On two days in October 1917, in the farmlands of Belgium, New Zealand suffered two of its greatest tragedies.
On 4 October 490 New Zealand servicemen were killed. Eight days later on 12 October there was an even greater loss. Of 3000 casualties on that day, over 840 young New Zealanders lay dead or dying in the mud and uncut wire before the village of Passchendaele.
Read more about the battle of Passchendaele
The Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres or simply Third Ypres, was one of the major battles of World War I, fought by British, ANZAC, Canadian and South African soldiers against the German Army. The battle was fought for control of the village of Passendale (Passchendaele on maps of that time) near the Belgian town of Ypres (now Ieper) in West Flanders. The plan was to drive a hole in the German lines and advance to the Belgian coast and capture the German submarine bases there. It was intended to create a decisive corridor in a crucial area of the front, and to take pressure off the French forces.
NZ History Online