A Special Fairfax Media Commemorative Publication
Helping all of
n 25 April we mark Anzac Day. As the first light breaks we remember a pivotal day in our nation’s history when New Zealanders landed at Gallipoli in 1915 as a part of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. The Anzacs showed courage, comradeship and compassion and distinguished themselves as soldiers.
Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae
We remember our close comrades, the Australians. Sharing Anzac Day means we look across the Tasman in a spirit of mateship and shared sacrifice, just as our soldiers did almost a century ago. And we remember also the Turks, our respected enemy. Next year will see the start the centenary commemorations to mark the First World War. While we may re-evaluate the meaning of the war for us today, we will always remember the men and women who have served New Zealand. As we gather at our commemorative events and hear the Last Post played, we recall those who made the supreme sacrifice and recommit ourselves to the solemn pledge to never forget their service and to always remember them.
he First World War was arguably the most traumatic event in New Zealand’s history. For the first time, the country was confronted by the realities – and cost – of great power politics.
Gathering momentum: WW100 head Andrew Matheson says he is energised by the interest that’s already evident among communities.
Five years of commemorations, overseas and in New Zealand is fitting for an event with the significance and impact of World War I.
he World War I centenary programme will run from 2014 through to 2018; five years’ worth of commemorative events and projects locally, nationally and overseas.
and construction of an education and interpretive centre for the park.
Co-ordinating New Zealand’s side of things is New Zealand’s First World War Centenary Programme, or WW100 for short.
The important thing is to achieve a balance, he says. “First and foremost it’s about honouring and Outside New Zealand, there’s a project remembering sacrifice, but it’s with the working title of heritage trails not simply about commemorating which aims to put the battlefields of military involvement and actions. importance to New Zealand on the map, literally, as a way of increasing awareness It’s helping New Zealanders develop a new understanding about what of New Zealand’s participation in World this event meant for New Zealand, War I – for New Zealand visitors but also for locals and visitors from other countries. not just the soldiers who went but for everyone in the country – the It’s not just about the big budget projects, wives, the parents, the children, the he says, as already there’s strong interest people in the community. They were at community level. “I’m energised by all affected in some way – and that’s the interest that’s already evident among what shaped our society.” communities – it’s grass roots stuff and that’s what a lot of the lottery money is going for.”
Based at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage on The Terrace, it’s a joint venture between it, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the New Zealand Defence Force and the Department of Internal Affairs with funding from the Government and the Lottery Grants Board. The centenary is important for several reasons, says programme office head Andrew Matheson. “Firstly, the war itself had a profound effect on New Zealand and New Zealanders – nearly 2 per cent of the country’s population was killed and nearly another 5 per cent was wounded. And that had a ripple effect on New Zealand society as a whole.” He says that post-war New Zealand was a much different place as a result. “Secondly, the Anzac relationship was forged during that time,” he says. “We already had a strong relationship with Australia, but the war fostered and cemented it, and in foreign policy and defence policy terms, we have that legacy today.” And thirdly, Mr Matheson says, it’s a worldwide event. “Commemorations are going to be big in a lot of other countries – France, Belgium and the UK in particular and in Australia and Gallipoli of course – so we have to play our part internationally and domestically.” On the home front, the World War I centenary programme involves some very large projects. “There’s core government funding for big heritage projects,” Mr Matheson says. “The National War Memorial Park in Buckle St, where the road is being placed beneath the site of the future park, is one of the bigger ones, as is the refurbishment of the memorial
“The Government is also contributing to Auckland Museum’s Cenotaph project which will become a hugely rich resource for historians, researchers and anyone who wants to discover their own family stories.”
“We don’t have a gatekeeper role,” he adds. “We’re not telling people what they can and can’t do, but we’re sharing information about what everyone’s doing.” There’s a detailed projects and activities section on the WW100.govt.nz website and groups are encouraged to register. With all of the original combatants having died, and their direct descendants dwindling in number, the pressure’s on to collect their stories. And that’s at the heart of the programme. “It’s definitely about stories,” he says. “Finding them, telling them and preserving them – there is a need to preserve the stories so they’re not lost with the passage of time.” While the centenary office is busy now, the next five years are going to be busier still. “2014 is the centenary of the beginning of the war, with New Zealand troops going off in the first convoys along with Australians to the war. In 2015 we have the centenary of Gallipoli – that will be huge, and it’s the opening of the National War Memorial
With a population of just over one million, New Zealand sent 100,000 men and women overseas to support the Allied cause. One in five did not return; many of those who did carried scars of body and mind for life.
Prime Minister John Key
The war helped forge a sense of national identity that we continue to commemorate every Anzac Day, but the toll left an indelible impact on New Zealand.
Park. The major anniversaries in Europe are 2016 and 2017 with the Somme and Passchendaele, so we’ll be staging focus and activity on that, and then in 2018 we have the Armistice.”
n a little over a year’s time, the world will begin to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. In New Zealand, and in the lands in which that war was waged, there will be many opportunities to reflect on the impact of that war on our society, our communities, and our families. Almost all of us have links – direct or indirect – to those who served their country in the war, whether overseas or on the home front. It will be a time for us to strengthen or rediscover those links.
Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Rhys Jones
It may be that people will dust off that box of memorabilia and photographs in their attic and finally learn more about where those items came from, and who they belonged to. To achieve this, or for its own sake, people may want to visit one of the many museums, galleries and libraries across the country that are planning special exhibitions related to the First World War. At the local level, it would be my hope that people might band together and help restore or clean their local war memorials, if that is needed. Every community, town and city in New Zealand will mark the centenary in some way, acknowledging the service, the sacrifice and the impact this war had on those who lived through it and the changed nation it left behind. I encourage all New Zealanders to start thinking about how you will contribute to the nationwide commemorative programme.
Magazine Team Last Post, First Light editor Bill O’Byrne firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial & production: Belinda Kerr, Doug Coutts, Mike Crean, Adam Dudding Photography: John Nicholson Designers: Steven Qian, Michelle Watson, Rehana Mohideen, Anna Bogacki & Natalie Litras Published by Fairfax Media Advertising Director: Cheryl Kortink email@example.com Cover: Photographic illustration Cover Designer: Steven Qian
Photo: Alexander Turnbull Library. 1/2-048931-G
Workers’ walk: Strikers and sympathisers of the 1913 waterfront dispute marching along Mansfield to Newtown Park, Wellington.
A century ago New Zealand was a young society undergoing major changes as it stretched and adapted to the modern world. Little did anyone know what was about to be unleashed.
here was a great cultural and political ferment going on in the years just before World War I broke out.
Canterbury University historian Gwen Parsons says several debates were raging ‘‘and there was a lot of controversy in the community’’. One issue was a fairly tough class battle going on, with the Waihi miners’ strike and the waterfront strike pitching labour against capital (and the Reform government of prime minister William Massey). Then there were women’s groups who were campaigning for prohibition to counter the evils of alcohol, and there was a push by Protestant churches to get religious instruction reintroduced into state schools. The other big debate going on before the war was militarism and level that society would accept. ‘‘In 1909 the Defence Act brought in
compulsory military training for young men from school cadets right through to the age of 25,’’ Dr Parsons says. This caused huge debates. ‘‘On the one hand we’ve got some very strong imperial groups such as the Victoria League and the Naval League promoting the defence of Britain and the British Empire.’’ This reflected the arms race that had been going on between Britain and Germany from the 1890s and a sense of inevitability of war between the two empires. On the other side were groups who said that compulsion went against the basic tenets of British society. ‘‘There were young men who were defaulters [those who wouldn’t do military training] and they were put on Ripapa Island in Lyttelton Harbour to make an example of them. And there was a huge amount of protest about it. ‘‘The Christian Women’s Temperance
was a pacifist organisation before the war, and there was the New Zealand Peace Council, so there were these educated, Christian-based forces.’’ ‘‘What is interesting about all that social debate was that it disappeared as soon as war was announced in August 1914. The general consensus was, ‘Hang on, we’ve got to win the war now, we’ll just put these things aside for a moment’. ‘‘So the Christian Women’s Temperance pretty much gave up pacifism because they decided it was more important to support the Empire and their local groups turned into patriotic groups who did knitting and suchlike to support the troops.” There were important political developments occurring too. The Reform Party had only partially won the 1914 elections, winning 40 of the 80 seats with the rest going to the Liberal Party, an independent and two other parties (Social Democrats and United Labour) which
later formed the nucleus of the Labour Party. ‘‘They were still trying to work out who was going to be in charge and in the end they decided to form a coalition government as there was this idea that there should be unity because the war was bigger than some political arguments.’’ Dr Parsons says six MPs who represented ‘‘labour’’ interests didn’t join the coalition and became a de facto opposition, speaking in favour of pacifism and against conscription and the effect of the war on everyday life. (The cost of living increased by 39 per cent between July 1914 and 1918 and there was effectively a freeze on wages as the Arbitration Court was suspended at the start of the war.) Dr Parsons says in 1914 nobody could foresee the scale of the war and the toll it would take. ‘‘The last war that New Zealand and the Empire had been involved had been the Boer War. That was a very different war. ‘‘New Zealand sent about 6500 troops; they were voluntary and there was a death rate of about 3.5 per cent. So when World War I was declared, people quite rightly thought there was a good chance they would survive it. ‘‘But then reality dawned that it was going to be a very different sort of a war.’’
Photo: John Nicholson/Fairfax NZ
Marking t he time that changed t he world Welcome to Last P os Marking a century t, First Light: of sacrifice
History curator Kirstie Ross with the ballot box which is in Te Papa’s Slice of Heaven exhibition.
his Fairfax com memorative publication is pa rt of the preparation for marking the centenary of th e start of the Gr eat War, as it beca me known, an d the events that took place during the war.
Last Post, First Light is Fairfax Media’s contrib ution, using bo th print and its on line strengths to commemorati ng the nation’s military history and sacrifices. www.stuff.co.n z/national/last-p It was a great ostfirst-light and terrible wa r, sending empir es smashing ag The name of th ainst empires, pittin is project com g soldier again es from both the st soldier in cond Last Post, playe itions so terrib d at the end of the le to defy belief. day, whose mou rnful tune bids us to remember thos It changed the e who have serve face of the wo d, and those wh rld, with new coun o have gone. tries arising fro m the collapse of Eu ropean empires But in an act of , and national identitie optimism for th s being forged e future, the playin in young countries g of the Last Po . st is followed by a pa us e, Over the next then the playing of Reve five years New ille , th e traditional Zealand, like th ‘’wake-up’’ call e rest of the for soldiers, at world, will be first light. marking landm ark anniversaries of major wartime We hope to br experiences, ce ing you the man ntred on the y stories of thes centenary of W e tumultuous tim orld War I and es, the heartbreak, the 75th anniversa the braver y, an ry of World War d the wars’ effects on II, while also mark New Zealand an ing other arena d its people. s of conflicts wher e Kiwis have se rved.
T WAS a randomly selected marble from this ballot box that chose the men conscripted for service in World War I. The box, on display at Te Papa, was part of the lottery system that saw 30,000 men conscripted during the war. By 1916 the numbers of volunteers were down on the numbers needed to replace the casualties after three years of war. Military thinking was that the war was going to last until 1920 so conscription was introduced. The ballot box, which is now on display at Te Papa in Wellington in the Slice of Heaven exhibition, was used for military service ballots following
the passage into law of the Military Service Act 1916. It was also used for ballots for military service during World War II, and for National Military Service (also known as Compulsory Military Training) ballots from 1949 until 1972. New Zealand developed a unique method of calling men up for compulsory military service. Most nations simply “called up” all their young men, usually when they turned 18. But New Zealand introduced a system of monthly balloting which involved picking numbered marbles from a small wooden barrel that had been rotated to scramble the balls. The numbers on the ball
were matched with numbers on cards bearing the names of men aged between 17 and 60 who had registered for service under the National Registration Act, 1915. The Truth newspaper described the first selection in November 1916 as “the gamble in human life” and it was also known as the “lottery of death”. The first man picked in the ballot was Peter Joseph Liddell, 27, of Gisborne. Because he is not listed on the Cenotaph database of service personnel he probably never served with the military, perhaps being rejected as unfit or he may have been exempted because of his occupation. For more information go to: tepapa.govt.nz
It’s your choice.
It’s your choice. If you’re Māori, aged 18 or over, it’s time to choose what type of electoral roll you’re on.
He aha ō whakaaro?
Your choice means you’ll vote for a Member of Parliament in either a Māori or General electorate at the next two general elections and may influence the number of Māori and General electorates. Whichever roll you choose you can still vote for whatever party you want.
He aha ō whakaaro? To find out more, call 0800 36 76 56 or visit facebook.com/maorioption or elections.org.nz
Photo: John Nicholson/Fairfax NZ
It’s a database of all New Zealand’s service personnel which is designed to become an important way of remembering the past.
and serial number – and what we want is a much more full personal history.” He says soon there will be the opportunity for anyone – he calls them citizen historians – to go into Cenotaph to find out more, or add more to some records.
It is called Cenotaph, but instead of the names of the fallen being engraved on marble, as so many are on cenotaphs around New Zealand, this is part of a living database, one that can grow thanks to input from friends and families.
“They might have their relatives’ diaries detailing their time in the trenches, or other personal papers that they can scan and upload.”
All sorts: This list shows the embarkation list of the 27th Reinforcements New Zealand Field Artillery who left New Zealand on June 12, 1917. It also shows the mix of men thrown together for the business of war.
Cenotaph is part of the Auckland Museum’s Armoury library research facility and it has been running for the past 15 years. Already it has a searchable online presence and, and as part of the WW100 commemorations marking 100 years since the start of World War I, Cenotaph has received a $300,000 funding boost from the Government which, along with another $400,000 from Auckland Museum, is allowing it to become something much more than a list of names.
“We’re looking to be more than a register of New Zealand’s war casualties,” says Douglas Campbell, the project’s development leader.
anyone with an interest in or family connection to New Zealand’s war efforts to both use the system and contribute to it.
“At this stage it’s like a directory, you can search by name or even by conflict. The redevelopment will make it much richer, more visual and effective.”
Mr Campbell says the redevelopment project will expand the amount of data available.
The improvements will allow
“For many soldiers it’s only a basic record now – name rank
Solid as: A Short Magazine Lee Enfield .303 from Waiouru’s National Army Museum.
.303 inch 44.5 inch (1 130mm) 8lb 15oz (4 .1kg) 10 rounds 350 metres
“It’s a tool for historians, researchers and anyone with just general interest about war – you may not have a relative in it but you can still learn what it was like to be there.”
e: forc ting , a g Figh ri de e 4th B s. en of th Lee Enfield m g n ti pec their art ins 7, with neral H 6 July 191 ier Ge d a g ri B
nzac Day marks the 70th anniversary of New Zealand’s involvement in the War in the Pacific and it will be commemorated by veterans aged between 86 and 96 who are attending a service in Noumea. The ceremony, at the Couraile Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, is being attended by 84 veterans as part of the official delegation. Nearly 25,000 New Zealanders across all three services served at various times in the Pacific War, which raged across the vast expanse of the area and only finished with Japan’s surrender in 1945. Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand general manager, Rick Ottaway, says the men served at a time “when New Zealand was under the possibility of direct threat.” There were more than 900 New Zealand casualties during the conflict. “For many veterans, this will be the first time they have returned to the Pacific, and it will be an emotional experience as they remember their time there, and pay tribute the comrades they lost.”
To get to Cenotaph, go to: aucklandmuseum.com and go to the Cenotaph Database link at the bottom of the page.
Calibre : Overall len gth : Weight : Magazine ca pacity : Accuracy :
He says the redeveloped Cenotaph will also be more interactive, offering visitors the chance to perhaps follow a unit’s progress through a conflict with maps and other media. And he stresses Cenotaph is for everyone, not just those with a family connection.
T WAS the rifle that three generations of New Zealand soldiers trained and fought with.
On patrol: Royal New Zealand Air Force Corsairs flying over Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in 1944.
They helped restore peace to the Pacific
an instant window into history
UST a few keyboard taps lets New Zealanders discover fascinating information about family members who have served in military conflicts.
Photo: Alexander Turnbull Library 1/2-106417-F
Keeping history alive: Douglas Campbell, head of the Cenotaph project, says he wants everyone to get involved and add to their records of New Zealand’s service personnel.
The Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE) .303 rifle, in its various makes and models, served New Zealand soldiers from 1905 until 1955. Some of the troops fighting in Greece and Crete in World War II were using rifles older than they were.
The first of the SMLE (or as it was more commonly known, the Smelly) rifles were bought in 1905 for the soldiers of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, while infantry had to make do with the Lee Enfield Mk I (Longtom) rifle that was used in the Boer War, 1899 to1902. This was still the situation when the New Zealand infantry went ashore at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. It was during this disastrous campaign that
the SMLE Mk III become the standard rifle. Its popularity was due to it being robust, accurate and simple to use. An experienced soldier could fire an aimed shot every two seconds, a rate of fire that was previously unheard of from a general issue rifle. When New Zealand entered World War II many of the SMLE rifles that were issued had been made during World War I. It wasn’t until about 1945 that the New Zealand Army began to replace the SMLE, with some of them continuing to be used for training and parades until 1955.
M AORI TV
HAS THE DAY COVERED It is a time to remember past sacrifices, and from North Africa to Gallipoli and all around New Zealand, commemorations will be televised capturing the essence of what it means to be a New Zealander.
- Television is again HIS year Maori the go-to channel for all things Anzac.
Since 2006 the channel has dedicated its April 25 programming to Anzac Day, staking its claim as the national broadcaster for Anzac commemorations and cementing its place as the home of Anzac Day. Coverage runs all day, starting with live coverage of the dawn service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. There will also be live coverage of the Gallipoli dawn service at Anzac Cove, and a full lineup of Anzac-themed programmes, hosted by presenters Julian Wilcox, Wena Harawira and Judy Bailey. Judy Bailey says it is “an honour and a privilege” to be part of the day. “It’s a long and challenging broadcast but also one with tremendous heart,” she says. “The programme really captures the essence of what it means to be a New Zealander and so many of the stories would never have been told had - Television not had the courage Maori to devote significant time and effort to Anzac Day.” This year marks the 70th anniversary of World War II’s North Africa campaign, a major theme in the day’s coverage. Almost 3000 New Zealand soldiers never returned from North Africa, and many more were either captured or wounded. The Battle of El Alamein was one of the campaign’s defining battles and the return of 22 Kiwi veterans to the battle site last year is the subject of a documentary directed and presented by Cameron Bennett. El Alamein: Line in the Sand follows the veterans back to the desert sands and cemeteries to explore their recollections of the war. With them is Topsy Gardner, - woman whose father died at El a Maori Alamein when she was a baby. Topsy’s emotional journey reveals her quest to discover her father’s resting place. - Television was Bennett says Maori
the only New Zealand broadcaster to commit to Anzac coverage of this scale. “It shows the respect the channel has for giving our heritage a voice and commemorating our involvement in the war.” New Zealand forces were praised for their courage in North Africa and three soldiers – Te Moana-nui- a-Kiwa Ngarimu, Charles Upham and Keith Elliott – went on to be awarded the Victoria Cross. Their bravery is highlighted in several documentaries during the day. In addition, Bennett delves into the history of Sir Bernard Freyberg, who led the New Zealand Division in North Africa,
Key battle: Cameron Bennett at El Alamein railway station. This year marks the 70th anniversary of World War II’s North African campaign.
and he talks to Kiwi veterans about the man who led the Axis troops, Germany’s Erwin Rommel. - Battalion’s A Company The 28th Maori provides a further theme in the Anzac Day schedule. Filmmaker Tainui Stephens, whose uncle was killed in Tunisia, directs and presents an intimate documentary, Hitler and the Gum Diggers – The Story of ‘A’ Company, which looks at the Gum Diggers of the North as they were affectionately known. Ongoing international peacekeeping roles are also covered, with an inside look into the New Zealand Defence Force’s decade-long military history in East Timor (Timor Leste), which ended last November. This is followed by a look at New Zealand’s 10-year stint in Afghanistan as the troops prepare to withdraw, and considers the reasons for being there and the price paid. Australian broadcaster, best-selling author and former Wallaby rugby player Peter FitzSimons will deliver the 2013 Anzac address, talking about the partnership between New Zealand and Australia on the battlefield, the sportsfield and the world stage.
Topsy Gardner, whose father died fighting in North Africa, forms a poignant part of the documentary El Alamein: Line in the Sand.
The arts aren’t forgotten – there’s a specially commissioned programme, The Art of War, which examines war art and artists. Featured artists include Peter McIntyre, who achieved fame for his work during the North Africa campaign, photographer Robin Morrison and Devonport poet Kevin Ireland. Footage also includes an interview with the current official New Zealand Army artist Matt Gauldie, whose images have captured the men and women of the New Zealand Defence Force serving in the remote mountains of Afghanistan and the dense jungle of the Solomon Islands. Later in the evening the Anzac Concert 2013 features special guests Anika Moa and Ria Hall and the 30-strong New Zealand Army band. Highlights include E Pari Ra, a classic World War II song, Vietnam Medley, the NZ Army dance band medley of rock songs and Michael Kamen’s Requiem of a Soldier, the powerful theme song from the TV series, Band of Brothers. Chief executive Jim Mather says it is a powerful lineup. “We believe the lineup for the day gives Kiwis many reasons to tune into Maori Television, he says. “It represents a simple gesture to remind us of the hardships and sacrifices endured by those who have served us in the great conflicts of the 20th century.”
Presenting team: Wena Harawira, Judy Bailey and Julian Wilcox host the - Television. Anzac Day programming on M aori
STAMP ON HISTORY PEACE AT LAST: A Victory stamp issued after World War I.
NZ Post has been part of the fabric of New Zealand for more than 150 years, marking the milestones of a young nation.
HE postal service has played a major role in the development of New Zealand, both in communication and observing key events in the country’s history. New Zealand’s first stamps were issued in July 1855, just 15 years after the Penny Black was first stuck to an envelope in Britain. Posties were delivering the mail by the end of the 1860s, and the Post Office Savings Bank was established. In 1881 the Telegraph and Post operations merged, bringing New Zealand into the electric communications era and linking up the country internally and internationally. Commemorative stamps have long been a feature of the philatelic landscape, covering topics like coronations, centenaries, health camps and the scaling of mountains. War stamps were first off the block back in 1900 when a special issue marked the Boer War. Since then, many of the conflicts, wars and peacekeeping missions in which New Zealand has been involved have appeared on New Zealand stamps in special sets and first-day covers.
tours of duty: NZ Post’s special stamp issue ANZAC 2013 – New Zealanders Serving Abroad highlights six overseas operations – Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Antarctica, Korea and Timor Leste.
In 1915 following the outbreak of World War I, the Post Office issued a special overprinted halfpenny stamp aimed at increasing awareness of, and contributions to, the war effort. When the Armistice was signed, a special set of “Victory” stamps was printed. The 21st anniversary of the Gallipoli landings was commemorated by a series of Anzac stamps, sold at twice the face value as a fundraising initiative for returned service
people. And the end of the World War II prompted the release of a range of stamps called the “Peace” series. The Post Office didn’t just supply stamps for the war effort, it’s workers too played their part. During the Gallipoli campaign and beyond, military post offices dealt with a ceaseless flow of mail to and from the front. In World War II, Post and Telegraph workers were stationed in the Pacific as observers – some making the ultimate sacrifice. Since then, New Zealanders have been serving continually in peace-support operations around the world, as a part of its role in being a good international citizen. This year is the 60th anniversary of the armistice of the Korean War, where New Zealanders served in a peacekeeping role following the end of hostilities. Since then the Defence Force has been active in many overseas locations, from Bosnia and Afghanistan to the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste, and many others in-between, as well as providing ongoing support to Antarctica during its summer season. NZ Post says the duties these dedicated men and women do are crucial to the work of the New Zealand Defence Force, and they are honoured in New Zealand Post’s special stamp issue: ANZAC 2013 – New Zealanders Serving Abroad. The stamps highlight six overseas operations – Afghanistan, BosniaHerzegovina, Antarctica, Korea and Timor Leste – and come in a booklet along with information about each operation.
Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones says he and all members of the Defence Force are delighted by the publication. “New Zealand Post’s Anzac stamp issue showcases to the public the diverse range of operations we have undertaken in recent times. Stamps can capture the core issues around their topic, and we think these images will resonate with the public. “These stamps show our people coping with a diverse range of challenges – from the ice of Antarctica to the tropical terrain of Timor, and the arid and mountainous regions of Afghanistan.” General Jones also said that although Anzac Day was a day on which to remember those who had served in conflicts long past, he hoped the public would also think about those men and women who are serving their country at the moment. “This stamp issue will help in that cause, not just on Anzac Day itself, but for the time these stamps are used and remain publicly available,” he said. The ANZAC 2013 – New Zealanders Serving Abroad collection is available at New Zealand Post outlets, online atnzpost.co.nz/stamps, or from the Collectables and Solutions Centre, New Zealand Post Ltd, Private Bag 3001, Whanganui 4540, New Zealand. A first day cover featuring the iconic poppy is also available.
ON ACTIVE SERVICE
uring World War II a number of New Zealand Post and Telegraph Department staff volunteered to become “coastwatchers” and they were stationed throughout the Pacific, along with New Zealand troops, to keep a lookout and report sightings of enemy activity via radio. Although they were told to expect German forces, the coastwatchers found themselves caught up in the Japanese invasion. When the Japanese occupied the Gilbert Islands (now Kiribati), 17 New Zealand coastwatchers were taken prisoner and held captive for three weeks in appalling conditions at Tarawa, the
capital. On October 15, 1942, the New Zealand Post and Telegraph operators were beheaded. For 70 years the story remained largely unknown until, after a campaign led by former coastwatcher John Jones, the men were officially recognised at a wreath-laying ceremony in October last year at the National War Memorial in Wellington. New Zealand Post says it is planning a memorial to the coastwatchers to be built outside New Zealand Post House later this year, to ensure the men’s sacrifice is not forgotten.
Supreme sacrifice: A wreath-laying commemoration at the National War Memorial last year marked the 70th anniversary of the deaths of 17 New Zealand coastwatchers in the Pacific . From left, coastwatcher John Jones, Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and former minister and now Speaker of the House David Carter lay roses on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.
WARTIME ON THE HOME FRONT
The first Anzac Days... Every April since 1916, New Zealand has marked the horrors of Gallipoli. But what else was going on back home during those earliest of Anzac Days? Adam Dudding trawls the newspaper archives.
he Great War was nearly two years old. New Zealand was shipping its men abroad to fight and die – and in downtown Auckland, Tonson Garlick Cabinetmakers decided the time was ripe to offer a new option for furniture buyers: “Anzac Gray – the newest colour finish for oak furniture,” rhymed the advertisement on page 6 of the Auckland Star of April 26 1916. “See our special window display …” The day before, Kiwis home and abroad had marked their first Anzac Day, a year on from the deaths of so many Australian and New Zealand men at Gallipoli. The same edition of the Star carried a cable from Kiwi forces in Egypt describing the “large attendance of Australians and New Zealanders at [a] most impressive memorial service”. Wellington’s The Dominion reported from a “patriotic meeting” in the capital, where 2000 people had gathered to hear “speeches by leading citizens”, including Mr A R Atkinson who, under the subheading “The Glorious Failure”, argued that “the fact that [the Gallipoli campaign] had been without result emphasised the valour of the troops engaged in it”. Patriotism was everywhere, says University of Canterbury history tutor Dr Gwen Parsons – and advertisers weren’t embarrassed to use it. “If you could link your product to patriotic activity, you were on to a winner.” Which explains Tonson Garlick’s militaryhued furniture, and this ad from the Christchurch Press the following year: “Victory is ours! The astute housewives of the Dominion have found out the tremendous labour-saving power of genuine “No Rubbing’ Laundry Help and now “strafe” all imitations …” The first three Anzac Days were commemorated in wartime. Thanks to the National Library’s marvellous Papers Past website, we took a virtual browse through newspapers of the day, and what’s clear is that while New Zealand treated April 25 with appropriate gravity, it was also going about its regular business: arguing about politics, drinking too much, fighting, milking the cows – and buying furniture and laundry powder. The Star’s cable from Egypt shares a page with the opening of Auckland Grammar’s grand new buildings, a river steamer fire in Taumarunui and the court appearance of Colin Cameron, who pleaded guilty to
the charge of “being an incorrigible rogue” and was sentenced to six months’ hard labour. By war’s end, 104,000 of New Zealand’s million-strong population would have served abroad. One in five of those wouldn’t return. But in April 1916 civil society was still ticking along much as usual, says Parsons. Conscription hadn’t yet been introduced. Thousands had volunteered, but the men needed to run the farms and factories were still at home. “We’re starting to see a few shortages of men. We’re starting to see some disabled men coming back”, says Parsons. Yet despite the daily news of those killed and wounded from the front, “there’s not a huge amount of disruption” of everyday life. Jump forward a year to April 1917, and change is afoot – and once again the advertisers have their finger on the pulse. “Women have always had their work to do in the world,” declares an ad in the Press of April 26, 1917. “Now the work is to be increased. Broader fields are being thrown open to the feminine portion of the world. The men must fight, the women must work...” The ad rambles on in the same vein until finally getting to the point: working women need healthy kidneys, and fortunately: “Dr. Sheldon’s Gin Pills will banish the fear of Kidney trouble by removing the cause … All classes of women find in Dr. Sheldon’s Gin Pills a secure and safe remedy for bodily weakness and ailments”. In fact, says Parsons, while there was much public discussion of the changing role of women in society, much of that change was happening elsewhere. In the UK huge numbers of women joined uniformed auxiliary services or took factory jobs vacated by fighting men, but in New Zealand labour shortages were less extreme and women remained on the margins. “Banks gave in and employed women clerks, but they were not allowed at the front desk where they would be working with customers. You get more women working as typists, but that trend was happening anyway. You get more women
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going into teaching, but of course at much lower pay rates.” The papers of April 26, 1917 duly record Anzac Day ceremonies but they also record undercurrents of unease: a miner’s strike on the West Coast, and Christchurch’s mayoral election, which was won by a candidate who ran on a ticket of supporting conscription. The Press didn’t sit on the fence: “It is a pity that these reverent celebrations of a great occasions, full of hallowed memories, were brought into conflict with the jarring sounds of a contested election. We may, however, at least be grateful that Christchurch did not do dishonour both to itself and the day by casting a vote on the side of disloyalty and want of patriotism.” In the “General News” section, meanwhile, we learn that residents of Rakaia district “were somewhat perturbed” at the introduction of a new railway time-table, a stag has been seen in a paddock in the Kaiapoi district and there is a sale of boots in Cashel St. From Hamilton comes a report of the death of Albert Ryan at the hands of David Morgan Leckie: “Evidence was given by two witnesses to the effect that Leckie hit the deceased over the head with a full bottle of lemonade in the bar parlour of the
Grab a beak-full: This Kaka Beer advert from Dunedin packs a patriotic punch.
Commercial Hotel. Leckie complained that the deceased had seriously kicked him in a certain place and had ruined him.” Turn the pages again to April 1918, and bad behaviour and booze are still problematic. Under the headline “Regrettable scene at Anzac dinner”, the Press of April 29 reports on the drunken behaviour of returned servicemen at a Wellington function. Most of the 800 men arrived half-cut, and “after less than half an hour the men were quite out of hand, and it was decided that the dinner had better be closed down. … The scene was disgraceful.” Boozing soldiers were a cause of widespread anxiety, says Parsons. From the time the first young men headed abroad, mothers worried their boys would be “ruined” by the twin temptations of drink and sex (venereal disease was a serious worry in this pre-antibiotic era). They had good cause. The idea that our soldiers might drink heavily was generally dismissed, as it didn’t fit the Anzac legend of the down-to-earth gentleman. “But when you actually get an example of that, in the capital – shock horror! There was real disquiet.” (Parsons adds that by late that year, as the war tilted Britain’s way and it became clear Kiwi soldiers would soon be home, there was something approaching panic at the prospect of drunken servicemen flooding the cities. “They brought in war regulations which basically shut down pubs when troop ships arrived in the city.”) In general, says Parsons, life in New Zealand during the last year of the war was tough. Many people had lost one or more relatives. There were shortages of men for certain
jobs. There was increasing industrial action as worker struggled with rising prices. All the same, the “Woman’s World” pages of the same edition brings an update from a meeting in Tinakori Rd of the Baby Competition Committee, and a regurgitated article from London’s Daily Mail about the etiquette of meat rationing. A more pressing concern for New Zealand mothers, though, was that conscription of married men – known as the “Second Division” – had finally begun. Previously, conscription had been restricted mainly to single men (the First Division). On April 29 1918, though, it came to a head as Canterbury’s Second Division set off to camp. The result, according to the Press, was “the most disgraceful scenes that have ever occurred in Christchurch”. The Press report, decorated with subheadings such as “PANDEMONIUM”, “AFFRAY IN THE STREET” and “MELEE IN THE BARRACKS” recounts how 143 men – 63 from the Second Division – paraded through the streets, but were disrupted by thousands of onlookers, mainly women, who “hooted and jeered and urged on the men to defy the military”. Something like a riot broke out, and only half the men made it to camp. Stroppy women were everywhere, the Press reports: “One policeman grabbed hold of a youth in knickerbockers who was unduly obstreperous, but the officer was promptly attacked by a woman armed with an umbrella, who neatly rescued the boy.” Earlier that week, the Wellington Post had run ran a letter to the editor describing an Anzac Day meeting where “in one of the momentary silences in the room another
voice – a very little one – from the floor took up the story, ‘My daddy’s called up.’ A ripple of laughter started and spread through the room. The little interrupter looked round in surprise. She did not understand this reception of her plaint. The pathos of the situation suddenly struck the audience – the laughter subsided, and no further oratory was needed.” Parsons points out that newspapers of the day couldn’t tell the whole story of New Zealand life during the war. There was genuine and widespread patriotism, but it was enforced through the media’s self- and official censorship. Sedition laws meant that even if you had personal doubts about the rightness of the Allied cause, you’d think twice before saying it out loud. There were court cases, says Parsons, where Mrs So and So had been heard saying something she shouldn’t have – suggesting that perhaps we wouldn’t win the war, or she’d heard that actually more of our ships had been sunk than the government has been telling us. All the same the papers of the wartime Anzac Days paint a version of New Zealand that’s still somewhat familiar. In Oamaru police had no new leads in the murder of George Burke. Milford Sound experienced its driest summer in 40 years. Dr Campbell told the Auckland Herald he had treated a man for a spider bite on his finger. In Dunedin, a whale, “15ft in length, forsook the quiet ocean depths for the shallow waters near the beach at Macandrews Bay ... when it was observed spouting in front of Mr C G Smith’s residence.”
Actually, some things have changed. Upon seeing the whale, Mr Smith headed out in a dinghy, towed the flailing whale ashore and sent it to Burnside to be boiled down. “It is anticipated,” reported the Press, “that Mr Smith will be well repaid for his trouble.”
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A fist full of footy: James Gwilt of the St Kilda Saints in training at Westpac Stadium earlier this year. St Kilda is taking on the Sydney Swans for the first-ever Australian Rules Premiership match played outside Australia.
This will definitely be the time
Photo: Robert Charles/Taranaki Daily News
This is a sports match that is breaking new ground in all kinds of ways.
HE Anzac Day Australian Football League match in Wellington between AFL Premiers the Sydney Swans and Melbourne’s St Kilda Saints will be an historic sporting occasion, as well as a commemoration of a day that is uniquely special to two countries. The match is the first time an AFL Premiership game is played outside Australia and it will be screened live on television in Australia and New Zealand. The action kicks off at 5.00pm at Westpac Stadium with a curtain raiser between the NZ Hawks senior AFL team and a South Pacific selection squad, with the main event starting at 7pm. Being Anzac Day there is a strong
commemorative aspect to the main match. Chris Mullane, a former national vice president of the RSA and the executive director of the Fields of Remembrance Trust (the instigators of the White Crosses Project), says there will a service before the game to mark the day. Starting at 7pm the pre-match activities and entertainment will include a Remembrance Ceremony and other events. A special trophy, the “SimpsonHenderson” has been created by the RNZRSA in conjunction with the AFL and city council and it will be presented to the winning team. “It is named after the Australian Army medic John ‘Jack’ Simpson Kirkpatrick and Richard Henderson a NZ medic,” Mr Mullane says.
“When Simpson was killed on Gallipoli, one of the people who took up the job of getting the wounded to safety on the back of the donkey was the New Zealander Richard Henderson. There’s a statue outside the National War Memorial to Henderson with his donkey. It looks very similar to Simpson and his Donkey which the Australians have outside their National War Memorial Museum.” Prior to the match there will also be a brief video about the White Crosses Project, which aims to allow families to remember the contributions of previous generations during World War One. (See the story below for more information on that.)
details of Simpson and Henderson. “They will place those in a mini field of remembrance at the end of the playing field. That is to show the Australia-New Zealand connection, and because the two of them were medics who were evacuating wounded, they exemplify the Anzac spirit and mateship.” After a warm-up by the two teams Mr Mullane says the NZ and Australian flags will be raised with a catafalque guard party from the NZ and Australian defence forces who will perform a short service including the playing of the Last Post. There will be the reading of the Ode by RNZRSA President Don McIver
and it will also be said in Te Reo. Then it is Rouse, the two national anthems and a pretty exciting game of footy. And don’t rush away, Mr Mullane says, as after the match there will be the presentation of the SimpsonHenderson Trophy and the Anzac Day medal to the player of the match. [For those not fully conversant with the ins and outs and ups and downs of Aussie Rules, here’s a how-to guide care of the St Kilda Saints. www.saints.com.au/NZ/about
Two children will present white wooden crosses bearing the personal
A personal act of memory
T WAS a very spontaneous and personal response to some white crosses which has lead to a widespread movement to remember New Zealand’s service personnel. Chris Mullane, who is the executive director of the Fields of Remembrance Trust, also known as the White Crosses Project, says the spark for everything was a Flemish exhibition that toured New Zealand in 2009. It was acknowledging New Zealand’s role in the war in Belgium, “particularly in the area of Flanders where 5000 New Zealanders died”. The exhibition, Passchendaele: The Belgians Have Not Forgotten, ended in Auckland where there was a six-week display in Fort Takapuna in Devonport. Next to the fort, Mr Mullane says, is an old parade ground on which
many soldiers in World War I trained on. 5000 blank, white, wooden crosses with a poppy pinned to them were placed in the ground. At first the council wanted to put in security to stop people vandalising the crosses, and there were signs telling people not to enter. “I said: ‘That’s the wrong attitude, we have to say you’re welcome to walk amongst the crosses but please treat them with the respect they deserve.’ “Within two to three days they were being vandalised ... but in a way that nobody had anticipated. “Families were coming along with felt pens and writing the names of their ancestors who had fought in the war and they were personalising the crosses, adding photographs, stories, holding their own little commemoration ceremonies and leaving wreathes and flowers.” At the end of the six weeks he says the tapu was lifted and the crosses were taken out of the ground. Families who wanted to take their crosses could do so and the rest were
put into storage for future use. “They were offered around the country to any communities and RSAs who wanted some.” Some communities were very keen. “The Whangarei RSA asked for 450 for the people who they believed served from the city, and later came back and got another 200 because they found there were 650 people. “Every year since 2010, a month before Anzac Day, they install the crosses in a field of remembrance and everyone of those crosses is now personalised to somebody from the district.” Mr Mullane says more communities are using the white crosses. “There are even tiny places have come on board, making their own crosses.” In the last week the trust has helped set up a small field of remembrance at Parliament to the seven MPs who left to fight in World War
I-two were wounded but all seven returned – and the National Cross of Remembrance was installed at Te Papa. “This is based on the big crosses of sacrifice that the Commonwealth War Graves have in every CWG cemetery in Europe. “For the next five years they will be there for various periods of time with associated displays around it telling about New Zealand’s involvement and the impact on our nation.” In 2018 it is planned to set up 18,000 crosses in Westpac Stadium for Remembrance Day on November 11 for a national Field of Remembrance. “It is intended that it will be followed by a celebration of the nation that we became as a result of the sacrifices that were made at the home front, and overseas.”
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on the battlefield
There may have been fighter planes in the skies during World War I, but on the ground it was the horse that got things moving.
he story of New Zealand’s war horses is told in a major exhibition at the National Army Museum in Waiouru.
More than 20,000 New Zealand horses were shipped across the world to foreign soils for the Boer War and World War I. Some did not survive the long sea journey, while the rest took the troops into battle or hauled guns and goods. They survived on meagre rations and endured the heat and flies on the veldt or in the desert, and then the snow and mud on the Western Front. Some succumbed to disease and others to their battle wounds. When the guns were silenced, only a handful returned home. The exhibition, Harnessed: New Zealand’s War Horses, tells their story. “For many of us the story of the horse in war is often overlooked,” museum curator Windsor Jones says. “In fact in World War I, a staggering 8 million horses were killed, from all countries. This exhibition tells of our own war horses and how they took troops into battle in the Anglo-Boer War and World War I, of how they were looked after and loved by the men, and at war’s end, sadly, how they were left behind.” The exhibition includes uniforms, weaponry, saddles and equipment of each era as well as dioramas depicting a Western Front scene, together with a farrier at work in a stable workshop. The National Army Museum is open daily from 9am to 4.30pm and the exhibition is on display in the Freyberg Gallery until December.
For more information about what is on at the museum, go to: armymuseum.co.nz.
Susan Peters looks at the story of Bess, who served throughout World War I and was one of just four NZ horses to return.
N a paddock a few kilometres west of Bulls is one of New Zealand’s more unusual World War I memorials.
On top of a plinth lies a round stone in memory of Bess the horse. Her war service is etched into the stone: Main body 1914, Egypt 1915, Sinai 1916, Palestine 1917-1918, France 1918, Germany 1919, England 1920. Bess was 24 when she died, but what is so remarkable is that she came home from war at all. For a long time she was believed to be the only horse out of the 10,000 sent from New Zealand to the fighting who did return though it has been discovered that three other horses made the trip back. The history of New Zealand horses which served in World War I is piecemeal and difficult to pin down. It lies in newspaper articles, letters and official records but it takes a combination of detective work, determination and luck to bring it all together.
True troo per: Bess was just one of four hors es out of the 10 overseas in W ,000 sent orld War I that came back to New Zealand.
That’s where Imelda Bargas comes in. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage historian is researching the New Zealand horses who went to war and her findings will be included in a book, New Zealand’s First World War Heritage, that she and fellow historian Tim Shoebridge are writing. “I’m focused on how we gathered 10,000 horses in New Zealand, and how we selected the ones that came back – rather than what happened to them during the war.” Other accounts, such as Marcus Wilson’s The Good Steed, consider the experience of New Zealand’s military horses in depth. Of the four who came home, Bess is the best known. “But it would be nice to do all New Zealand horses justice,” she says. “Sometimes you get one piece and it all falls into place. And sometimes you’re never entirely satisfied with the picture that comes together. That will probably be the case with this, simply because a lot of details haven’t been retained.” What is known is that the drive to get horses for the war was partly a community effort, partly government driven.
ted Rifles: llington Moun rld War I. Men of the We Campaign during Wo ine est Pal the Sinai and Taking a break during tion y Museum collec Source: National Arm
Lasting legacy: The horse on Wellington’s cenotaph is based on Bess.
It was, she says, motivated by patriotic duty, in the same way men were motivated to enlist. About 1300 horses donated by individuals or communities were accepted and those communities would kit out a soldier and his mount, providing everything needed for them to head to war. It was also a massive logistical exercise run by Department of Agriculture stock inspectors who purchased the remaining 8700 animals, examined, classified and branded them before they went into training camps or overseas. Initially remount depots were set up for the horses in Christchurch, Dunedin and Palmerston North before a more permanent base was established at Upper Hutt, complete with a horse hospital. There was an assumption that because mounted troops had been a big part of the Boer War, they would also play a major part in the European war. It would prove not to be the case – at first. The New Zealand horses were shipped to Egypt where most remained until the Anzac mounted troops were brought into the fighting in Sinai and Palestine in 1916. Accounts of their deeds in those conflicts have been documented in a 2007 book, Devils on Horses, by Terry Kinloch.
What happened to the New Zealand horses immediately after that isn’t entirely clear, although there are estimates about 1500 died from disease or injury whilst in service. Ms Bargas says many New Zealand soldiers desperately wanted to bring their horses home from the Middle East but they were hampered by a severe lack of shipping and by animal diseases the horses had been exposed to. There are accounts of New Zealanders shooting their horses rather than leaving them with locals who had a reputation for cruelty and underfeeding their animals. Bess served in the Middle East, and then went to France. Like the other three horses which came back to New Zealand, she was associated with Sir Alexander Russell, commanding officer of the New Zealand Division in France. Bess did live a long and happy life with the man who had ridden her during the war years – Colonel Charles Guy Powles. It was Powles who erected the memorial to her. Ms Bargas says she is in the initial stages of her research. The book she and Shoebridge are working on is to be published next year. Meanwhile, a group called the Friends of Bess is planning an Anzac Day service at her memorial (as it has done for several years) and are also working towards improving public access to the site. Read more about these and other publications the Ministry for Culture and Heritage is working on as part of the First World War Centenary History Programme on mch.govt.nz/what-we-do/ our-projects/current/first-world-war-centenaryprojects or ‘‘like’’ the Facebook page for regular updates on Imelda and Tim’s project facebook.com/ NewZealandsFirstWorldWarHeritage. Horse memorial: A tribute to Bess with her battle records inscribed on it.
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