When war broke out in Europe in August 1914, Britain asked New Zealand to seize German Samoa as a ‘great and urgent Imperial service’. New Zealand’s response was swift. Led by Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Logan, the 1385-strong Samoa Advance Party of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force landed at Apia on 29 August. There was no resistance from German officials or Samoa’s general population.
Next day Logan proclaimed a New Zealand-run British Military Occupation of Samoa. The German flag was lowered and all buildings and properties belonging to the previous administration were seized. In the presence of officers, troops and ‘leading Native chiefs’, the British flag was raised outside the government building in Apia.
This was the second German territory, after Togoland in Africa, to fall to the Allies in the First World War.