NZDF

Upper Hutt Local Retraces Soldiers’ Footsteps

PTE Adams is fitted into his replica First World War uniform, supplied by WingNut Films, by costume assistant Paul Booth during a recent fitting in Wellington. Around 30 of more than 200 marchers completing month’s 21km Rimutaka Re-enactment March from Featherston to Upper Hutt will wear the uniforms.
Private (PTE) Simon Adams is fitted into his replica First World War uniform, supplied by WingNut Films, by costume assistant Paul Booth during a recent fitting in Wellington. Around 30 of more than 200 marchers completing month’s 21km Rimutaka Re-enactment March from Featherston to Upper Hutt will wear the uniforms.

22 September 2015

Upper Hutt local, Private (PTE) Simon Adams, will march over the Rimutaka Hill this weekend, retracing the footsteps of soldiers who made the same journey on their way to war.

More than two hundred people, including around twenty New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel, are registered to take part in an event to commemorate the service and sacrifice of thousands of soldiers who served in the First World War, particularly those who served on the Western Front.

Between 1915 and 1918, around 60,000 soldiers who trained at Featherston Military Camp marched over the Rimutaka Hill before embarking in ships berthed in Wellington Harbour, which were bound for the First World War. All soldiers who trained in Featherston went on to serve on the Western Front in France and Belgium.

PTE Adams, an armourer who repairs and maintains weapons at Linton Military Camp, will be marching in the re-enactment event dressed in First World War replica uniform, provided by Wingnut Films.

PTE Adams said he wanted to participate in the event because he’s always been interested in military history, and also collects original First World War uniform.

“To march over the Rimutaka Hill as those soldiers before me did is important because it puts the original marches into perspective,” PTE Adams said.

“These were young men marching to war, not just names on a wall.

“It is a privilege to be able to retrace their footsteps, especially wearing the same uniform they would have worn a century ago,” PTE Adams said.

The majority of New Zealand’s casualties during the First World War were suffered on the Western Front. More than 12,480 personnel are buried in Commonwealth War Graves cemeteries in Belgium and France.

The re-enactment march will begin from Camp Road, north of Featherston, at 3am on Sunday 27 September 2015, and will conclude at Griffin Field, Trentham, around midday.

ENDS

For further information, please contact Defence Public Affairs on 021 487 980

This page was last reviewed on 22 September 2015, and is current.