The War Away

On 29 August 1914, the New Zealand Expeditionary Force landed in Samoa, beginning New Zealand’s active engagement in World War One.

For the next 4 years, New Zealand soldiers and nurses had a variety of experiences overseas. Some collected souvenirs while serving in the sands of the Middle East while others endured gassing in the muddy trenches of Europe. All endured the joys and sorrows of life at war and all had stories worth telling.

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Troops in the trenches, France 1914–1918

Canterbury Regiment Association, Canterbury Museum 1986.80.1260

Video: A Canterbury Hero

Julia Bradshaw, Senior Curator Human History, talks about the heroic actions of Henry Nicholas that earned the Cantabrian a Victoria Cross

A Sergeant in Samoa

Walter Hall enlisted 5 days after war was declared and was part of the Samoan Expeditionary Force


Trophies, Souvenirs and Keepsakes

Percival Clennell Fenwick trained as a doctor and medicine became his passport for travelling the British Empire

Horses transporting ammunition during Ypres offensive, 1917

New Zealand Government Official Photography, Canterbury Regiment Association, Canterbury Museum 1986.80.1108

Te Hokowhitu a Tū

More than 260 Ngāi Tahu soldiers were among the 2,227 Māori that served in World War One

Picturing the War

A fortnight after war was declared, Edward Jekyll enlisted and served with the 1st Canterbury Mounted Rifles, fighting at Gallipoli and in Egypt

Arthur Titama Paahi TRONT

Life Below Ground

On the Western Front, the War was fought from the trenches

Private Taurekareka (Arthur) Pahi was only 15 when he enlisted

Courtesy of Lynda Goodrick. All Rights Reserved

The Letter Butcher

Soldiers' letters home were read and edited by the Goverment to remove details that might be useful to the enemy

Chemical Weapons

1914 saw the first large-scale use of chemical weapons

WW350 180911

Flying with the British

Many New Zealanders flew as part of the British Royal Flying Corps during World War One

Canterbury Museum 2015.66.61

A Gift to Britain

Originally commissioned as a gift from New Zealand to Britain, the 'New Zealand' was launched in 1911

From Antarctica to War

Frank Worsley was 45 years old when his contribution to World War One began

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Recruitment drives used the death of 10 New Zealand nurses on HMTS Marquette to encourage enlistment

Alexander Turnbull Library 1/1-007697-G

Tragedy at Sea

The sinking of the 'Marquette' was the worst New Zealand maritime disaster of the War

A Canterbury Hero

One of the heroes of the War was Cantabrian, Private Henry James Nicholas

This online exhibition is representative of Canterbury and World War One: Lives Lost Lives Changed, a temporary exhibition which ran from 30 November 2017 to 11 November 2018 at Canterbury Museum.