When Britain declared war on Germany in 1914, all the British Dominions rallied to the Mother Country. Australia and New Zealand were at the forefront of the terrible strugge.
For Australia, the First World War remains the costliest conflict in terms of deaths and casualties. From a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 men enlisted, of whom more than 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner.
18,000 New Zealanders and lead to the wounding of 41,000. Places thousands of miles from home with exotic-sounding names such as Gallipoli, Passchendaele and the Somme etched themselves in national memory during the First World War.
The war took approximately 100,000 New Zealanders overseas, many for the first time. Some anticipated a great adventure but found the reality very different. Being so far from home made these New Zealanders very aware of who they were and where they were from. In battle, they were able to compare themselves with men from other nations. Out of this, many have argued, came a sense of a separate identity, and many New Zealand soldiers began to refer to themselves as ‘Kiwis’.