporary exhibition is featured on Maori Television. Dissent showcases opposition to the First World War from New Zealanders, including iwi, conscientious objectors and political figures.

Maori Television talked with James McLean of Story Inc. who worked with The Great War Exhibition to create Dissent.

You can see their broadcast here.

Dissent on Radio New Zealand’s Midday News

Dissent, The Great War Exhibition’s latest temporary exhibition about New Zealand opposition to the First World War, is featured Radio New Zealand’s Midday News. To hear the news about Dissent click here and forward to 13:02 minutes.

The exhibition will also be featured on Radio News Zealand’s Checkpoint show soon.