Families thrilled by moving app
TODAY, as the world prepares to mark the centenary of the end of World War I, we take you to the heart of the Australian experience on the Western Front as never before.
In the groundbreaking ANZAC 360 project, any Australian can travel to the battlefields of France and Belgium in immersive virtual reality 360degree vision simply by using their phone or tablet — it’s free, simple and stunning.
Full surround vision using drone and ground-level footage lets viewers soar over the fields and explore trenches, bunkers and memorials, while period imagery and video, graphics and sound effects transport you back a century.
Brought to you by the team behind the award-winning social media project AnzacLive, ANZAC 360 is a collaboration between News Corp Australia and the Department of Veterans Affairs, produced by Grainger Films. The best way to experience it is to download the free ANZAC 360 app from your app store — clips will also be released on AnzacLive’s Facebook page.
The app features key sites and events along the Australian Trail of Remembrance — the epicentre of our nation’s struggle in northwest Europe — where 295,000 Aussies served from 1916 to 1918.
Viewers will be taken from the shocking encounters at Fromelles and Pozieres in the 1916 Somme offensive, through the heroic slog of Polygon Wood, Broodseinde and Passchendaele a year later, to the desperate turning point of Villers-Bretonneux and the push to victory begun at Le Hamel in 1918.
Then there are the places where our Diggers relaxed: French villages, chateaus and the subterranean city at Naours, where Anzacs created the largest collection of World War I graffiti.
Each three-minute film features the stories of some of our most charismatic veterans and moving anecdotes of ordinary men and women. Familiar faces from AnzacLive include the larrikin Tasmanian Digger Archie Barwick.
Descendants of Archie yesterday tested the app at the Hyde Park War Memorial in Sydney.
“It is very, very good,” said Elizabeth Barwick, viewing the battlefield at Pozieres where Archie fought. “I have read my grandfather’s diaries several times because they were very exciting, very interesting — but to actually see it come to life in ANZAC 360 brings a whole new dimension. It was really lovely to see it.”
Darren Chester, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, will launch the project today at the new Sir John Monash Centre at VillersBretonneux.