Gruelling battles, unfathomable tragedy and friendship that binds men for a lifetime – World War Two is revisited once a month by the World War Two Historical Re-enactment Society of New Zealand (WW2HRSNZ).
Last weekend freelance film-maker and story-boarder David Gunson was the New Zealand Section Commander.
“It is satisfying to be good at something and we get great feedback in the Kiwi unit,” he says.
“I also like to beat the Germans and outshine the American units as many Kiwis fail to appreciate New Zealand’s contribution to war.”
David McKenzie was the third member to join the re-enactment group.
“I was running a retail business trading in militaria when I was asked to supply extras for a TV series.
“At around the same time  I was introduced to an American re-enactor who convinced me and several others to join a society.”
This society is now one of many similar re-enactment groups in New Zealand.
Adrian Walworth runs Anglo-Saxon Medieval Guild and Medieval Marauders (ASMGAM) in Waikato.
Walworth, who has been running the club for around three years but has been involved in re-enactment clubs for 16 years, says it is not simply “a dress-up gig”.
“It’s a passion and we learn history, valuable skills and training.”
WW2HRSNZ holds several events every year, but for ASMGAM there is one main event that takes precedence over all others – the National Association of Ancient and Medieval Arts (NAAMA)
NAAMA runs an annual festival for medieval enthusiasts from all over the country.
Walworth says there are restrictions for children.
“Any one can sign up but for our group we have regulations as some of those weapons require control that kids won’t have.”
Weapon training is mandatory for all re-enactment eras.
Gunson said this was followed diligently.
“I remind people that the weapons they hold are almost antiques and have killed someone in war.They should be handled with respect.”
McKenzie said their hobby is a way to pay respect.
“We remember the service and sacrifices made by a wartime generation.”
Gunson says he is interested in the possibility of a documentary.
“There has been no in-depth documentary about re-enacting in this country and it has potential.”