A sea of faces say goodbye in Dunedin
Tahuna Park in Dunedin was the initial training camp for soldiers of the Otago and Southland Section of the Main Body of the NZEF. It was also the site for this civic reception farewelling the men on 16 September 1914. The Otago Daily Times reported that “seldom, if ever, has such a large Dunedin crowd been gathered together at one time." (17 September 1914, p. 2).
The soldiers seem all smiles and expectant faces, and eager to be off to war. The film also gives rare glimpses of how Dunedin people felt as their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons headed off to the front. There is a sense of apprehension amongst this sea of faces, and it was well founded. Many of the troops shown in this film later became casualties of the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign.