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Featherston Camp Centenary Exhibition 1916 - 2016


Wed 27 Jul 2016, 10:00am–4:30pm
Thu 28 Jul 2016, 10:00am–4:30pm
Fri 29 Jul 2016, 10:00am–4:30pm
Sat 30 Jul 2016, 10:00am–4:30pm
Sun 31 Jul 2016, 10:00am–4:30pm

Where: Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, 12 Bruce St, Masterton, Wairarapa

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


Listed by: Aratoi

An exhibition about Featherston Military Training Camp in the Wairarapa tells a story that is of national importance. An estimated 60,000 men trained at the camp between 1916 and 1918 – a majority of the roughly 100,000 New Zealanders who served overseas during World War One.

It was the largest training camp in Australasia. The camp was a living embodiment of the New Zealand military establishment, charged with turning raw recruits into real soldiers. To that end camp authorities had the heavy responsibility of not only putting soldiers through a rigorous training regime, but of ensuring that they were cared for physically, mentally and spiritually. Hard lessons had been learned from the organisation of other camps such as Trentham.

Keenly aware that the war was going to last much longer than previously thought, the military was eager to show New Zealand that it took the preparation of the nation’s soldiers seriously. Featherston Camp was a model of military organisation and efficiency, aiming to provide the best possible training for soldiers leaving to fight overseas.

Behind the facts, figures and official information lie the soldiers’ tales and experiences. What was it like to live at Featherston Camp? How did camp life compare to home-life? What activities made camp life difficult or enjoyable? What became of some of those who passed through Featherston Camp on their way to war? What is the camp’s legacy and how can we remember it today? What part did Featherston Military Training Camp play in the life of your/my relative?

The exhibition is planned to open on 23 January 2016 – 100 years since the camp became operational.