New Zealand and the First World War book
New Zealand and the First World War book
Gallipoli plate from New Zealand and the First World War book
The Battle of Chunuk Bair painting
The Sinai Campaign plate
Scene from the Sinai Campaign
Maori and Pacific War Effort plate
Image showing Maori soldiers at Messines
Life at Home plate
A mother says goodbye to her son
New Zealand Women at War plate
The War at Sea plate
HMS Barham at anchor in Scapa Flow
New Zealanders and the Air War plate
Recruit's handbook pull out
First World War postcard pull-out
Notification of death letter for deserter pull-out
Cairo soldiers' club notice pull-out
New Zealand and the First World War book and slip cover

The first of its kind for New Zealand – a lavish, landmark production – New Zealand and the First World War dynamically illustrates 50 key episodes of our wartime life.

Featuring over 500 images, many previously unpublished, the book comes with a host of memorabilia: fold-out maps, posters, booklets, letters and postcards.

The complete story of New Zealand’s war is brought to life in dramatic detail – our front-line experiences overseas as well as those on the home front, from the outbreak in 1914 to demobilisation in 1919. This terrible conflict was not restricted to faraway battlefields like Gallipoli and Passchendaele – it had an unparalleled impact on New Zealand society, touching nearly every family, every street and every community. Until now, no single history has explored New Zealand’s role in the First World War with such breadth and colour. A defining history for a new generation.

'This is the trailblazing history for the war's centenary. It is a brilliant achievement and one every family should have in its home . . . It answers the obvious and not so obvious questions and will delight every age. It is a triumph.' - Christopher Pugsley, New Zealand Listener

‘Reading this book is like finding great-grandad’s war records and memorabilia in an old trunk that has lain forgotten in the shed for ages. This handsome, boxed edition is the ideal family keepsake. Its history is sound’ - Mike Crean, Dominion Post.

Damien Fenton, New Zealand and the First World War (Penguin, 2013, reprinted 2014) is available in bookshops now. See images of the launch at Government House on 11 November 2013.


The book contains some fantastic campaign maps, but the limitations of print meant these had to be produced at a fairly small size. Here you can see a larger digital version of a selection of these maps (click to view each one at full size):


Beyond the book

If you've read the book and want to find out more about New Zealand's First World War experience, here is a selection of topics we've already published – we will be adding much more over the next year:

For a concise overview of New Zealand’s First World War experience, visit the Ministry’s Te Ara – the encyclopedia of New Zealand website


One thing a print book can't give you is sound and moving pictures. Here is a selection of video and audio clips from the Western Front:

Researching the First World War

Here are some resources to help you in your First World War research:

Researching New Zealand's First World War soldiers

First World War bibliography - includes an extended version of the bibliography in the book.

Get involved

More information about the centenary publication series and other First World War projects can be found on the WW100 website

First World War Centenary History