The First World War (1914 – 1918) was one of the most significant events of the 20th Century, one that had a deep and lingering impact on New Zealand Society. Some 10% of our then population served overseas, more than 18000 perished, and over 40,000 personnel were wounded. Indeed, few families in New Zealand were not affected in one way or another. Nearly one in 5 of our young men, future fathers, teachers, tradesmen, farmers, administrators, did not return. This missing and damaged generation had a profound effect on our economy and on our society for many decades to come. The significance of this event is brought home every Anzac Day, when communities stand together at their local cenotaph or memorial to remember those that were lost in the Great War.
2014 marks the centennial of the commencement of WW1. The Government of New Zealand, through the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, has acknowledged the significance of this event by promoting a programme WW100 to mark the occasion.
“The centenary commemorations will honour the service and sacrifice of those who fought, but will also tell the stories of the great majority of people who remained at home. With a generation of men overseas, women took on new roles that began to change our workforce and society. At a time of intense pressure to conform, the courage of those who opposed the war, including conscientious objectors, must also be acknowledged.
Alongside major international and national events, some of the most meaningful commemorations are likely to be those organised at the local level. The centenary, it is hoped, will encourage families and communities to pass on their memories and tell their stories.”
[Neil Atkinson, chief historian of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage per N.Z. Herald 25 July 2013]
New Zealand communities have swung in behind this event with the greatest of enthusiasm. Individuals, groups, and organisations have waived customary priority rights to collaborate on a scale seldom seen since the war itself. The N.Z. Society of Genealogists felt their organisation was well placed to provide support to other kindred organisations across New Zealand by providing a web-based Directory of WWI Centennial Projects being undertaken. The Directory is searchable by region and will include contact details/links to the local project team.
We invite members and visitors to our website to contribute to our Directory by completing the Questionnaire Form; or to make contact with the listed group/s direct to retrieve or provide them with information.
Download the WW1 Projects Questionnaire Form HERE
<<<Click Here for the WW100 Projects Directory>>>