education.govt.nz

Opportunities to set up your Field of Remembrance in 2017 to commemorate WWI

Issue: Volume 96, Number 9

Posted: 29 May 2017
Reference #: 1H9d7v

Brigadiers general carrying the coffin at the funeral of Brigadier General Franc

Brigadiers general carrying the coffin at the funeral of Brigadier General Francis Earl Johnston killed during World War I. Photograph taken in France 18 August 1917 by Henry Armytage Sanders. Photo credit: Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association: New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918/Royal New Zealand Returned Services’ Association New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918: H Series negatives.


This year 12 October marks the centenary of what has been described as New Zealand’s darkest day – the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium. Within the first four hours of battle, 846 young New Zealanders had been killed. By the end of the day, the total number of casualties (the wounded, the dead and the missing) was 2,700. It took two and a half days to clear the battlefield of the dead and injured.

New Zealand had also paid a heavy price several months earlier at the Battle of Messines on 7 June 1917. Although many call the taking of Messines Ridge a ‘success’,

New Zealand suffered 3,700 casualties, including 700 dead.

Please note, the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele falls on 12 October during the holidays prior to term 4 starting on 16 October, so schools may want to set up their field before the holidays or immediately after the start of term 4.

For information on the Battle of Passchendaele competition for school students aged 16-19 years visit the Ministry Of Education website(external link)

Here is a guide to major battles and events during 1917:

  • 7 June 1917: Battle of Messines (Belgium) and conduct during it by Lance-Corporal Samuel Frickleton, for which he was awarded a Victoria Cross.
  • 31 July 1917: Conduct in Belgium by Corporal Leslie Andrew, for which he was awarded a Victoria Cross.
  • 26 September–3 October 1917: Battle of Polygon Wood (Belgium).
  • 4 October 1917: Attack on Gravenstafel Spur, Passchendaele Ridge (Belgium).
  • 12 October 1917: Battle of Passchendaele and New Zealand’s ‘darkest day’ (Belgium).
  • 31 October 1917: The Battle of Beersheba (Middle East).
  • 3 December 1917: Attack on Polderhoek Chateau (Belgium) and conduct during it by Private Henry Nicholas, for which he was awarded a Victoria Cross. 

More information:

 

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 10:17 pm, 29 May 2017

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