A grand old mansion in the French town of Le Quesnoy will soon become the new home of one of our most famous war stories.
“How the Kiwi troops scaled the wall using a ladder to enter the city, chase the Germans and capture them,” said Weta Workshop Senior Creative Director Andrew Thomas.
But what that recreation will look like remains a secret for now.
Wētā Workshop hatches plans to bring to life the story of the Kiwis’ triumph over German forces in the closing days of World War I.
“We have to be very careful about the sensibilities of the story and the people involved,” Thomas said.
One of those involved, Leslie Averill, was the first soldier to scale the wall, triggering the release.
It is an occasion still celebrated today, with locals marking Anzac Day commemorations early.
“The fact that this town was liberated by troops from the other side of the world and that it has a special place in the hearts of the inhabitants of Le Quesnoy,” said one of them.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to come and see part of history, part of New Zealand history in France,” said another.
Wētā Workshop has already delved into our war history by creating Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War.
Over three million people viewed the exhibit at Te Papa in Wellington.
“I really hope that the living memorial builds the connection and the relationships between the people who go there,” Thomas said.
No civilians died during the liberation, but 135 of our soldiers did. The city has never forgotten.
“The sacrifice of our soldiers and the ties that endure now, as the mayor has said for over 100 years,” said Ambassador to France Caroline Bilkey.
It is hoped that by Anzac Day next year this Kiwi story will have a new chapter to tell.