Kia ora,

On 25 April 2016 we remembered the first Anzac Day, 100 years ago. In April 1916 New Zealand and Australian soldiers were in France where the French and German armies were engaged in the battle of Verdun, the longest and costliest ever fought. On 1 July we commemorate the start of the battle of the Somme, when the armies of the British Empire, including New Zealand and Australian troops, launched one of the largest and bloodiest battles in history. Over 1,000,000 men were killed or wounded, nearly 60,000 of them on the first day, the worst in the history of the British army. The offensive that September resulted in the loss of 2,000 New Zealanders, more than at Gallipoli.

Te Papa’s superb exhibition, Gallipoli: The scale of our war, continues to make the tragedy of war personal and powerfully affect all who visit, while several Friends events have offered new insights into those terrible times 100 years ago.

Author and historian Jennifer Haworth talked about her new book, Behind the Twisted Wire: New Zealand Artists in World War I, which explores the stories of some soldier artists and their work.

Paul Baragwanath will tell us about the inspiring installation project, The Art of Remembrance. In 2015 Max Gimblett made 7,000 brass quatrefoils to go on the walls of St David’s Soldiers’ Memorial Church in Auckland. Conveying the message of peace and hope, each quatrefoil represents a New Zealander served in World War I. A selection of the quatrefoils is on display at Te Papa until 22 May.

Ngā mihi nui

Elizabeth Kay