King George V inspects HMS New Zealand
The battleship HMS New Zealand was a gift to Britain’s navy from the people of New Zealand. The day before the ship departed on a tour of the colonies, it was visited by King George V, an old sailor himself. The King was particularly interested in the 12-inch guns, and navigation equipment. The Dominion newspaper reported that “His Majesty was greatly amused at the decorations of the gun-room, which… somewhat resembled a lady's boudoir [bedroom]." (7 February 1913, p.5). New Zealand-born officers on the ship were introduced to the King and he met the ship's mascot, Pelorus Jack, a bulldog puppy who can be briefly seen in this clip.
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.