Heartlanders: New Zealanders of the Great War is a travelling museum exhibition in containers which tells the stories of ordinary New Zealanders in World War One and takes their stories back to the communities where their journey began.

The National Army Museum constructed exhibition will travel to over 25 New Zealand destinations around the country and is part of the Museum’s extensive World War One centenary programme.

The exhibition has been developed with the support of the New Zealand Lotteries Commission and in collaboration with Lawrence Watt of Moa Film and TV. Lawrence says the idea has been to try to take people back 100 years in time.
“If you half shut your eyes, you can imagine you are at the front. The life size models are as realistic as possible. You can hear shells whizzing in the background. It is a powerful experience.”

The stories are both survivor’s tales as well as those who fell. Many of these stories are supported by artefacts that belonged to the person, such as the trumpet of Trooper Lewis Munro who died at Chunuk Bair.

The exhibition provides a good overview of New Zealanders involvement in World War I, and is a great resource for schools. There are stories about raids behind the lines at Gallipoli, by sniper Hami Grace and ‘demolition man’ Sergeant Thomas McCarroll. The section on the Western Front also covers some of New Zealand Victoria Cross winners, such as Samuel ‘fighting’ Frickleton.

Original film footage sourced from New Zealand and overseas, period music and battle sounds together with original artefacts from the museum’s own collection make up the bulk of the exhibition. These are supported by an Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Digitisation Unit which will enable the public to search the Cenotaph database for information on soldiers who have served.

For more details see www.armymuseum.co.nz.

For more information please contact Nicola Bennett nicola.bennett@nzdf.mil.nz or Ph 021 495 178.