New Zealand Post remembers and honours those who served the First World War with its first addition to the their stamp and coin programme, titled 1914 For King and Empire.
At 3pm on 5 August 1914, an audience of around 15,000 huddled together in front of the steps of parliament. The crowd excitedly cheered as the Governor, Lord Liverpool, stepped forward from a group of his peers. As he made the announcement, you could feel the crowd’s sparks of excitement grow into a roaring flame. Wellington was abuzz with the news that had spread throughout the city – New Zealand was going to war.
In this five-year commemorative programme, we look at the war from a New Zealand perspective. From the front line to the home front, New Zealand was changed forever while this experience began to forge our identity as a confident, stand-alone country.
While it is impossible to tell every individual story of the First World War, as part of each stamp issue we tell the wider story of the war through the eyes of an everyday New Zealander. In 2014, we looked at the untold story of New Zealand serviceman and everyman, Melville Mirfin. Like thousands of others, Mirfin left his family behind and answered the call to go to war, but unlike so many soldiers, he not only survived the war, but he survived the action from one end of the war to the other.
The first stamps in this special five-year commemorative programme were complemented by the sheetlet, two miniature sheets, first day cover and two miniature sheet first day covers.