Welcome to the website of the New Zealand War Graves Trust. This is the site where the photographs, research and background information from the Trust's project are lodged.
The New Zealand War Graves Trust welcomes and appreciates contributions from visitors to our website. Many interesting stories have been forwarded to the Trust, casting light on the background of the New Zealanders whose war graves are captured here. In particular, family members have been generous in sharing memories, information or photos. Each contribution is checked and prepared for publication on our website. But this is voluntary work and there is a queue of stories waiting to be posted on the website. We ask for your patience and understanding if material you have offered is yet to appear. In the end, the website will be richer for all your contributions.
This website is a work in progress. Photographs and information will continue to be uploaded to the website over the next two years. Already there are over 11,000 photographs on the website. More will be added as they come to hand.
The website was developed by Zest Media thanks to a grant from the Lottery Grants Board.
Centenary of Samoa occupation
A national commemoration making the 100th annivesary of the New Zealand occupation of German Samoa at the beginning of World War I has been held at the Cenotaph, Auckland War Memorial Museum. The centenary was marked on August 29.
Soldiers added to Roll of Honour
In the year marking the centenary of the start of World War I in 1914, six New Zealand soldiers are added to the New Zealand and Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s official rolls of honour.They are Private Arthur Joseph Best, Private David Falconer, Trooper Matthew Gallagher, Private Percy Hawken, Sapper Robert Arthur Hislop and Private Lester Edward Quintall.
First World War I casualty
A ceremony has been held at Waikumete Cemetery in Auckland to acknowledge the formal recognition of the first New Zealand casualty of World War I. The recognition comes as commemorations are under way to mark the centenary of World War I (1914-18). Sapper Robert Hislop (21) of the 13th Regiment, North Island Railway Battalion, died on August 19, 1914, in Auckland District Hospital from injuries sustained six days earlier from a fall from Parnell railway bridge. He had been on night-time picket duty when he fell between the sleepers of the rail track onto the road below.
A memorial plaque to the New Zealand soldiers and Afghan forces who died in Bamyan Province in Afghanistan now stands in the "new town" area of Bamyan. The Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae unveiled the memorial plaque in a ceremony prior to the end of the deployment of the Provincial Reconstruction Team this year.
Belgium photographs completed
Despite a cool and wet spring in the northern hemisphere, the photographs which the New Zealand War Graves Trust contracted for in New Zealand have been collected from Belgium in 2012, thanks to generous funding from The Trusts Community Foundation and from the Four Winds Foundation.
This scene of so many World War I battles has graves and primary memorials (where there is no known grave) of more than 5000 New Zealand casualties.
In Flanders Fields Museum
The memories of war and aspirations for peace underline the mission of the newly refurbished In Flanders Fields Museum in Ieper, Belgium. There is a New Zealand connection - many New Zealanders are buried in this district because at the end of the New Zealand engagement in Flanders in World War I (1914-1918) there had been more than 18,000 casualties of which close to 5500 were fatalities.
There is a more recent New Zealand connection with the relaunched museum. Helen Clark, former New Zealand Prime Minister and now head of the United Nations Development Programme, was the speaker at the official ceremony marking the opening of the renewed In Flanders Fields Museum in June this year.