'Trench Blacks' honoured in new exhibition

'Trench Blacks' honoured in new exhibition

A new exhibition in Palmerston North honours the sacrifice made by rugby players in the First World War.

Of the 100,000 New Zealanders who served, around a quarter played club rugby, with many All Blacks and provincial representatives among the 18,000 who died.

Commentator Keith Quinn has recently toured the New Zealand battlefields in France and Belgium, and was greatly moved by visiting the resting places of the All Blacks who never returned.

One of them, original All Blacks captain Dave Gallaher, didn't have to go to war. At 41 he was too old to enlist, but he lied about his age.

Gallaher was killed in his first battle, the attack on Broodseinde, on October 4, 1917. His legacy is a source of great pride for his family.

He is one of 16 rugby players whose war story is part of the new Balls, Bullets and Boots exhibition at the national Rugby Museum.

Another is legendary Maori player Tom French, who lost an arm in the same battle in which his good mate Gallaher was killed. French survived and fathered a son late in life.

Balls, Bullets and Boots is set to tour the country.

Watch the video for the full 3 News report.