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Frontlines: From Porirua to Passchendaele

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The exhibition Frontlines: From Porirua to Passchendaele opens on Friday 29 September at Bottle Creek Gallery at Pātaka Art + Museum. A hundred years ago many men from the Porirua District were involved in the muddy horrors of WW1 battles in France and Belgium— including Passchendaele — the greatest loss of life in one day in New Zealand’s history.

 This exhibition discovers and remembers the local lads who served at the Western Front from 1916–1918. It also remembers the families back on the Home Front who were overwhelmed by the tragedy taking place at the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium, as they waited anxiously for news and kept the home fires burning and the home farms working. They sent ‘Home Comfort’ parcels to support and sustain their loved ones.

The worst day in New Zealand’s military history occurred on 12 October when over 840 soldiers were killed and 2,700 wounded in just a few hours. Many men from local farms, villages and the hospital at Porirua were involved in the muddy horrors of WW1 battles in France and Belgium.

Passchendaele front

“Pātaka is privileged to host this exhibition that local historian Allan Dodson has been researching for two years. The exhibition features a database where public can search for WWI soldiers who have a local Porirua connection,” says curator Linda Fordyce. 

Exhibition history talk

On Sunday 8 October from 2–3pm Porirua historian Allan Dodson will present a talk on his research and findings about our local boys in relation to the WW1 Passchendaele centenary. He will also look at the contact between the Home Front and the Western Front – where most of Porirua’s men served.

Frontlines: From Porirua to Passchendaele runs until 29 October.


28 Sep 2017