western front

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New Zealand and Le Quesnoy

  • New Zealand and Le Quesnoy

    It was the New Zealand Division's final action of the First World War. On 4 November 1918, just a week before the Armistice was signed, New Zealand troops stormed the walled French town of Le Quesnoy. The 90 men killed were among the last of the 12,483 who fell on the Western Front.

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  • Page 2 – The liberation of Le Quesnoy

    The capture of the French town of Le Quesnoy by the New Zealand Division on 4 November 1918 has special significance in New Zealand's military history.

  • Page 3 – Visiting Le Quesnoy

    Just 4 kilometres east of Beaudignies in northern France is Le Quesnoy. This town was in German hands for almost all of the First World War, from August 1914, until the New

  • Page 4 – Battle accounts, Lieutenant Averill

    Leslie Cecil Lloyd Averill is best remembered for his exploits during the liberation of Le Quesnoy on 4 November 1918.

  • Page 5 – Battle accounts, Private Nimmo

    Captain James Matheson Nimmo joined 3rd Battalion, 3rd New Zealand (Rifle) Brigade on 27 September 1918.

1916: Armentières and the Battle of the Somme

  • 1916: Armentières and the Battle of the Somme

    Following the Gallipoli withdrawal, the newly formed New Zealand Division left for France in early April 1916. Sent to the Flanders region to gain front-line experience, they spent the next three months guarding a ‘quiet’ or ‘nursery’ sector of the line at Armentières before moving south to the Somme battlefields and their first large-scale action on the Western Front.

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  • Page 1 - The Battle of the SommeFollowing the Gallipoli withdrawal, the newly formed New Zealand Division left for France in early April 1916. Sent to the Flanders region to gain front-line experience, they

British Empire

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 2 - Niueans and Cook IslandersInformation about Niuean and Cook Island soldiers who were part of the 3rd Maori Contingent of Reinforcements in

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 4 - New Zealand goes to warBefore the outbreak of war, Prime Minister W.F. Massey had made it clear that New Zealand’s main contribution would be supplying troops to the major theatre of conflict. But

Māori in the NZEF

  • Māori in the NZEF

    More than 2000 Maori served in the Māori Contingent and Pioneer Battalion during the First World War

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  • Page 4 - On the Western FrontThe New Zealand Pioneer Battalion arrived in France in April 1916. It was the first unit of the New Zealand Division to move onto the bloody battlefield of the

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 4 – Railwaymen in the NZEF

    More than 5000 permanent NZR employees served overseas during the war, about 40% of the 1914 workforce

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 3 – The Passchendaele offensive

    The failed attempt to capture the town of Passchendaele saw more New Zealanders killed in one day than in any other military campaign since 1840.

  • Page 4 – After Passchendaele

    Military events in Belgium after the Passchendaele offensive of October 1917, including the failed attack at Polderhoek

1918: Spring Offensive and Advance to Victory

  • 1918: Spring Offensive and Advance to Victory

    In 1918, a series of major German and Allied offensives broke the stalemate of trench warfare on the Western Front, resulting in the collapse of the German Army and the end of the war within the year. New Zealand units played an important part in the Allies' final push for victory.

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  • Page 1 - 1918: spring offensive and advance to victoryIn 1918, a series of major German and Allied offensives broke the stalemate of trench warfare on the Western Front, resulting in the collapse of the German Army and the end of the

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 6 - Communications on the Western FrontIn April 1916, the recently formed New Zealand Division was transported by troopship across the Mediterranean from the Egyptian port of Alexandria to Marseille in the south of

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 7 - Western FrontMore than 3000 horses and mules went from Egypt to France with the New Zealand Division in April 1916. Most of these horses had probably come from New Zealand

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