NZ'S FIRST WORLD WAR CENTENARY 2014–2019

Centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele

Ever since 1917, Passchendaele has been a byword for the horror of the Great War. The 12 October attack on Bellevue Spur was a complete failure, and the worst fiasco in New Zealand’s military history, seeing 843 men killed in a few hours – the highest one-day death toll suffered by New Zealand forces overseas. Mud and rain had affected the ability of the artillery to provide a sufficient barrage to cut barbed wire and suppress enemy resistance.

A number of ceremonies, events and activities are being planned to mark the centenary of this battle. Here's how you can participate or learn more about this significant chapter in New Zealand's Western Front campaign:

Watch a video of the domestic national commemoration and Belgian Memorial unveiling

Commemorating Passchendaele, Celebrating Compassion

To coincide with the Battle of Passchendaele centenary, WW100 is also remembering New Zealand’s support for Belgium and its refugees during the First World War. Learn more on our Commemorating Passchendaele, Celebrating Compassion page.

Socks were knitted, clothing donated, and fundraisers held. By the end of the war New Zealanders had raised around £805,000 for the Belgian Relief Fund (that's around $100 million today). For their outstanding services in aid of Belgian refugees and the military, thirty-three woman in New Zealand were recognised by the Belgian government with the Medaille de la Reine Elisabeth, or Queen Elisabeth Medal.

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