Sir Peter Jackson might not have been a New Zealander if not for the courage and tenacity of Kiwi soldiers in World War I.
The Lord of the Rings director said his British grandfather, William John Jackson, developed a respect for the Kiwi character while fighting alongside the Anzacs at Gallipoli.
When Sir Peter’s father emigrated to New Zealand years later, his decision was influenced by the stories he had been told about the country’s inhabitants.
“My dad always told me that the principal reason he chose New Zealand to emigrate to after World War II was the high regard his father had for the Kiwis he encountered at Gallipoli,” Sir Peter told the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
William Jackson, the grandfather Sir Peter never met, won a Distinguished Conduct Medal at Gallipoli, and fought in most major battles of World War I. He died in 1940, aged 51.
He was lucky to survive. The death toll was horrific.