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This is unedited raw film footage, shot by Academy Award winning US Marine cinematographer Norman T. Hatch for a US newsreel that was never completed, provisionally titled 'Meet New Zealand'. Around 21,000 Marines were stationed in camps around the Wellington region from June 1942 until November 1943. Most of their time was spent training hard preparing for the war in the Southwest Pacific against the Japanese.

The footage on this reel is silent and has been joined together out of chronological sequence. The First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt arrives by train in Wellington, from Auckland, on the 28 August 1943. She is met by a welcome party of Sir Cyril Newall, Marshall of the Royal Airforce, and Governor-General of New Zealand, and his Aide de Camp, Major Christopher Holland-Martin; the Prime Minister Peter Fraser and his wife Janet Fraser; and Miss Marie Ryan, American Red Cross Supervisor for the Southwest Pacific, and members of the Press. Throughout her seven-day visit to New Zealand, Mrs Roosevelt wears the grey uniform of the American Red Cross. Crowds of people line either side of Willis Street as a convoy of cars carrying the distinguished visitor and VIPs heads towards Government House. Mrs Roosevelt with the Governor-General, his Aide de Camp and members of the Press on the doorstep of Government House conversing to camera. Marines are seen in a telephone exchange in the American Red Cross headquarters. Scene cuts to a wide exterior shot of Camp Russell, Paekākāriki, the accommodation for the infantry of the 2nd Marine Division. Rows and rows of huts and tents make up the campsite, with a steady flow of military trucks seen coming and going on the roads constructed by the US military. Kapiti Island is clearly visible in the background. In the gardens of Government House, in a scene that immediately follows the press conference (refer NTSV: F318872), Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt is seated with the Governor-General, Sir Cyril Newall, seated on the right. Standing behind from left to right, Miss Marie Ryan (American Red Cross Supervisor for the Southwest Pacific), Major Christopher Holland-Martin (Aide de Camp to Governor-General), Miss Norah Walton (secretary to Governor-General), Miss Georgiana Newall, holding the dogs, (daughter of the Governor-General), Captain Heathcote Helmore (Aide de Camp to Governor-General), Lieutenant-Commander H.D. Moulton (representing Admiral Halsey), and Major George Durno (Special Assistant to Commanding General, Pacific Wing, Air Transport Command), who accompanied Mrs. Roosevelt throughout her South Pacific trip. The group are posing for photographs before heading back inside the Government House. The coat-of-arms on Government House shown in full frame. The specially commissioned train carrying the First Lady is shown pulling into the Wellington train station. The Governor-General gets into the car beside Mrs. Roosevelt. A line of Rolls Royce cars departs the station heading for Government House, flanked by crowds of people along the entire route. A rifle company of Marines in target practice in a rural setting in the Wellington region.

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Year 1943

Reference number F318877

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image


Genre Unfinished

Production company US Marine Corps

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