Events In History
11 May 1945Upham presented with VC
New Zealand's most-decorated soldier was recognised for his outstanding gallantry and leadership in Crete in 1941 and Egypt in 1942. He remains the only combat soldier to have been awarded a Bar to his Victoria Cross. Read more...
28 April 1941Jack Hinton wins the Victoria Cross
Southlander Jack Hinton was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on the night of 28 April 1941 at Kalamata during the evacuation from Greece. Read more...
30 April 1917William Sanders wins New Zealand's only VC in a naval action
Aucklander William Sanders was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery when the Q-ship he commanded was attacked by a German U-boat on 30 April 1917. He is the only New Zealander to have won the award in a naval action. Read more...
28 January 1901Hardham wins VC in South Africa
Wellington blacksmith William Hardham served in South Africa with the fourth New Zealand contingent. He was the only New Zealander to win the Victoria Cross in the South African War. Read more...
10 March 1869New Zealand Cross created
This medal was created because members of New Zealand's local armed forces were not eligible for the Victoria Cross. Only 23 were awarded, making it one of the rarest military honours in the world. Read more...
11 February 1864Charles Heaphy recommended for VC
Recommended for a Victoria Cross after rescuing a soldier while under fire in 1864, Heaphy was eventually awarded the VC in 1867 - the only one awarded to a member of New Zealand's colonial forces. Read more...
The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest military decoration awarded for ‘valour in the face of the enemy’ to members of the armed forces of Commonwealth countries. A total of 22 VCs have been awarded to New Zealand military personnel, including two won by Charles Upham.
Page 2 – NZ Victoria Cross winners
List of the 21 New Zealand Victoria Cross winners, with links to citations
Page 3 – Victoria Cross winners with NZ connection
List of New Zealand-born servicemen and those with New Zealand connections who served in other forces.
Page 5 – Further information
List of information sources on New Zealand's Victoria Cross winners
It was the New Zealand Division's final action of the First World War. On 4 November 1918, just a week before the Armistice was signed, New Zealand troops stormed the walled French town of Le Quesnoy. The 90 men killed were among the last of the 12,483 who fell on the Western Front.
- Page 2 - The liberation of Le Quesnoy The capture of the French town of Le Quesnoy by the New Zealand Division on 4 November 1918 has special significance in New Zealand's military
Key information and statistics about countries who fought as part of the British Empire during the First World War
Page 4 – Dominion of Canada
Key information and statistics about Canada during the First World War
Page 5 – British India
Facts and statistics about India during the First World War
Page 6 – Dominion of Newfoundland
Key information and statistics about the Dominion of Newfoundland during the First World War
Page 8 – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Key information and statistics about the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland during the First World War
On 3 September New Zealand honoured Merchant Navy Day. Here we explore the little-known but vital role played by the merchant marine during the First World War. As in the Second World War, in 1914-18 these civilian seafarers often found themselves in the front lines of the war at sea.
- Page 3 - The Otaki's epic battleMany Home boats were lost, especially in 1917/18 when Germany stepped up its submarine warfare against Allied commerce. But one action stood out, an epic battle between the New
Page 4 – After Passchendaele
Military events in Belgium after the Passchendaele offensive of October 1917, including the failed attack at Polderhoek
In March 1860 war broke out between Europeans and Māori in Taranaki following a dispute over the sale of land at Waitara. It was the beginning of a series of conflicts that would dog Taranaki for the next 21 years, claiming the lives of several hundred Maori and Europeans and leaving deep scars that persist to the present day.
- Page 4 - Fighting beginsThe opening shots of the Taranaki war were fired at Kīngi's new pā, Te Kohia – also known as the ‘L’ pa because of its shape – on 17 March
In 1918, a series of major German and Allied offensives broke the stalemate of trench warfare on the Western Front, resulting in the collapse of the German Army and the end of the war within the year. New Zealand units played an important part in the Allies' final push for victory.
- Page 1 - 1918: Amiens, Bapaume and victory - Western Front campaignIn 1918, a series of major German and Allied offensives broke the stalemate of trench warfare on the Western Front, resulting in the collapse of the German Army and the end of the
Despite some opposition, nearly 16,000 Maori enlisted for service during the Second World War. By 1945 the 28th (Maori) Battalion had became one of New Zealand's most celebrated and decorated units. But Maori contributed to the war effort in many different ways, at home and overseas.
- Page 3 - AchievementsThe 28th (Maori) Battalion established a formidable reputation as one of New Zealand’s finest fighting
War changed the face of New Zealand in the 19th century. Tens of thousands of Māori died in the intertribal Musket Wars from the 1810s to the 1830s. There were fewer deaths during the New Zealand Wars (1840s-1870s) between Māori and the Crown, but the consequences were still dire for many tribes.
- Page 7 - The Victoria Cross and the NZ WarsThere were 15 recipients of the Victoria Cross and 23 of the New Zealand Cross for action during New Zealand’s 19th-century
Freyberg, Bernard Cyril
A First World War hero and commander of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Bernard Freyberg proved to be a charismatic and popular military leader who would later serve a term as Governor-GeneralRead more...
Upham, Charles Hazlitt
Charles Upham is probably New Zealand's most famous soldier. His actions in Crete in 1941 and Egypt in 1942 led to his becoming one of only three people – and the only combat soldier – ever to win the Victoria Cross twice.Read more...
The multi-faceted Charles Heaphy made quite an impact on colonial New Zealand as an artist, explorer, soldier and colonial administrator. He was the first colonial soldier to win the Victoria Cross.Read more...
Lance Corporal Samuel Frickleton took part in the attack on Messines, Belgium, on 7 June 1917 where his acts of extreme gallantry earned him a Victoria Cross.Read more...
Sanders, William Edward
William Sanders commanded a submarine-decoy vessel in the First World War, and became the only New Zealander to win the Victoria Cross in a naval action.Read more...
- william sanders
- royal navy
- gallipoli campaign
- cyril bassett
- chunuk bair
- western front
- battle of bapaume
- le quesnoy liberation
- german army
- united states
- british army
- french army
- george bowen
- new zealand cross
- reginald judson
- south african war
- charles heaphy
- jack hinton
- charles upham
- battle for crete
- north african campaign
- merchant marine
- merchant navy
- war art
- james crichton
- samuel frickleton
- british empire
- battle of the somme
- new zealand wars
- roadside stories
- battle of messines
- leslie andrew
- palestine campaign
- henry laurent
- william hardham
- boer war
- royal new zealand air force
- leonard trent
- lloyd trigg
- john grant
- donald brown
- royal air force
- james ward
- samuel forsyth
- richard travis
- battle of waireka
- new zealand company
- waikato wars
- united kingdom
- indian army
- egyptian expeditionary force
- willie apiata
- keith elliott
- bernard freyberg
- italian campaign
- alfred hulme
- denny hulme
- ryal bush
- maori in war
- maori battalion
- colac bay
- war objects
- polderhoek attack
- apirana ngata
- passchendaele offensive
- haane manahi
- te arawa
- prisoners of war