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National Commemorative Programme to remember Passchendaele
WW100 will mark the Battle of Passchendaele with a national commemorative programme held in Wellington on Thursday 12 October.
The commemorative programme reflects on New Zealand’s involvement in the Battle of Passchendaele between 1 and 18 October 1917, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres.
“It was during this battle that New Zealand experienced one of its darkest days,” says WW100 Programme Director Sarah Davies.
“On 12 October 1917, approximately 1860 New Zealand soldiers were wounded and 843 killed. This devastating loss of life remains the highest one-day death toll suffered by New Zealand forces overseas,” says Sarah. “But the tragedy did not end here, with a further 114 men succumbing to their wounds in the following three months.”
The commemorative programme will commence with the national ceremony at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington at 3pm. This will be followed by the unveiling of a memorial gifted to New Zealand by the Belgian Government, also at Pukeahu.
Both the ceremony and unveiling will be live streamed on the WW100 website and Facebook page. Members of the public will also be able to watch the live stream from 3pm at Te Marae Rongomaraeroa, inside the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa). In the event of adverse weather, the public would be encouraged to watch the commemorations from Te Papa.
Following the ceremony and unveiling, there will be the daily Last Post at the National War Memorial at 5pm.
The commemorative programme will conclude with a unique reflective event from 6pm at Te Papa, featuring the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band.
In Belgium, a number of commemorative events will be held between 4 and 12 October. This will include a New Zealand National Commemoration and Sunset Ceremony both led by the New Zealand Defence Force.
“In the lead up to the Battle of Passchendaele we have also been remembering New Zealand’s support for Belgium and its refugees during the First World War,” says Sarah. “Socks were knitted, clothing donated, and fundraisers held. By the end of the war New Zealanders had raised over £800,000 for the Belgian Relief Fund, that's around $100 million today.”
For their outstanding services in aid of Belgian refugees, thirty-three women in New Zealand were recognised by the Belgian government with the Medaille de la Reine Elisabeth, or Queen Elisabeth Medal.
For more information about the Passchendaele commemorative programme and how WW100 is remembering their compassion, visit ww100.govt.nz/passchendaele-centenary.
Previous press releases
- Celebrating Compassion – Remembering New Zealand's support for Belgium (1 August 2017)
- Valuable insights into the First World War showcased at Pukeahu (13 September 2016)
- Winners announced for the #MyAnzacDay photo competition (12 May 2016)
- Kiwi personalities to judge #MyAnzacDay photo competition (17 April 2016)
- Launch of #MyAnzacDay photo competition (11 April 2016)
- First World War commemorations focus on Western Front in 2016 (27 January 2016)
- A second Christmas (18 December 2015)
- National ceremony to mark the centenary of the Battle for Chunuk Bair (5 August 2015)
- Chunuk Bair centenary marked at Pukeahu on 8 August (1 July 2015)
- WW100 marks the centenary of the Gallipoli landings (2 April 2015)
- WW100 Toolkit for groups (7 November 2014)
- WW100 Director Appointed (23 October 2014)
- WW100 commemorative pin available for purchase from 24 October 2014 (17 October 2014)
- Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First World War Trails Interpretive Sign Unveiled (17 October 2014)
- New Zealand Centenary of Departure of Troops (15 October 2014)
- Marking the Centenary of New Zealand's Occupation of Samoa (29 August 2014)
- New Zealand Marks the Centenary of the Occupation of Samoa (25 August 2014)
- Marking the announcement of War, First World War (4 August 2014)
- New Zealand first to mark First World War centenary (29 July 2014)
- WW100 First World War Centenary Programme announced (28 July 2014)
- Youth Representatives Depart for Paris (7 July 2014)
- Four young New Zealanders chosen for Bastille Day commemorations (3 June 2014)
- Calling young New Zealanders qui parlent Français (1 May 2014)
- Gallipoli ballot special passes allocated (24 April 2014)
- Third round of WW100 lottery grants announced (17 April 2014)
- Results of the Gallipoli 2015 ballot announced (31 March 2014)
- History of New Zealand’s involvement in First World War launched (11 November 2013)
- Second round of WW100 lottery grants announced (6 November 2013)
- Anzac Day at Gallipoli 2015 - ballot dates confirmed (31 October 2013)
- The White Ships – peaceful sailing in the First World War (8 October 2013)
- Military commemoration dates announced (19 September 2013)
- National War Memorial Park on target (29 May 2013)
- Principles of Gallipoli 2015 ballot announced (13 May 2013)
- First World War Centenary projects funded (24 April 2013)
- New Zealand understanding of WW1 – a benchmark survey (9 April 2013)
- Life, Love and War 100 Years Ago Today (9 April 2013)
- Ballot numbers for Gallipoli 2015 confirmed (12 February 2013)
- Australian Memorial design unveiled (11 February 2013)
- First sod turned for National War Memorial Park (29 October 2012)
- Work starts on National War Memorial Park (28 September 2012)
- Public asked for views on Gallipoli 2015 ballot (26 September 2012)
- Dynamic hub for WW100 commemorations (19 September 2012)
- National War Memorial Park Bill Passes First Reading (31 August 2012)
- Trusted New Zealanders appointed to WW100 Centenary Panel (16 August 2012)
- New National War Memorial Park to be ready for Anzac centenary (7 August 2012)
- Two milestones for WW100 commemorations (17 July 2012)
- Government announces First World War Centenary plans (31 August 2011)