Tag Archives: Passchendaele

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

Passchendaele Exhibition in the News

Camera and Bayonet feature in Passchendaele Exhibition

Our new Passchendaele Exhibition, Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day, has been in the news again. Both the Cook Strait News and Independent Herald ran stories about Jack Gradwell loaning his great-grandfather’s bayonet and camera to the Passchendaele  exhibition.

Despite multiple injuries and being gassed, Jacks great-grandfather, Captain George Gradwell, survived the horrors of Passchendaele, along with his camera and bayonet.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day runs until December 2018 at The Great War Exhibition.

The front page Cook Strait News article is here and the Independent Herald article is here. Both articles are also below. The temporary exhibition is also covered on Radio NZ, Stuff and The NZ Herald.

Passchendaele Exhibition in Wellington

 

Horrors of Passchendaele on Stuff

Dominion Post reporters visited the opening of Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day, and described the latest in The Great War Exhibitions series of temporary exhibitions, as “encapsulating the horrors of Passchendaele.”

Horrors of Passchendaele

Jessica Long reports online, on Stuff: “Five screens encapsulating the horrors of Passchendaele have brought the battle to life inside the Dominion Museum [Building] as the centenary commemorations of ‘New Zealand’s Darkest Day’ approach.”

“The temporary exhibition combines shocking images of the dead and wounded, and of the harrowing conditions in the muddy fields of Belgium, along with with words from soldiers’ letters and diaries,” she reports.

“The sounds of explosions hit the ground within the exhibition room as a virtual screen depicts the muddy ground.”

She interviewed Jack Gradwell, who loaned a  bayonet and 1913 Kodak camera, which survived Passcehdaele with his great-grandfather, Captain George Gradwell.

Jessica writes, “The captain’s great-grandson, Jack Gradwell of Wellington, said George miraculously survived Passchendaele but suffered for the rest of his life, having been gassed, buried alive and had his skull fractured during the war.”

Read the full article on Stuff, by clicking here.

Learn about Passchendaele talks, Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day, and other Passchedaele-related displays at The Great War Exhibition by clicking here.

Banner Photo: Kevin Stent of Stuff photographs Ian Wards, exhibition manager at The Great War Exhibition, with a mustard gas shell that was fired at the Battle of Passchendaele – on loan from the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, in Belgium.

This is one of two gas shells that will be available for viewing during Passchendaele talks on October 7, 8 and 12. For more information, click here.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day is a temporary exhibition funded by the Lottery Grants Board and created by Story Inc. (concept), Dusk (visual imagery), Toulouse (technology) and sound engineer, Jeremy Cullen.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day runs until early December 2017.

Darkest Day on Radio NZ Checkpoint

Today at the opening of our new Exhibition, Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day, Radio New Zealand reporter Te Aniwa Hurihanganui  talked to Exhibition Manager Ian Wards about the Battle of Passchendaele.

“The reality was Passchendaele was awful,” Wards says, “and we would really like people to understand that, but also one of the main reasons why [The Great War Exhibition is] here is so we don’t do this kind of stuff again.”

The Battle of Passchendaele of 1917, included the darkest day in New Zealand’s military history. 843 soldiers were killed on 12 October 1917, the most on any single day of combat involving New Zealand troops.

The opening of the exhibition featured on John Campbell’s Checkpoint show at 5:48 p.m. tonight. Listen to the Radio NZ Checkpoint podcast here.

See the Radio NZ article here.

Photo: Radio New Zealand Reporter Te Aniwa Hurihanganui interviews the public at The Great War Exhibition.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day runs until mid December 2017. Click here for more information.

Passchendaele Exhibition – NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald visited our temporary Passchendaele exhibition this morning, and captured the essence of the exhibition on video.  Camera man Matt Mitchell talks with Steve La Hood, Director Story Inc. who spearheaded the team of companies that created the exhibition.

Steve says, “We explore the darker side of the war, less commemoration and more explanation of what really did go on. All of the dialogue you hear is verbatim. This is what people said, wrote or spoke about after the war.”

Quotes from diaries and letters have been recorded so visitors can hear the ‘voices’ of Passchndaele’s soldiers as glimpses of the battle flash across four screens.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day is a new temporary exhibition about Kiwis’ experiences in the battle. The great grandson of one soldier describes the battle as “probably one of the most extreme human experiences one could ever imagine”.

Jack Gradwell has loaned his great grandfather’s bayonet and camera to the exhibition as a way of creating a more personal connection for visitors.

To see the NZ Herald’s video and article click here.

Photo: Mark Mitchell films Steve La Hood with Jack Gradwell, whose great-grandfather’s camera and bayonet are part of the Passchendaele exhibition.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day runs until mid December 2017. Click here for more information.