Passchendaele activities

Page 6 – Their names liveth for ever more activity

Many memorials to those killed in the First World War state that those listed will live ‘for ever more’. A minority of soldiers who won medals or were acknowledged by their school (for example, in the name of a building or prize) have seen their name ‘liveth for ever more’. What about the thousands of others who did not achieve such status? What do we know about them? How do we find out about these people and bring a school’s roll of honour to life?

There are two very useful websites that students can go to if they want to find out more about someone who was killed during the war. These can help people who are conducting some family research or trying to find out more about an ex-pupil.

The Auckland Museum’s Cenotaph database enables you to search for personal records on those killed while serving in the New Zealand forces during the war. It does not show, though, those New Zealanders who served in the forces of overseas nations, such as Britain or Australia, of which there were many. A site that can help find these people, as well as perhaps shed more light on those found in the Cenotaph database, is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Both of these sites are very user-friendly.

How can teachers and students use these databases?

1. Adopt a name.

  • Select a name from the school’s roll of honour, and use the websites (above) to build up a profile of that student.
  • Use these sites to build a database for all of the school’s war dead. This could then be used in a variety of ways. For example, you could map the places where people were killed and/or buried, or you could create graphs showing the dates of deaths or the ages of those killed.
  • Information, photos or other material from the websites could be used to enhance the school honour board.

2. A school assembly could be held on significant days associated with the war, and some of these old boys’ lives could be brought to life.

3. The information gathered from the websites could be used, in conjunction with any school records that might exist, to find out which year group suffered the most. Class and sports team photos could be used to help with a drama presentation on that year group.

How to cite this page

'Their names liveth for ever more activity', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/classroom/ncea2/passchendaele/their-names-liveth, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 15-Jul-2016