In Memory of the Unreturning Brave
Otago Boys’ High School celebrated its Diamond Jubilee in August 1923 – the 75th anniversary was a huge celebration over several days. Activities included rugby matches, a parade, a ball and, most importantly, the dedication of the memorial gates commemorating ex-pupils who fought and died in World War One.
The Otago Daily Times reported that the “school gave freely of her best sons in that great conflict, and of these nearly 200 are numbered with ‘the unreturning brave’. It was fitting, therefore, that first of all the functions at this Diamond Jubilee should be the dedication of the beautiful memorial archway, which records in letters of brass the glorious roll call of those who thus gave their all”.
Watch as the Mayor, Mr HL Tapley and officials lead a parade of guests through the archway and into the college grounds, cadets then form a guard of honour and the flag blows patriotically! A parade of cadets march into the school.
Ex-pat Kiwis march in the London Lord Mayor’s Show
In November 1914 the annual London Lord Mayor’s Show took on a very military flavour, with thousands of troops from Britain and her allies marching through the streets. They included a group of 150 New Zealanders, part of a contingent of 200 who were living in Britain when war was declared.
As this tiny fragment of film from 1914 shows, the New Zealanders were still wearing the ‘slouch’ hat with the upturned brim which New Zealanders had worn in the South African War. Later in the war this would be replaced by the peaked ‘lemon squeezer’.
A sea of faces say goodbye in Dunedin
Tahuna Park in Dunedin was the initial training camp for soldiers of the Otago and Southland Section of the Main Body of the NZEF. It was also the site for this civic reception farewelling the men on 16 September 1914. The Otago Daily Times reported that “seldom, if ever, has such a large Dunedin crowd been gathered together at one time." (17 September 1914, p. 2).
The soldiers seem all smiles and expectant faces, and eager to be off to war. The film also gives rare glimpses of how Dunedin people felt as their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons headed off to the front. There is a sense of apprehension amongst this sea of faces, and it was well founded. Many of the troops shown in this film later became casualties of the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign.