National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand : Military History & Army War Museum

Freyberg Gallery

Freyberg Gallery

WWI: Tracing the Footsteps From Trentham

Exhibition logo 2 300x87 Freyberg Gallery100 years ago in a little suburb of Upper Hutt many men begun their journey to war at the Military Training Camp in Trentham that turned New Zealand civilians into fighting soldiers.

This new touring exhibition was developed by Expressions Whirirnaki Arts and Entertainment Centre in Upper Hutt and pays tribute to the role the Camp played in shaping those men who eventually became New Zealand’s heroes of The Great War.

1999.2585 Kit inspectionweb 300x180 Freyberg Gallery

Soldiers inspect their kit at Trentham Camp (NAM 1999.2585)

National Army Museum Curator, Windsor Jones said “We felt it was important to tell the story of where it all began for many young New Zealand recruits and that was Trentham Camp in the Hutt Valley, so when we were approached by the team at Expressions Arts & Entertainment Centre, we grabbed the opportunity. The exhibition contains some stunning photographs and provides an interesting and humorous chronology of the fourteen weeks training that most new recruits had to undertake before heading to Egypt, Gallipoli, the Middle East and of course, the Western Front.

Visitors can follow their journey from the tents and training fields of Trentham to the trails and trauma of war. They will experience what a soldier’s life in a New Zealand training camp was like,  and remember the price they paid. Over 55,000 men trained at Trentham Camp earning this Camp a special place in the hearts of many New Zealanders and in the official history of war.

The exhibition runs until February 2015.