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War: Impact on New Zealand society and identity

Poetry and the First World War

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. MS-826.

The First World War saw the development of war poetry as a genre of writing. In this session, students will examine extracts from the poems of Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Jessie Pope, Wilfrid Gibson, Laurence Binyon and more to learn about the reality and tragedy of the First World War.

The daily life of the New Zealand soldier is explored through hands-on experiences with WWI objects and primary source material, bringing First World War narratives to life. Objects are used as a 'point of departure' for discussion, encouraging learners to ask questions and draw conclusions.

The session will cover:

  • NZ's involvement in WWI
  • the experience of the soldiers who fought in WWI
  • the different technologies and equipment used by the soldiers and the impact on daily life
  • what poetry can teach us about war
  • the impact of WWI on NZ
  • the function of war poetry today.