Peter Jackson plans First World War museum

Acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson, Director of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, has revealed plans to open a First World War inspired museum.

The New Zealander will launch the museum in Wellington by April to mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli battle where tens of thousands of soldiers from the British Army, including Irishmen, fought and died. 

The Battle of Gallipoli, which took place in modern day Turkey, saw allied forces launch a naval attack followed by a ground attack on the Ottoman Empire. 

Lasting over eight months, the battle saw over 200,000 deaths and casualties for the allied forces and an eventual victory for the Ottoman Empire. 

The 10th Irish Division landed at Gallipoli in August 1915, one year after it had been formed, and suffered heavy casualties.

Jackson, speaking during post-production on his latest film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, which is said to be inspired by JRR Tolkien's experiences at the Battle of the Somme, says the opening of the museum would be one of many to mark battles in which his country-men fought. 

The First World War enthusiast is believed to have been recruited by the New Zealand government to curate the museum which is expected to include aircraft, tanks and other artefacts.

'That's where most of my time in now, which is good,' said Jackson. 'It's fun and it's free. The exhibits will be very, very interesting, and I'm enjoying it.'