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Events on this Day – 25 August

1916

After being found guilty of desertion, 28-year-old Private Frank Hughes was killed by a firing squad in Hallencourt, northern France. He was the first New Zealand soldier executed during the First World War.

1920

Captain Euan Dickson completed the first air crossing of Cook Strait, flying a 110-hp Le Rhone Avro from Christchurch to Upper Hutt with the first air mail between the South and North Islands.

1948

Three people were killed, 80 injured and about 150 buildings destroyed or badly damaged by New Zealand’s deadliest recorded tornado. The damage was estimated at more than £1 million (equivalent to $77 million in 2020).