Gallipoli story told in massive scale at Te Papa

CHARLOTTE CURD/stuff.co.nz

In a replica of Gallipoli hero William Malone's dugout at Chunuk Bair an actor's voice can be heard.

He is reading aloud the last letter Malone wrote to his wife Ida.

The eerie reading is part of Gallipoli:The Scale of Our War, an exhibition that had been on at Te Papa for a year.  

A gigantic scale model at Te Papa's Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition - the most popular in the museum's history.
CHARLOTTE CURD/FAIRFAX NZ

A gigantic scale model at Te Papa's Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition - the most popular in the museum's history.

The exhibition had merged history and movies through a partnership with Richard Taylor and Weta Workshop, lead curator Kirstie Ross said. 

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"We have these amazing 2.5 times larger than life, hyper real models of people based on people who were actually on Gallipoli."

William Malone's dugout was built according to a little sketch Malone made, she said.

Kirstie Ross sits in William Malone's Bunker listening to an actor reading Malone's last letter to his wife, in which he ...
CHARLOTTE CURD/Fairfax NZ

Kirstie Ross sits in William Malone's Bunker listening to an actor reading Malone's last letter to his wife, in which he clearly knows he won't make it out of the battle alive.

"Inside you can hear actor an reading from last letter Malone ever wrote to his wife Ida. It's incredibly sad because William Malone is fairly certain that he is going to die in this big attack on Chunuk Bair, which of course he does die."

The response to the exhibition had been amazing and more than 677,000 people had visited, she said.

And Malone was not the only person from Taranaki to feature in the exhibition.

William Malone's letter to his wife Ida at Te Papa's Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition.
CHARLOTTE CURD/Fairfax NZ

William Malone's letter to his wife Ida at Te Papa's Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition.

"We have an amazing little object -  an embroidered cloth that was owned by a Taranaki woman called Anne Somerville. She was living in Taranaki  when the Maheno hospital ship was about to sail off to Gallipoli in June, July 1915. And that's when she sent the cloth to nursing friends to be embroidered while they were travelled up to Gallipoli." 

This year was the 100th anniversary of the first Anzac Day commemorations, Ross said.

"And it's really important that we really connect back to our past so that people understand what shaped New Zealand going into the future."

Charlotte Le Gallais was one of ten nurses selected for the first voyage of the New Zealand Hospital Ship 'Maheno', in ...
CHARLOTTE CURD/Fairfax NZ

Charlotte Le Gallais was one of ten nurses selected for the first voyage of the New Zealand Hospital Ship 'Maheno', in July 1915. Charlotte's brother Leddra was already at Gallipoli when she embarked. He was killed in action on 23 July 1915 and she arrived to find her own letters to her brother.

It was a unique exhibition and so close to everybody's hearts, she said.

"The way we tell the story is so moving."

A 2.5 time scale model of Private Jack Dunn, who went to hospital with pneumonia after the first brutal month of ...
CHARLOTTE CURD/Fairfax NZ

A 2.5 time scale model of Private Jack Dunn, who went to hospital with pneumonia after the first brutal month of fighting. When he returned to the front, still sick, he fell asleep at his post and was sentenced to death for endangering his unit. Dunn got let off in the end and was sent back to his unit.

Rikihana Carkeek served with the Native Contingent and the Pioneer Battalion during the First World War. He had a diary ...
CHARLOTTE CURD/Fairfax NZ

Rikihana Carkeek served with the Native Contingent and the Pioneer Battalion during the First World War. He had a diary documenting the experience of Maori soldiers. At Gallipoli most of his machine-gun crew were killed or wounded during the attack on Chunuk Bair.

 - Stuff

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