Battle of Passchendaele 96th anniversary
Battle of Passchendaele 96th anniversary being commemorated at Auckland War Memorial Museum with a full service and lights out on Saturday 12 October
Tomorrow (Saturday 12 October) at 11am a service will be held in Auckland War Memorial Museum’s WWI Sanctuary to remember the more than 840 New Zealanders who died and the thousands injured in the Battle of Passchendaele 96 years ago.
Toward the end of the service the New Zealand flag that flies above the museum will be dropped to half mast.
As a further mark of respect the exterior of Auckland War Memorial Museum will not be lit on the evening of Saturday 12 October, leaving the museum in darkness.
In just two days in October 1917, the Battle of Passchendaele saw New Zealand suffer its greatest ever military losses. Auckland War Memorial Museum Director Roy Clare says it is fitting to remember and commemorate the heavy losses New Zealand suffered.
"Passchendaele continues to be one of New Zealand’s gravest military disasters. It is fitting that we continue to recall these losses and show our respect for the sacrifice these men made in the hopes of securing peace."
Military and civic dignitaries will be attending the commemorative service, organised by the Passchendaele Society to commemorate the First World War battle, and will take part in a wreath laying.
Also during the day, the museum is offering a range of free tours, demonstrations and other activities examining military history, in association with the New Zealand Military Historical Society. Details are available on the museum’s website.
The full service sheet for the Passchendaele commemorative service is attached to this email.
As a mark of respect to the Passchendaele losses, the exterior of the museum will not be lit on Saturday 12 October until midnight, when normal subdued lighting will resume. The exterior of Auckland Museum is lit for important civic, national and cultural moments in the life of New Zealand and Auckland, as one of ways the museum helps position Auckland as a vibrant and compelling place to live or visit. Examples include Christmas and Auckland Council-supported events such as the Chinese New Year festivities, Polyfest, Auckland Pride Festival and Matariki. The museum also participates in the global Earth Hour event by “going dark” for 60 minutes from 8.30pm each 23 March.