King George V inspects 7,000 New Zealand troops at Bulford Field on 1 May 1917. New Zealand’s high command did not miss the opportunity and also present were Generals, Brigadiers, the Prime Minister William Massey, Joseph Ward – Leader of the Opposition and their wives and daughters and other dignitaries.
The 7,000 New Zealand troops on parade included: 4,000 from 4th Brigade; 1,500 from Sling Camp; 1,000 from Codford Command along with Engineers, ASC, Cadets and a few mounted rifles. After inspecting the troops, the King took the march-past and presented medals.
Farewelling troops in Wellington
This rare film records a civic ceremony for New Zealand troops departing for the front. It shows the official farewell to the Wellington Section of the NZ Expeditionary Force on 24 September 1914. The troops are inspected by a group of dignitaries, including Prime Minister William Massey, Lord Liverpool the Governor-General and Major General Sir Alexander Godley. They then march four abreast down Adelaide Road and along Lambton Quay, Wellington’s main shopping street. The men of the NZEF are then seen crammed on board the deck and high up on the rigging of a troopship. Most have happy faces as they await what they expected would be a grand adventure. Contrast this with the more subdued figures of the 6th Reinforcement who appear at the end of the film. They are seen departing for the front in August 1915, when the horrors of the Gallipoli Campaign had become widely known.