disease

Events In History

Articles

The 1918 influenza pandemic

  • The 1918 influenza pandemic

    The lethal influenza pandemic that struck New Zealand between October and December 1918 killed more than 8600 people in two months. No other event has claimed so many New Zealand lives in such a short time.

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  • Page 2 – The pandemic begins abroad

    The 1918 influenza pandemic was commonly referred to as ‘the Spanish flu’ but it did not originate in Spain.

  • Page 3 – The pandemic hits New Zealand

    Many people believed that the second wave of the 1918 influenza pandemic arrived in New Zealand in the form of ‘a deadly new virus’ on board the RMS Niagara.

  • Page 4 – Uneven rates of death

    No other event has killed so many New Zealanders in so short a space of time. While the First World War claimed the lives of more than 18,000 New Zealand soldiers over a four-

  • Page 5 – Response to the influenza pandemic

    There were consistencies in New Zealand's response to the influenza pandemic. Many of these arose out of a circular telegram the Health Minister, George Russell, issued to all

  • Page 6 – Aftermath

    Robert Makgill Following the pandemic speculation continued over the Niagara's involvement in bringing the virus to New Zealand.

Life in the trenches

Pacific Islanders in the NZEF

  • Pacific Islanders in the NZEF

    Cook Islanders, Niueans, Fijians and Gilbert Islanders all took their place in the ranks of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force during the First World War. As well as the dangers of war, Pacific soldiers faced language difficulties, an unfamiliar army diet and European diseases.

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  • Page 5 – Difficulties faced by Pacific Islanders

    Information on the difficulties faced by Pacific Islanders when they left their island homes for the first time and entered the army.

NZ's First World War horses

  • NZ's First World War horses

    Between 1914 and 1916 the New Zealand government acquired more than 10,000 horses to equip the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. They served in German Samoa, Gallipoli, the Middle East and on the Western Front. Of those that survived the war, only four returned home.

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  • Page 4 - German SamoaA total of 141 New Zealand horses were transported to Samoa during the First World War. Of these, 25 were despatched with the Samoa Advance Party of the New Zealand Expeditionary

The Salonika campaign

  • The Salonika campaign

    23 October is the anniversary of the 1915 sinking of the Marquette with the loss of 32 New Zealanders, including 10 nurses. They were en route from Egypt to the Greek port of Salonika as New Zealand’s contribution to the little-known Allied campaign in the Balkans

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  • Page 5 – NZEF involvement

    The New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) provided no combat units for the campaign in Salonika. The official contribution of New Zealanders was brief but marked by tragedy

The Ottoman Empire

  • The Ottoman Empire

    Few Kiwis today know much about one of our main First World War enemies, the Ottoman Empire - a sophisticated but often forgotten empire whose soldiers fought against New Zealand troops for four years in the Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine campaigns.

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  • Page 12 – The Turkish soldier's experience

    Mehmetçik – ‘Little Mehmet’ – was an affectionate Turkish nickname for Ottoman (Turkish) soldiers.

Passchendaele: fighting for Belgium

  • Passchendaele: fighting for Belgium

    Ever since 1917 Passchendaele has been a byword for the horror of the First World War. The assault on this tiny Belgian village cost the lives of thousands of New Zealand soldiers. But its impact reached far beyond the battlefield, leaving deep scars on many New Zealand communities and families.

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  • Page 6 - Helping the woundedMore than 14,000 New Zealanders were wounded between June and December 1917 in Belgium, and medical staff, orderlies, chaplains and stretcher-bearers worked round the clock to

Hospital ships

  • Hospital ships

    The Maheno and Marama were the poster ships of New Zealand's First World War effort. Until 1915 these steamers had carried passengers on the Tasman route. But as casualties mounted at Gallipoli, the government - helped by a massive public fundraising campaign - converted them into state-of-the-art floating hospitals.

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  • Page 4 - Civilians at GallipoliThe Maheno arrived in the Mediterranean in time for the Allies’ bloody late August 1915 offensives to find that not much had improved since the April

Armistice Day

  • Armistice Day

    After four terrible years, the First World War finally came to a close with the signing of an armistice between Germany and the Allied Powers on 11 November 1918. New Zealanders celebrated enthusiastically, despite having recently celebrated the surrenders of the three other Central Powers and the premature news of an armistice with Germany.

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  • Page 5 - Armistice Day and the fluThe influenza pandemic dampened some Armistice festivities, particularly in