ANZAC Day kōrero: Defending Waitaha Canterbury during WWII

About the event

This ANZAC Day 25 April, join us in commemorating the New Zealanders who have served our country by visiting our timely new exhibition Westerfield Camp - The Army Marches In and attending a special 2pm kōrero about Westerfield Military Camp in Hakatere Ashburton and the Awaroa/Godley Head coastal defence battery near Lyttleton Harbour.

These two defence sites in Waitaha Canterbury were constructed during the Second World War amidst a widespread fear of attack or invasion of Aotearoa itself, first by the Germans and later by the Japanese. Our Senior Museum Curator Maryann Cowan will share the forgotten story of the Westerfield Military Camp, built in 1942 across a 162 hectare landscape located 19km inland from Ashburton, of which few physical remnants exist. The story of this fleeting camp has been pieced together through photographs, archival records and first-hand accounts.

Godley Head Heritage Trust Historian and Chair Peter Wilkins will also discuss one of the most intact and extensive WWII coastal defence batteries left in Aotearoa. In its heyday, the Godley Head fort was a self-contained community staffed by over 400 men and women. Today, three large gun emplacements and seven military buildings remain. The site has undergone significant repair in recent years and new interpretation has been developed to improve the visitor experience, including WWII murals created by Ōtautahi street artist Wongi Wilson.

Tuesday 25 April | 2pm

25th Apr 2023 -

02:00 pm

Ashburton Museum

Admission: FREE