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First World War Centenary

The First World War had complex beginnings, pitting Britain and France and their allies against the central powers of Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. More than 30 countries became involved and over 70 million people were mobilised to fight and serve. The war, centred in Western Europe, was one of the largest the world had seen.

More than 100,000 New Zealanders, from a population of just over one million, served overseas—most on Europe’s battlefields. More than 18,000 New Zealanders died and nearly all were buried in foreign fields. Over 40,000 New Zealanders were wounded.

Nearly every New Zealand family experienced loss, and this loss is what is commemorated a century later.