WW1 home front

Events In History

Articles

First World War - overview

  • First World War - overview

    Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife Sophie were assassinated in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo. This was a key event in sparking the Great War of 1914–18.

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  • Page 5 – The war at home

    New Zealand played a small but useful part in the British Empire's war effort, and its essential war aim was achieved with the defeat of Germany and its allies in late 1918.

Supporting the war effort

Schools and the First World War

  • Schools and the First World War

    Schools and children were quickly called into action at the outset of the First World War in 1914. Developing patriotic, fit and healthy citizens was seen as important to the survival of the country and the Empire. Hundreds of teachers joined the NZEF, including many from sole-teacher schools. Almost 200 never returned.

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  • Page 4 – The School Journal

    During the First World War the New Zealand School Journal played an important role in encouraging patriotism, self-sacrifice, obedience and support for the war effort among

  • Page 6 – Supporting the war effort

    During the war children were encouraged to be ‘cheerful’ and ‘helpful’, to ease the worry and sorrow of the mothers and wives of soldiers. There were also many practical ways

  • Page 7 – Teachers who served

    Whether as school cadet officers or supporters of saluting the flag, teachers did much to set the moral tone of New Zealand schools before and during the war. Many hundreds

The Post and Telegraph Department at war

  • The Post and Telegraph Department at war

    The Post and Telegraph Department (the government agency from which New Zealand Post, Telecom and Kiwibank are descended) was crucial to this country’s participation in the First World War.

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  • Page 3 – The Post and Telegraph Department in 1914

    In the early 20th century, the Post and Telegraph Department's reach extended throughout the Dominion, and it was to stretch even further after war broke out in August 1914.

First World War farewells

  • First World War farewells

    Between 1914 and 1918, New Zealanders farewelled more than 100,000 men as they headed off to a military training camp or went straight to war.

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  • Page 1 - First World War farewellsBetween 1914 and 1918, New Zealanders farewelled more than 100,000 men as they headed off to a military training camp or went straight to war.

First World War laws and regulations

First World War by the numbers

  • First World War by the numbers

    This article provides a clearly written and carefully argued statistical survey of New Zealand’s military contribution to the First World War.

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  • Page 1 - First World War by the numbersThis article provides a clearly written and carefully argued statistical survey of New Zealand’s military contribution to the First World War.

The Public Service at war - overview

NZ Railways at war

  • NZ Railways at war

    The railway system and its workforce was one of the most valuable assets available to the New Zealand state to support the national effort during the First World War

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  • Page 3 – NZ Railways in 1914

    On the other side of the world, New Zealand’s rail network was a small link in the vast wartime supply chain

  • Page 5 – Manpower challenges at home

    How did New Zealand Railways (NZR) keep up its massive manpower commitments during the First World War, while still maintaining services to its customers?

  • Page 6 – Railways war memorials

    Railway workers honoured the service and sacrifice of their colleagues in numerous ways.

First World War homecomings

  • First World War homecomings

    New Zealand troops began returning from overseas in small numbers in late 1914. The first arrivals, from Samoa, were followed by many more from Egypt and Turkey, and later from England and France.

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  • Page 1 - First World War homecomingsNew Zealand troops began returning from overseas in small numbers in late 1914. The first arrivals, from Samoa, were followed by many more from Egypt and Turkey, and later from

The public service in 1914

  • The public service in 1914

    In 1914 the public service employed 33,000 permanent employees, including railway workers, post and telegraph staff, teachers, and police, plus 16,000 temporary employees, mainly in public works and railways.

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  • Page 1 - The public service in 1914In 1914 the public service employed 33,000 permanent employees, including railway workers, post and telegraph staff, teachers, and police, plus 16,000 temporary employees, mainly

Getting the men to war

  • Getting the men to war

    The public service was the engine of New Zealand’s military war effort between 1914 and 1918. It took charge of signing up – and later conscripting – men for service abroad, training them, clothing them, housing them and transporting them to the northern hemisphere, where they became the responsibility of the British military.

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  • Page 1 - Getting the men to warThe public service was the engine of New Zealand’s military war effort between 1914 and 1918. It took charge of signing up – and later conscripting – men for service abroad,

Maintaining public services during the war

  • Maintaining public services during the war

    The government immediately reset its priorities on the outbreak of war in August 1914. Everything else was subordinated to winning the war.

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  • Page 1 - Maintaining public servicesThe government immediately reset its priorities on the outbreak of war in August 1914. Everything else was subordinated to winning the war.

Feeding Britain

  • Feeding Britain

    From March 1915 the British government purchased New Zealand’s entire output of frozen meat to help ensure a regular flow of food to the British public and the British Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium.

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  • Page 1 - Feeding BritainFrom March 1915 the British government purchased New Zealand’s entire output of frozen meat to help ensure a regular flow of food to the British public and the British

Policing the war effort

  • Policing the war effort

    In 1914 the New Zealand government moved quickly to strengthen the rule of law and keep the country focused on winning the war

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  • Page 1 - Policing the war effortIn 1914 the New Zealand government moved quickly to strengthen the rule of law and keep the country focused on winning the

Repatriation of returned servicemen

Honouring public servants

  • Honouring public servants

    The public service as a whole, government departments and individual public servants found a myriad of ways to honour their employees’ and colleagues’ war service.

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  • Page 1 - Honouring public servantsThe public service as a whole, government departments and individual public servants found a myriad of ways to honour their employees’ and colleagues’ war

New Zealanders who resisted the First World War

  • New Zealanders who resisted the First World War

    Lists of men who for a variety of reasons refused to serve in the First World War.

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  • Page 3 – Convictions for sedition 1915-18

    The War Regulations Act 1914 allowed citizens to be arrested and charged with sedition for making ‘disloyal’ or ‘seditious’ statements, either verbally or in print. This page

Recruiting and conscription

  • Recruiting and conscription

    Recruiting men for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) was among the New Zealand government’s most pressing priorities during the four difficult years of the First World War. Tens of thousands were needed every year to keep the NZEF up to strength, and finding them presented major logistical, bureaucratic and tactical challenges to those responsible.

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  • Page 1 - Recruiting and conscriptionRecruiting men for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) was among the New Zealand government’s most pressing priorities during the four difficult years of the First World

Merchant marine

  • Merchant marine

    On 3 September New Zealand honours Merchant Navy Day. Here we explore the little-known but vital role played by the merchant marine during the First World War, when these civilian seafarers often found themselves in the front line of the war at sea.

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  • Page 7 - Home watersThe First World War had a dramatic impact on shipping to and from New

Rolls of honour and obituaries

Biographies

  • Fraser, Malcolm

    Scotsman Malcolm Fraser was one of the most important public servants in New Zealand’s military war effort. As government statistician he was directly responsible for devising and administering the conscription system.

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  • Robin, Alfred William

    As General Officer Commanding the troops based in New Zealand, Alfred Robin was the person with the most direct overall responsibility for New Zealand’s military war effort other than the Minister of Defence

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  • Triggs, Robert

    Robert Triggs served as Assistant Public Service Commissioner and Public Trustee during the First World War

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  • Mulcahy

    Mary Mulcahy was one of the many women who worked on the conscription ballot for Government Statistician Malcolm Fraser in the second half of the war

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Related keywords

  • Mary Downie Stewart was an active member of various women’s organisations in Dunedin during the First World War

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