The Whanganui Embroidery Guild, while contributing stitches to a museum tapestry exhibition, reminisced over family members who had served in world wars.

The group of 10 women met on Friday at the Whanganui Regional Museum to add to two tapestry panels that will be exhibited at the National Army Museum in Waiouru.

The tapestries commemorate and honour 27,000 New Zealand soldiers who were treated at the Mount Felix Hospital at Walton-on-Thames during World War I.

They also commemorate and explore the stories of the doctors and nurses who cared for them and the local community who welcomed them.

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"Two panels have been travelling around New Zealand with the main exhibition being an opportunity at all the stops for people in that area to contribute to the two unfinished ones," Alison Jones, of the National Army Museum, said.

The narrative was designed by artist Andrew Crummy and printed out templates were given to the group to work off.

Margaret Berryman, an embroidery guild member, chose to stitch the panel of Clutha Mackenzie, a solider from Balclutha who was blinded during the battle for Chunuk Bair in 1915.

"My grandfather fell off a horse when he was in India when he was in the Army in the 1800s and was blinded which is why I chose to do a solider [Clutha Mackenzie] on a horse riding it," Berryman said.

The panels of Clutha Mackenzie and Jimmy McNeish and the Dunedin RSA choir were two panels the ladies could choose to contribute to.

Stitching was contributed by the Whanganui Embroidery Guild to the tapestry of World War I soldier Clutha Mackenzie. Photo / Bevan Conley
Stitching was contributed by the Whanganui Embroidery Guild to the tapestry of World War I soldier Clutha Mackenzie. Photo / Bevan Conley

Dolores Ho, archivist from the National Army Museum, said at every community group they had visited there is usually a link between the embroiderers and someone who has been involved with the war.

"Even if it's not related to World War I, it could be another war, it means something to them and they can relate to it," Ho said.

Nicola Bennett, marketing and visitor experience manager of the National Army Museum, said the tapestry provided a history stitched into a rich story told in yarn.

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"This beautiful artwork ensures that the stories of courage, resilience, romance and friendship, set against a backdrop of the unimaginable horror of war, will never be forgotten."

The stitching project has been created by more than 600 people in England and New Zealand, with Whanganui being the last stop for the tapestries to visit.

The exhibition will be on the National Army Museum in Waiouru until the end of September.

The Whanganui Embroidery Guild meets weekly and president Judy Ahmadri said anyone is welcome to join and can contact her at wanganuiembroiders@gmail.com