Anzac Day is about remembering stories of our nationhood alongside the very personal stories of the men and women who served; stories like those included on this website, and the many more recorded within the Auckland War Memorial Museum. These are the stories of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents. These are our stories.
On Anzac Day we look to the past, remembering those who strove to protect our future. We remember those who served on foreign battlefields, and those who stayed behind. Those who lost their lives, and those who survived. New Zealand sent more men to fight in World War I per head of population than any other nation. Of those killed, almost a third were buried half a world away in unmarked graves. Following the war, subscriptions were raised to construct the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The Museum opened in 1929 and became a symbolic meeting-place for Aucklanders to focus their grief.
Eighty-one years on, Auckland War Memorial Museum still forms the city’s emotional hub around Anzac Day. In the lead-up to Anzac Day – and on the evening of Anzac Day – we project Heroes of Gallipoli onto the Museum’s northern façade. This remarkable footage of Anzac soldiers was digitally restored by director Peter Jackson. Alongside this we screen rare archival film of the New Zealand division crossing the German frontier into Cologne, and the Maori Pioneer Battalion being welcomed home onto the Auckland Domain.
Following the Dawn Service on Anzac Day, Auckland War Memorial Museum opens for a full day of activities, including performances, poetry readings and free tours of the Scars on the Heart galleries.