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.

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