NZ'S FIRST WORLD WAR CENTENARY 2014–2019

Armistice centenary – 11 November 2018

Upper Hutt children celebrating the Armistice on 13 November 1918. Image courtesy of Upper Hutt City Library.

At 11am on 11 November this year, Aotearoa New Zealand will mark the centenary of the armistice that ended the First World War in 1918. On that day 100 years ago, after four years of brutal conflict, war finally gave way to peace.

The Government has announced plans for a series of public events at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington on 11 November 2018 to commemorate the centenary. A National Service will be held at Pukeahu centred around a two minute silence at 11am. Later in the day, New Zealand Defence Force will conduct a Sunset Ceremony which will include the final daily Last Post Ceremony of the First World War Centenary.

Both the National Service and the Sunset Ceremony will be live-streamed.

The commemoration will remember the service and sacrifices endured by those who fought, and those who stayed behind. It will also look to celebrate peace, and recapture the jubilation and hopefulness that would have swept many parts of the world at that time.

'Most urgent: Armistice signed'

Although news of the Armistice reached a New Zealand ravaged by the lethal influenza pandemic, it was met with widespread celebration. Bells rang, sirens sounded and children banged on kerosene tin drums. Communities came together, speeches were made, and songs sung. Parades filled bunting-lined streets, followed by torchlight processions, dances, concerts, fireworks and bonfires that continued into the night.

Read more about Armistice celebrations at NZHistory

Planning an event?

The WW100 programme are putting together some resources designed to support communities wishing to organise their own Armistice centenary events.

The team will also be telling the stories of Armistice and its legacy to a wide audience through multiple platforms. We want to encourage people to get involved in centenary activities happening across the country, and share their plans or experiences with us.

If you are thinking about planning an Armistice event or activity please let us know so we can keep you in the loop. Email us at info@ww100.govt.nz

There is no dedicated funding for Armistice centenary projects through the WW100 Programme. Check out our guide to potential funding sources.

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