Between 1914 and 1918 New Zealand fought the bloodiest and most traumatic campaign in its military history. Over 12,000 men lost their lives in the three years that New Zealanders were on the Western Front in France and Belgium – representing three-quarters of New Zealand’s fatalities in the First World War.
About 74,000 New Zealanders, mostly men but including several hundred women, from a population of about a million, served in the campaign. Most did so in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1916-18, but at least 3,000 took part in imperial units, some from the outset in 1914, or in the forces of other dominions.
Between 2016 and 2019, we’ll be marking the contributions that New Zealanders made on the battlefields of the Western Front, as well as the efforts of those at home to support France, Belgium, Great Britain and New Zealand’s troops overseas.
Take part in the commemorations
Explore the history of the Western Front
- Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First World War Trails
- NZHistory's authoratative guide to New Zealand's Western Front history