Newspaper Article 2017 – Film night for general’s family

Film night for general’s family

By Roger Moroney
[email protected]

Hawke’s Bay Club members and their guests will enjoy a family touch to their monthly film evening which is being staged on July 19.

The club’s secretary and manager, Peter McAlley, said the “one-off” departure from the usual second Wednesday of the month was to accommodate special guests –  family members of Major General Sir Andrew Russell who was born in Napier and went on to become one of New Zealand’s greatest military leaders.

General Russell’s granddaughter, Phillida and grandson Andrew, who both live at Tunanui, the Sherenden homestead built by the general in 1913, will deliver stories and readings from some of the general’s original letters written from the battlefields of Europe during World War 1.

“This will be a very special evening dedicated to the life of Major General Sir Andrew Russell” Mr McAlley said, adding that as well as being one of country’s celebrated military men, the general was also a member of the Hawke’s Bay Club. “Plenty of good reasons to celebrate his life.”

Members and their guests will be shown the docu-drama film The Forgotten General, in two parts, along with the readings from his two descendants. “The night will be quite unique as we pay tribute to one of our local heroes and hear from his family.”

Returned Services Associations representatives has also been invited to the special evening.

Major General Russell led the Kiwi forces at Gallipoli where he managed and led the successful rear guard to the evacuation  in 1915 and later led Kiwi forces on the Western Front in France and Belgium from 1916 to the end of WWI in November 1918.

He returned home in December 1918 after leading and wining the final battle of the war at Le Quesnoy in France on November 8, 1918.

The film. The Forgotten General, is the story of his colourful life.

He was awarded a string of honours for his service and returned to managing his Tunanui property at Sherenden in 1919. Apart from steering the property through difficult times, he also become heavily involved with the care and welfare of ex-servicemen.

Andrew Russell died at Tunanui on November 29, 1960, aged 92 and received a funeral service with full military honours.

Photo caption – LEADER: Major General Andrew Russell, as portrayed by George Butler.

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14 July 2017

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Hawke's Bay Today


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