Passchendaele activities

Page 4 – Examining primary sources activity, Passchendaele

a. Look at the photo of uniformed school cadets in the grounds of the Marist Brothers School at Wanganui shortly after the passage of the Defence Act 1910. Then do the following:

  • In a paragraph of between six and eight lines, outline why you believe school cadets were an important way of preparing boys for the possibility of fighting a war.
  • In a paragraph of between six and eight lines, outline whether or not you think schools today should be expected to make all young people between 12 and 14 years old undergo 40 hours of physical training each year as Junior Cadets. Remember to justify your opinion.

b. Look at the certificate of merit from the Passchendaele media gallery. Using this and any other information you have, complete the following activities:

  • What was this certificate awarded for?
  • When was this certificate awarded?
  • What symbols of nationhood have been used in this certificate?
  • What evidence is there on this certificate of the Anzac spirit?
  • Explain the significance of the image in the centre at the top of the certificate?
  • Who is Captain Leopold McLaglen?
  • In a paragraph of six lines, describe your personal feelings/reactions to this certificate.
  • Given that New Zealand was at war in 1915, do you believe it was appropriate for boys to learn how to use a bayonet while at school? Explain your answer.
How to cite this page

'Examining primary sources activity, Passchendaele ', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 13-Jan-2016