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Thu 26 Apr 2018, 9:00am–4:30pm
Fri 27 Apr 2018, 9:00am–4:30pm
Sat 28 Apr 2018, 9:00am–4:30pm
Sun 29 Apr 2018, 9:00am–4:30pm
Mon 30 Apr 2018, 9:00am–4:30pm

Where: National Army Museum, 1 Hassett Dr, SH1, Waiouru, Tongariro

Restrictions: All Ages

Opening in December 2017, 'Passchendaele: A Descent into Hell' will be the first exhibition displayed in the new gallery space at the National Army Museum Te Mata Toa.

Featuring artefacts from the museum’s collection and a large diorama, 'Passchendaele: A Descent into Hell' tells the story of the New Zealand Division at Passchendaele in October 1917.

While many of the battles fought by the New Zealand Division on the Western Front during WWI were far greater tragedies than Gallipoli, most remain virtually unknown to the New Zealand public. Until recently, many New Zealanders knew very little about the costly battles involving Kiwi forces near Passchendaele, Belgium on 4 and 12 October 1917.

“Attack a failure on account of wire encountered. Casualties extremely heavy. Hun machine guns and snipers play havoc. Absolute hell… Brigade practically wiped out.” - A NZ Officer’s Report.

The disastrous battle on 12 October accumulated a fatality list higher than that of any other day in New Zealand’s post-1840 history. It would become known as our ‘Darkest Day’. Huge losses during the attack were compounded by the fact that virtually no gains in ground were made. In the aftermath of Passchendaele, the New Zealand Division’s casualties numbered a staggering 4500 men of which 1300 were killed.

'Passchendaele - A Descent into Hell' is part of the museum's on-going commemorative programme marking the centenary of WWI, which began in 2014.

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