Rare war footage used in Anzac film tribute

An image of troops of the NZ 24 Battalion in North Africa.
An image of troops of the NZ 24 Battalion in North Africa.

Kiwi filmmaker Gaylene Preston has completed a specially commissioned short film to honour the 24 Battalion for Anzac Day.

The 12-minute film, which features a selection of rarely seen archival footage, will be projected continuously for three hours across the northern facade of the Auckland War Memorial Museum this weekend.

It captures the Battalion's departure, campaigns in North Africa and Italy and the faces of the young men that went to war to fight for their country.

Preston says watching the film brings home how unusual the experience must have been for the young men, who were transported from their life here to another world in the midst of a war.

"This film causes us to relook at the images of war that we've become so familiar with. Looking at the young faces of the men of the 24 Battalion, panning over the footage of the tanks rolling in, you can't help but wonder which of these boys came back," says Preston.

The event will mark the end of the Battalion's post-war association after more than six decades of service. The public are also invited to a 'Beat Retreat' ceremony for the Battalion at 5pm on Saturday April 21.

The 24 Battalion film can be seen on Saturday April 21 and Sunday April 22 from 7pm to 10pm at the Auckland War Memorial Museum (Northern facade).

The Auckland Museum has the official Book of Remembrance open again this year for the public to post messages during the ANZAC period.

The public can also download the Dawn Service programme here.

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