The New Zealand War Regulations Act 1914 listed a number of rules and regulations about wartime matters including censorship. Revealing details that might be useful for the enemy such as the movements of troopships, military operations or the condition of the armed forces was outlawed.
Information that might interfere with recruitment or cause alarm was also strictly controlled. As a result, soldier’s letters were read and edited by Government censors.
Joseph Mercer wrote regularly to his mother throughout the War. This envelope from 1916 shows that his letter had passed the field censor’s inspection.
After Joseph was taken prisoner of war, the German Government wrote to his mother, telling her that he was alive and well and being held at the Friedrichsfeld camp. The label on the envelope indicates that it had passed through the censor’s hands.
Three days before the ANZAC attack on Gallipoli, John Leversedge sent a Field Service Post Card to his mother. These pre-printed cards enabled soldiers to send a basic message home that censors could quickly scan and approve.