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3 News Commemorates Wwi with Great War Stories

3 News Commemorates Wwi with Great War Stories


A unique collaboration between Government, a television production company and TV3 will see a different type of story go to air on 3 News next week.

Great War Stories, a series of mini-documentaries that focus on WWI, will begin screening on Monday 4 August, the date Britain declared war on Germany 100 years ago.

In a first for 3 News, Great War Stories will run during the 6pm bulletin and will be narrated by Hilary Barry, whose great-grandfather fought at Passchendaele.

The series looks at the personal stories of New Zealanders like air ace Keith Caldwell and his extraordinary escapes; the cruel treatment of Mark Briggs, one of 14 conscientious objectors who were sent overseas and to the front line; and the fate of New Zealand’s 10,000 war horses.

Producer Anna Cottrell is pleased that the stories from World War I will get primetime screening.

She describes Great War Stories as an exciting collaboration with TV3, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage who provide the historical research, and Archives New Zealand and the Alexander Turnbull Library who provided images and footage. The series is funded by NZ On Air.

“The series does not celebrate war in any sense. Quite the opposite,” says Cottrell. “It’s about people who left diaries, letters and photos for historians to pore over and make available to future generations. And showing these stories to a mainstream audience in prime time is a great way for us all to learn.”

Director of News and Current Affairs Mark Jennings says: “The Great War affected every New Zealand family in some way and even a hundred years on we are still learning about the impact of this horrific event. The 100th anniversary is going to re-ignite a lot of interest in the stories of the men and women who sacrificed so much for the Allies and 3 News is very pleased to be part of this project.”

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