Dan King, the project manager and art director behind The Quinn’s Post Trench Experience, spent 18 months on the job, ensuring The Trench was as authentic as possible, so visitors are able to experience what it was like to be in the dangerous trenches of Gallipoli in 1915.
Dan, a Carterton resident, talks to reporter Steve Rendle of the Wairarapa Times Age about his experiences, which involved shooting machine guns, weighing wet plaster (to conform to the building’s weight restrictions) and working with Sir Peter Jackson, whose attention to detail enabled the crew to “make this the closest thing to being there.”
For more about this exciting view behind the Quinn’s Post Trench Experience, see the full news article here.
The Quinn’s Post Trench Experience officially opened in mid April and we’ve been swept off our feet with visitors keen to experience the sights, sounds and noises of the trenches in Gallipoli (courtesy of Sir Peter Jackson and his creative team at WingNut).
Now that we have a moment to catch our breath, we’d like to share some of our photos and media coverage of The Trench.
Deborah Pitts Taylor was ahead of her time. A woman who believed in female empowerment, she drove First World War ambulances in Brockenhurst, England, transporting convoys of wounded ANZAC soldiers to the hospital.
Her granddaughter Dr. Janet Frater and great-granddaughter Deborah Rose, (named after Deborah Pitts Taylor) recently visited The Great War Exhibition to see Women’s War, which highlights Deborah’s contribution to the war.
Janet lived with Deborah as a child, and says that Deborah’s determination to help in the war and do a “man’s job” has empowered her female ancestors. Janet grew up knowing women could do anything, and went on to study medicine at a time when she was one of only 12 women in her class of 60.
The New Zealand Herald interviewed Janet about her Deborah’s contribution to the First Word War, her influence on their family, and the ties they still nurture with the village of Brockenhurst. Please read their article here.
For more information about Women’s War, which closes in mid May, click here.
This week’s New Zealand Women’s Weekly features a story about Susanna Montgomerie who is one of the co-editor’s of Annie’s War, which features extracts from the diary of Annie Montgomerie, Susanna’s grandmother who traveled to London to be near her sons when they served in the First World War.
The full New Zealand Women’s Weekly article is now available online: click here.
Our new touring exhibition, Women’s War, draws upon the experiences of New Zealand Women who lived through the First World War, responding to the war as workers, supportive family members, patriots, nurses, entertainers or pioneers.
Annie Montgomerie had two sons, Oswald and Seton, who wanted to serve as pilots, which meant enlisting in Britain. She moved to London, keeping a diary of her experiences, and faced Zeppelin attacks and suffered in the influenza epidemic.
Her granddaughter Susanna Montgomerie Norris is a teacher and librarian with an interest in history, and knew Annie’s diaries were a treasure trove of information about life in the war. She spent five years with her husband, Michael, transcribing Annie’s experiences in war-torn London.
Excerpts of Annie’s dairies were published in Annie’s War (Otago University Press, edited by Anna Rogers and Susanna Montgomerie Norris) in 2014.
Briar Barry of Story Inc. (the creators of Women’s War) said, “We wanted the show to be about women, using women’s voices, so when our scriptwriter, Katie, found Annie’s War, we got in touch with Susanna about using quotes from Annie.”
One of the quotes in the show:
“Tuesday 12 June, 1917: Went off to Pall Mall. Got a table quite near one Princess Beatrice of Battenberg and her party sat at, and we had a good view of them all the time. She is no looker but a lot of her party were worse.”
Susanna enjoyed Women’s War. “I was very excited. It’s amazing what they’ve picked out. That quote about princess Beatrice was Granny all over. She could be quite brutal. She’d let fly with her opinions about the war and the generals and get everyone stirred up.”
Susanna says Annie felt for the young New Zealand soldiers so far away from home. “She gave each young soldier a kiss for their mother before they left.”
Ian Wards, Exhibitions Manager at The Great War Exhibition, says, “So much of this war story has been told through the eyes and ears of men, so it is great to acknowledge, see and hear the experiences of women in the war.”
Women’s War runs until 19 May 2018. More information about Women’s War is here. For information about Annie’s War, click here.
“Women’s War gives voice to their experiences, utilising cutting-edge audio-visual technology and recreations of outfits that were worn by six types of women-patriotic, supportive family, nurses, entertainers, independent workers and pioneers.
“Fiona Baverstock, an Australian private collector of textiles and vintage clothing, who created the costumes, said women brought “a can-do” practicality to the war effort and fashion.”
“Kiwi women rallied to face the challenges left by the absence of men but they were also alongside the troops, driving ambulances and tending to the wounded – experiencing the ghastly reality of war in a different way.”
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’.
Our exciting new exhibition, Women’s War, is opening this Friday, 23 February.
Catch a glimpse into the lives of six different types of New Zealand women who were active in the First World War—patriotic, supportive family, nurses, entertainers, independent workers and pioneers. Hear their voices come to life in a captivating audio-visual show. See examples of the clothing they used to wear. Experience the First World War from a woman’s perspective.
While men suffered ghastly atrocities on the battlefields, the women of New Zealand also faced the realities of war. Everyone was called upon to support the war effort—girls gave up their educations to tend to family farms, while other women volunteered by knitting socks for soldiers. Nurses fought to travel to the front lines to tend the sick and wounded, while others challenged the status-quo by pioneering campaigns on issues like venereal disease.
Please click here for more information about this fresh and compelling view of the Great War.