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Journey to Arras

Television (Full Length) – 1997

This documentary unearths the story of the soldiers in the New Zealand Tunneling Company, whose daring World War I raids involved digging tunnels through chalk rock, laying explosives underneath enemy lines, and countermining German tunneling efforts. The story is told through the eyes of a New Zealand woman who retraces her grandfather’s war story to Arras, France, and sees the Kiwi-tagged cavern 'city' nearly 80 years later. The company played a key role on the Western Front, and was especially recruited in NZ, made up of miners, bushmen and labourers.

20 metres beneath the surface you can’t help thinking of the weight of the earth above, but if it hasn’t collapsed in 80 years it should be alright.
– Clare Mashiter, on following her grandfather Captain Robert Ronayne’s footsteps

Key Cast & Crew

Ann Andrews

Producer

George Andrews

Producer, Director

Stuart Devenie

Narrator

Phillipe Grau

Camera

Chris Burt

Sound

Stephen McCurdy

Composer

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