New Zealand marked the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele in October 2017 with a week of services and events in Belgium, including a light and sound show on the Ieper ramparts.
New Zealand marked the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele with a week of services and events in Belgium.
One of these took place on the night of 11 October 2017, at the historic Menin Gate in the Belgian town of Ieper. On a spectacular, still autumn evening, “From the Uttermost Ends of the Earth” took the phrase often etched onto New Zealand war memorials as inspiration for a unique artistic and cultural event.
A light and sound show played onto the town walls, featuring footage and photographs of New Zealand’s war on the Western Front drawn from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, the Alexander Turnbull Library, Imperial War Museums and other sources.
The Netherlands-based waka Te Hono ki Aotearoa then appeared on the waters of the town moat - to symbolise the long voyages that New Zealanders undertook before even reaching the war, as well as the journeys of those who never came back. Some of the kaihoe (paddlers) on the waka had ancestors who fought on the Western Front.
The Last Post played under the Menin Gate, as it has done nearly every night since 1928, along with speeches by New Zealand dignitaries, moving haka by Māori arts organisation Toi Māori and the New Zealand Defence Force, and a powerful performance by New Zealand singer-songwriter Dave Dobbyn.
See how the evening unfolded below: