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Just enough speechifying

In 1912, Thomas Mackenzie was appointed as the New Zealand High Commissioner to London; a post he held until 1920. Mackenzie was particularly concerned about the treatment of New Zealand soldiers and made several visits to see the troops during the war.

In this clip, Mackenzie, with his back to the camera, talks to New Zealanders outside the 2nd New Zealand Field Ambulance station.

During his visit, Mackenzie also joined the 2nd Otago church parade, inspected the New Zealand Engineers, and made an address to the 3rd Otago Battalion. At the end of Mackenzie’s visit Major General Sir Andrew Russell noted in his diary: "The whole visit has been successful, fine weather – just enough speechifying but not too much."

Year:1917

Location:Lumbres in the Aa Valley west of St Omer

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Just enough speechifying

In 1912, Thomas Mackenzie was appointed as the New Zealand High Commissioner to London; a post he held until 1920. Mackenzie was particularly concerned about the treatment of New Zealand soldiers and made several visits to see the troops during the war.

In this clip, Mackenzie, with his back to the camera, talks to New Zealanders outside the 2nd New Zealand Field Ambulance station.

During his visit, Mackenzie also joined the 2nd Otago church parade, inspected the New Zealand Engineers, and made an address to the 3rd Otago Battalion. At the end of Mackenzie’s visit Major General Sir Andrew Russell noted in his diary: "The whole visit has been successful, fine weather – just enough speechifying but not too much."


Year: 1917

Length: 0:47

Production Company: NZ Official Photographer, Captain H A Sanders. Pathe Freres

Credits: Photography: H.A. Sanders

Source: Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Catalogue Reference: Visit of Sir Thomas MacKenzie KCMG, High Commissioner for NZ, to the NZ Division Sept 2017


People: Sir Thomas MacKenzie, KCMG, Sir Andrew Russell, Brigadier General Herbert Hart

Location: Lumbres in the Aa Valley west of St Omer

Tags: Ceremonies, Parades, Inspections

Subject: World War 1914-1916, New Zealand, Troop Inspections


This is one of a number of films taken of VIP visitors to the NZ Division in France.  This one is valuable in that it shows a number of the principals in the Division including Major General Sir Andrew Russell and Brigadier General Herbert Hart.  Sir Thomas MacKenzie, the NZ High Commissioner, had a keen interest in cinema.  It was he as Minister who asked James McDonald, the Official Government Photographer, to take films in the Otago Southland area and use them as illustrations to MacKenzie's talks to his electorate.  It was also MacKenzie who established the agreement with Pathe Freres to show NZ made documentaries in Europe and this led to the employment of Sanders, from Pathe Freres, as NZEF Official Cameraman in France, and later Scales as Official Cameraman for NZEF (UK).  MacKenzie deserves the title of 'Patron' of the New Zealand official documentary film.