Events In History
12 October 1917NZ's ‘blackest day’ at Passchendaele
In terms of lives lost on a single day, this was the greatest disaster in New Zealand history. The failed assault on Passchendaele in Belgium took the lives of 45 officers and 800 men, and left 2700 wounded Read more...
Ever since 1917 Passchendaele has been a byword for the horror of the First World War. The assault on this tiny Belgian village cost the lives of thousands of New Zealand soldiers. But its impact reached far beyond the battlefield, leaving deep scars on many New Zealand communities and families.
Page 2 – The battle for Messines
The assault on Passchendaele was part of a vast Allied offensive launched in mid-1917, which, for New Zealanders, started with the Battle for Messines.
Page 3 – The Passchendaele offensive
The failed attempt to capture the town of Passchendaele saw more New Zealanders killed in one day than in any other military campaign since 1840.
Page 4 – After Passchendaele
Military events in Belgium after the Passchendaele offensive of October 1917, including the failed attack at Polderhoek
Page 6 – Life in the trenches
The daily tasks of life went on despite the hellish conditions of the Western Front trenches.
Page 7 – Fund-raising and support for Belgium
Thousands of women across New Zealand supported the war effort in more than 900 patriotic and fund-raising organisations, which raised nearly £5 million for Belgian and
Page 8 – Helping the wounded
More than 14,000 New Zealanders were wounded between June and December 1917 in Belgium, and medical staff, orderlies, chaplains and stretcher-bearers worked round the clock to
Page 9 – Remembering the dead
Just under 100 war cemeteries in Belgium and around 500 memorials in New Zealand serve as permanent reminders of the terrible toll of 1917.
Page 10 – Further information
Links and publications relating to New Zealand's involvement in Belgium during the First World War
NCEA2 activities relating to New Zealand's role in the fight for Belgium during the First World War
Page 2 – Why not Passchendaele Day?
Why do the events at Passchendaele in October 1917 go largely unnoticed in the New Zealand calendar? Can a case be made for reconsidering the place of Anzac Day in our national
Page 3 – Remembering the dead
Acknowledging the sacrifices of those who served or died was an important way for communities, including schools, to make sense of the human cost of war.
Page 4 – Turning boys into men
What role did schools play in turning boys into soldiers?
Page 5 – Examining primary sources activity, Passchendaele
Activities using images to discuss the role of schools in war
Page 7 – Passchendale creative writing exercise
Put yourself in the shoes of a student in the class of 1909 who had to fight in the First World War.
Russell, Andrew Hamilton
Andrew Russell was one of New Zealand's most important military leaders of the First World War, known for his strategic brilliance and meticulous planning.Read more...
Godley, Alexander John
Godley was a man with considerable talent for organisation, as evidenced by his training of the Territorial Force in the early 1910s, and later command of the New Zealand Division in the First World War.Read more...
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