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NEW ZEALAND AND WORLD WAR ONE

NEW ZEALAND SCHOOL PLEDGE - "The Great War proved that thousands of our brave New Zealand soldiers thought this beautiful land of ours was worth dying for. We are too young to do as they did, but we pledge ourselves, so to live, that when our hour of trial shall come we shall not be found wanting. We salute those who gave their lives that we might live in peace and security."

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1NZEF REGIMENTAL NUMBERS- WORLD WAR ONE*
1 Samoan Advance 14 Army Service Corps Divisional Train
2 Artillery 15 Headquarters
3 NZ Medical Corps 16 Maori Infantry
4 Engineers 17 Veterinary Corps
5 Army Service Corps 18 Chaplains Department
6 Canterbury Infantry 19 Samoan Relief Infantry
7 Canterbury Mounted Rifles 20 Samoan Relief Mounted
8 Otago Infantry 21 Pay Department
9 Otago Mounted Rifles 22 Nursing Department
10 Wellington Infantry 23 1st Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade
11 Wellington Mounted Rifles 24 2nd Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade
12 Auckland Infantry 25 3rd Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade
13 Auckland Mounted Rifles 26 4th Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade

* - Please note this system of numbering was only used until the formation of the 10th Reinforcements as it was found the system too confusing when personnel were moving between units.

This is a Princess Mary Gift Tin. Princess Mary thought of the idea to give all Commonwealth Soldiers and Nurses serving in the Great War a Christmas present. A public fund was eventually set up. For more information see PRINCESS MARY GIFT TIN. Thanks to Adele Pentony Graham for this.

The Onward Project
Phil Beattie & Matt Pomeroy are currently working on a Great War commemorative project that aims to publish a photograph of every member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force that served overseas during WW1. For more information see ONWARD PROJECT.


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The Great War was declared by the British Empire on Germany and her allies on 4th August 1914. The armistice was signed at 11am on the 11th November 1918. However the war did not formally end until the peace treaty with Germany was signed on the 28th June 1919, which is why many war memorials give the war years as being 1914-1919. There were approximately 750,000 British, Dominion and Colony casualties. The country with the highest proportions of deaths per head of population was New Zealand. Officers, especially Lieutenants and 2nd Lieutenants, were proportionally more likely to die than any other rank, largely because they were expected to lead raiding parties into No Man's Land.



The New Zealand Defence Force has handed over to Archives New Zealand the files of all personnel who served in the New Zealand forces prior to 1920. This includes those who served in the South African War (1899-1902) and First World War (1914-1918). Researchers are able to access these records, either in writing or in person, through the Wellington office of Archives New Zealand.


The St John's Branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists has produced a searchable CD containing:

Contact the New Zealand Society of Genealogists for further information.


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