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World War One Experience relived at Archives NZ

World War One Experience relived at Archives New Zealand

Previously unseen World War One documents and artefacts are part of a new exhibition An Impressive Silence which opens at Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office this afternoon, Chief Executive and Chief Archivist, Dianne Macaskill said.

“The exhibition commemorating 90 years since the Armistice was signed to end World War One will be officially opened by the Governor-General, His Excellency the Hon Anan Satyanand,” Dianne Macaskill said.

“An Impressive Silence – Public Memory and Personal Experience of the Great War, gives voice to New Zealand’s World War One experience and memory through the official and unofficial representations of the war and coming home.

“The cost of the war was 18,166 New Zealanders dead and 41,000 wounded; many returning home physically and mentally scared for life. But official histories of the time reviewed battle campaigns and tactics and neglected statistics about the dead and wounded.

“The exhibition features World War One memorabilia from the archives as well as model replica aeroplanes and an original soldier’s uniform.

“Authentic archive documents, including newspapers and posters of the day, artefacts and photographs feature in interpretive displays which lead visitors through the experience of those who came home from World War One and the memory of those who didn’t.”

Dianne Macaskill said the exhibition recounting the Public Memory and Personal Experience of the Great War takes its name from the Memoirs of Marshal Ferdinand Foch (Supreme Commander, Allied Forces, 1918) who said: On November 11th at 11.00am firing ceased along the whole front of the Allied armies. An impressive silence followed upon fifty-three months of battle. The nations could now look forward to seeing a world once more restored to peace.

An Impressive Silence is part of Coming Home Te Hokinga Mai, an official programme of government events to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day.

The exhibition runs until 29 May 2009 and is open on Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm and on Saturday from 9.00am to 1.00pm, at Archives New Zealand, 10 Mulgrave Street, Wellington.


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