Since it opened in August 2014, a “Tauranga to the Trenches” mobile exhibition displaying First World War material from the Tauranga Heritage Collection, Hauraki Regimental Association, and private collections has been well-received by visitors, young and old. The exhibition uses interactive technology and visual displays to tell the stories of local men who were involved in the First World War. Touch screens bring to life audio/visual recordings of the men’s letters, diaries, and memories of their experiences. Uniforms, weapons, supplies, photographs, information panels and maps provide details of the conflict and highlight the challenges the men endured so far from home.
Two 20ft shipping containers were customised to make a compact, secure exhibition that were be transported to different locations. The exhibition has travelled to public spaces in the city, several schools, and RSA venues. Many visitors have shared their personal family connections to the First World War, while teachers and students have welcomed the opportunity to discover how the war affected their local community.
The mobile museum featured ten exhibitions during the First World War commemorations 2014-2019.