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Wed 7 Jun 2017, 1:00pm–2:00pm

Where: Featherston War Memorial, Fitzherbert Street, Featherston

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

South Wairarapa District Council, Featherston Memorial RSA and the wider community are commemorating the centenary of the Battle of Messines on Wednesday 7 June 2017.

Join us at 1:00 p.m. for a wreath laying ceremony at Featherston War Memorial on the corner of Fitzherbert and Wallace Streets, Featherston, followed by a screening of the documentary 'March On' at Featherston Memorial RSA. The documentary details the creation of Featherston Military Camp and what day to day life was like for men and women stationed there. All welcome to attend.

Featherston Military Camp played a pivotal role in training soldiers during World War One, with many of these soldiers serving on the battlefields of the Middle East and Western Europe. One such battle fought by NZ soldiers was the Battle of Messines, which began at 3:10 a.m. on Sunday 7 June 1917. This battle, which saw the township of Messines secured by the New Zealand Division, was to be one of the most successful fought by the division during the war, but it came at a cost. By the time the division was relieved on 9 June, 3700 NZ soldiers had been wounded and 700 killed.

The part played, and sacrifices made, by NZ soldiers in the liberation of Messines has not been forgotten by the townspeople, and today there remains a very close relationship between Belgium and New Zealand because of this. This relationship was further reinforced in 1975 when the towns of Featherston and Messines (now Mesen) were very fittingly twinned, forging an enduring tie between the two towns and their communities.

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