WWI Centennial Exhibition Programme


Dates of future exhibitions are subject to change.

December 2016  Food Glorious Food: An Army Marches on its Stomach
This exhibition takes the visitor away from the trenches and into the cookhouses of the New Zealand Division during WWI. Today, New Zealanders are ‘passionate’ about food (including children). Tells the story of how and what the New Zealanders were fed as they marched and fought to final victory. We may even test the ‘skills’ of a celebrity chef who has to produce a ‘gourmet’ meal with some of the key ingredients of 1916. 
April 2017 Going Underground: Tunnellers of WWI
This photographic exhibition by Brett Killington explores the tunnels under Arras in France, shedding light on the lives of Kiwi tunnellers who laboured and fought there during WWI. Brett has worked closely with the French government to gain access to many of the quarries and tunnels not seen by the general public and his photographs reveal a subterranean ‘New Zealand’ in the form of street and place names, graffiti and objects left behind by the New Zealand tunnellers. The exhibition will be complemented by artefacts from our own collection.
July 2017 Home for Christmas and Conscientious Objection
In his latest works artist, David Woodings explores the theme of conscientious objection and the somewhat romantic ideal that fighting would be ‘over by Christmas’ at the outbreak of WWI. Preceded by Somme/Silk Road which exhibited at the National Army Museum in Waiouru from September 2016 – April 2017, Home for Christmas and Conscientious Objection are the final two WWI commemorative suites by Woodings based on the historical ‘silk cards’ of WWI.
December 2017 24 Hours in Passchendaele
 This photographic exhibition by Brett Killington records the Passchendaele landscape from the eye level of the soldier in the trenches in 1917. In his own words, Killington states, “Above ground the evidence of this war has all but disappeared. Years of effort have restored farmland and woods. Just documenting this landscape with a conventional camera can never convey what went on. I wanted my images to reflect the landscape that the New Zealand soldiers experienced and give a sense of 1917 and what the soldier saw from his shell hole”.
December 2017 Passchendaele – A Descent into Hell
Featuring a large-scale diorama and artefacts from our own collection this exhibition tells the story of the tragedy that took place at Passchendaele during WWI. Often referred to as our darkest day in history, 12 October 1917 marked a disastrous attack for New Zealand in which over 840 of our troops were killed in a single day.


TBA Le Quesnoy – The Town New Zealand Saved
Based on the children’s book Le Quesnoy: The story of the town New Zealand saved by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper, the exhibition will tell the tale of the medieval walled town in northern France which was liberated by men of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade without a single civilian life being lost. The story and artwork of the book will be complemented by some stunning artefacts from the museum’s collection including the celebrated Le Quesnoy banner.
TBA Best in Show – Animals on Parade
This exhibition will explore the stories of animals in times of war, from pets and mascots of WWI through to the working dogs of the RNZAF Force Protection Unit and the Army’s Explosive Detection Dogs.