Anzac Sight Sound website marks Versailles centenary
28 June 2019
New film and sound recordings have been added to the Anzac Sight Sound website (anzacsightsound.org) to coincide with the centenary of the Treaty of Versailles this week (28 June), contributing to the final phase of World War One commemorations.
- Return of the Māori Pioneer contingent, the only New Zealand unit to return together as a whole group; the film shows the men about to disembark, and the spectacular welcome haka performed at the Auckland Domain (film)
- New Zealand troops at the Palace of Versailles shortly after the end of the war (film)
- Unveiling of the New Zealand Memorials at Messines Ridge and ‘s Graventafel in Belgium in 1924 (film)
- Soldiers recollecting their feelings about the prohibition of alcohol referendum and six o’clock closing on their return to New Zealand (sound)
- A Wellington schoolboy’s memories of an unexpectedly emotional address by General Freyberg in 1921 (sound).
Many of the pieces of film showcased on the website were themselves repatriated to New Zealand and Australia from European archives in the course of the project. These include several Pathé newsreel films such as a digital copy of Paris Leave Club, which shows a group of New Zealand, Australian and American soldiers touring the sights of Paris in the company of some female nurses, probably not long after the Armistice in early 1919.
While the latest uploads constitute the last material to be added to the site, Anzac Sight Sound will remain as an invaluable resource for educators, researchers, historians and the general public, documenting the totality of wartime experience both at the battle fronts and at home.