NZ'S FIRST WORLD WAR CENTENARY2014-2019

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When:

Thu 16 Oct 2014, 6:30pm–7:00pm

Where: Wellington Waterfront, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Website:

The largest single group of New Zealanders ever to leave the country at one time boarded ships in Wellington harbour in October 1914 bound for the First World War. The WW100 Programme Office will mark this centenary with a brief ceremony to be held on the Wellington Waterfront. A heritage trail sign describing the events that led up to the departure will be unveiled as part of the ceremony.

The WW100 Programme Office will mark this centenary with a brief ceremony along The Promenade at Taranaki Wharf on the Wellington Waterfront at 6.30pm on the 16 October, during which the heritage trail sign will be unveiled. Proceedings will end with the 7th Battalion Band Inc. escorting guests to the Wellington City Council’s launch of its Centenary Programme and viewing of “Wellington - Lest we Forget” at the Academy of Fine Arts at 7pm.

Download the official programme here: http://ww100.govt.nz/sites/default/files/files/A5%20Booklet.pdf

Ten troopships carried the approximately 8500 men and nearly 4000 horses of the Main Body and 1st Reinforcements of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, which were escorted across the Tasman Sea by four warships. After training in Egypt, these troops were sent to Gallipoli, where they fought alongside their Australian comrades as ‘Anzacs’. In the years that followed, many continued on to the battlefields in France and Belgium on which New Zealand suffered its heaviest losses.

These men from all over New Zealand enlisted with a sense of duty and adventure travelling to mobilisation camps in Auckland, Palmerston North, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Communities from the deep south to the far north said goodbye to their troops with a real sense of local pride. Their departure from New Zealand was delayed, as the authorities feared that German ships might attack the transport vessels and so the troops progressively assembled in Wellington.

On 16 October 1914, Wellington residents travelled to the harbour entrance to watch the convoy depart.

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