What is ANZAC Day?

ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year.

This date honours members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. It now more broadly commemorates all those who died and served in military operations for their countries.

This date honours members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. It now more broadly commemorates all those who died and served in military operations for their countries.[1]

In WWI the total number of New Zealand troops and nurses to serve overseas in 1914–1918, excluding those in British and other Dominion forces was 103,000 from a population of just over a million. 16,697 New Zealanders were killed and 441,317 were wounded during the war, a 58 percentage casualty rate. Approximately a further 1,000 died within five years of the war’s end, as a result of injuries sustained. New Zealand had one of the highest casualty and death rates per capita of any country involved in the war.[2]

With most of New Zealand’s war dead buried overseas, local memorials acted as surrogate tombs, places for families and communities to grieve. The World War Memorial at Pauatahanui was dedicated, 18 January 1922,[3] and lists six servicemen with links to the Plimmerton/Pauatahanui/Paremata area: Subsequently another four names were added, of those who fell in World War II.

 

 

To commemorate World War I

  • Victor Abbott  15/09/1916
  • Kenneth Henry Boulton  01/05/1915
  • Shirer Charles Carter  31/10/1918 
  • Alfred Stephen Henry (Harry ) Death  19/08/1917 
  • Walter Harris  12/10/1917
  • Norman Keith Jones  07/06/1917

 

Kenneth Henry Boulton, 01/05/1915, serving in the Otago Battalion was killed at ANZAC Cove and is listed on the Lone Pine Memorial. [4]

While ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli is well known, New Zealand forces were also involved in the battles around the village of Krithia at the southern end of the peninsula. Is Krithia - Moana Road, reported to have been built in 1915[5] commemorating someone’s involvement in the 1915 battles?

'Krithia', 65 Moana Road read more of the story here.


Also in Plimmerton is Somme House, built by Archie McMahon in 1916[5] during the first Battle of the Somme (July to November 1916)

Somme House - Moana Road

 

Sub Lieut Victor Abbott, 15/09/1916, Royal Flying Corps, was killed on a training flight before he was to be sent to France to support action around the Somme. [4]

The Somme Battle started with the first British and French offensive launch 1 July 1916 and the battle finally being abandoned 18 November 1916.



 

The New Zealand Division joined the battle, 15 September 1916 and this was to be one of the worst days for New Zealand military in terms of loss of life, from the 6,000 men who went ‘Over the Top’ 1200 were listed as wounded or missing and 600 dead.

While no men from the district are listed as killed in this battle Norman Keith Jones, 07/06/1917 and Harry Death, 19/08/1917 were to die during the next major battle at Messines.

The Passchendaele offensive and the attack on the Bellevue Spur was to be the blackest day in New Zealand’s military history. By the end of 12 October 1917 there were 2700 New Zealand casualties with 45 officers and 800 men dead.  Walter Harris, 12/10/1917, was one of those lost.

Shirer Charles Carter was to die, 31/10/1918, in Edinburgh, Scotland shortly before the end of the war.


[1] ANZAC - Wikipedia

[2] Military History of New Zealand in World War 1 - Wikipedia

[3] Evening Post 18 January 1922 – Papers Past.

[4] Commonwealth War Graves

[5] Heritage Trails – Plimmerton Promenade

 

Last Updated: 04/03/2015 2:25am