This film shows conditions on the Western Front during the First World War. It includes the recollections of New Zealand veterans who were there.
Narrator: Down on the ground, winter conditions made life unbearable.
NZ soldier 1: Ghastly, hell. Just mud mud mud. Trenches half full of mud. And you’re wet through, oh all the time.
NZ soldier 2: Oh, frightful. You’ve no idea what it was like. You lived in dugouts and you were well over your ankles and mud all the time. You had no protection, you just had a ground sheet over you, you would wake up in the morning with the snow over your feet, and you were everlastingly in dampness.
Narrator: Messines, the Somme 1916 and 1918, Passchendaele, Ypres, the Hindenburg Line, Le Quesnoy. The cost of maintaining our division in France for two and a half years was appalling. Our total casualties were 18,500 dead, nearly 50,000 wounded – many twice or more. This was a terrible price to pay, our population then was only just over a million.