Invested at Buckingham Palace
London – 3 May 1919 – crowds gather outside Buckingham Palace in London for an investiture by his Majesty King George V. Among the nurses and soldiers receiving awards and honours is a smartly dressed New Zealand officer in his lemon squeezer hat.
On the dais are Queen Mary and members of the royal household. In front stand Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig and his Generals – Plumer and Sir William Birdwood. Winston Churchill, then Secretary of State for War, stands proudly in morning suit and top hat.
After the ceremony, the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) Depot Band march past, followed by the New Zealand Parade Commander. Behind them are the New Zealand Field Artillery – note the infantry with their rifles and bayonets. Next, the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) march past. Mounted officers of the AIF and the Australian Light Horse trot by, and the crowd cheers and waves, then the AIF band march past – they are marching easy – and are followed by the Australian infantry.
Early newsreels: A 1915 Pathé Animated Gazette
People went to cinemas during the war to be entertained, but moving-pictures also played an important role in providing cinema-goers with news and information from abroad. Early newsreels, or topical films, were an important part of the typical cinema programme of the time.
This film is an example of a full-length Pathé Animated Gazette newsreel that was shown during the war. It demonstrates the contents of these types of films and how they mixed serious topics with more light-hearted footage: scenes of the Algerian Native Cavalry in Flanders, a brief glimpse of King George V and Queen Mary making their way through packed London Streets to a service at St Paul’s Cathedral, the opening of a New Zealand military hospital, and Zouaves (Algerian French Infantry).
Australian troops at the Pyramids
Australian and New Zealand troops arrived in Egypt in December 1914. They set up Mena Camp near the Great Pyramids outside Cairo and began training in preparation for the Western Front and Gallipoli. This footage sees them exploring the extraordinary landmarks - the Pyramids and the Sphinx.
While they waited in Egypt to be deployed, the Australian and New Zealand forces were formed into the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) under the command of Lieutenant General William Birdwood. The training the Anzacs received was only rudimentary, and did little to prepare them for what was to come.
A New Zealander at the Battle of Jutland
On 31 May 1916, Lieutenant Alexander Boyle from South Canterbury was in charge of a gun turret and two 12-inch guns on the HMS New Zealand during the Battle of Jutland, the greatest naval clash of the First World War. In this excerpt from a 1959 radio talk, he recalls seeing the British battlecruisers Indefatigable and Queen Mary destroyed with a large loss of life. Lt. Boyle also remembers his crew’s faith in a Māori mat [piupiu] and tiki given to their captain when HMS New Zealand visited New Zealand just before the war.
Marking the first Anzac Day in London
In April 1916, a year after the Anzac landings at Gallipoli, the first anniversary of the battle was observed in Australia, New Zealand and Britain. A grand memorial service was held at Westminster Abbey in London, attended by King George V and Queen Mary. Hundreds of New Zealand and Australian military personnel marched through the streets to the Abbey to attend the service.
Among them was Sydney-born Dr Agnes Bennett, who had been working in Egyptian hospitals treating the wounded from Gallipoli. Some 40 years later she recalled the experience in this excerpt from a radio ‘talk.’