'Home Front: Experiences of the First World War in New Zealand' (Image courtesy of Anna Crichton/Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira)

New Zealand Home Front exhibition opens in Auckland

Posted on centenarynews.com on 03 March 2016
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The differing experiences of New Zealanders left at home during the First World War are explored in the latest centenary exhibition at Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Stories of families separated by the conflict will be told through personal items, including keepsakes, family portraits, postcards and letters.

The aim is to highlight less considered perspectives of the Great War.

While some communities on the Home Front pulled together, others were pulled apart by differing opinions, Auckland Museum explains.

Director Roy Clare said: "Despite the divisions, the generosity of spirit and the human concern shown by Aucklanders and New Zealanders towards our own troops and, in turn, to the fate of innocent peoples caught up in the war, as for example this city’s care for those in Belgium, is a testament to our ability to come together in times of need.

"There are however many different stories from this period which need to be told - from the divergent perspectives of the women and families who shouldered the burden as men departed to fight, through those involved in the White Feather Brigade, to the differing experiences of Māori and Dalmatian communities during wartime."

New Zealanders responded to the outbreak of war with a 'fervour of patriotic fund-raising' in support of allies such as Belgium, the museum notes.

But from May 1915, casualty lists published daily in New Zealand newspapers brought home the realisation that the war would be long, difficult and expensive.

"Uncertainty pervaded everything. Would sons, husbands, fathers, brothers live through the ordeal or come home seriously injured? When would the war end? Could families make ends meet until the breadwinner returned?"  These are among the questions Home Front aims to explore.

'Home Front: Experiences of the First World War in New Zealand' is the third in a series of special exhibitions at Auckland War Memorial Museum commemorating the Centenary. It runs from February 26th-November 13th 2016. 

Information supplied by Auckland War Memorial Museum

'Home Front' illustration by Anna Crichton: courtesy of Anna Crichton/Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Posted by: CN Editorial Team