Eighteen thousand Kiwi sons and daughters

Tomorrow is Armistice Day, and 100 years since the end of WWI. As part of the commemoration, a Field of Remembrance has been created on the lawn at the Auckland Musuem. There is a cross (or a Star of David) for every one of the more than 18,000 New Zealand men and women who died in that conflict.

This evening, hundreds of people walked through the field, many looking for specific ancestors. The Big T and I found both of his great uncles; one who died at Gallipoli, the other in the Third Battle of the Somme.

There is a separate area of the field commemorating the 1461 dead who also lost siblings, children or fathers in the conflict.

In a country of around a million people, New Zealand’s loss of 18,000 young men and women is tragic. Hardly a family in the country would have been untouched.

But how much worse for those families who lost more than one son or daughter. Tonight I can’t stop thinking about those mothers; especially the nine for whom the war robbed them of four of their children.

Posted to Six Word Saturday. Well, my title conforms.

35 thoughts on “Eighteen thousand Kiwi sons and daughters

  1. This is such a touching tribute, Su, which I honour in every way, but I find I’m increasingly angry that we ordinary mortals do the remembering, while, for example, UKUS governments continue to sell bombs that are presently being dropped on innocent people.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. So moving. I have a Remembrance Day post scheduled for tomorrow as well.
    We, as humans, never seem to learn. I just don’t know why we can’t all just get along. Well, I do, but you know what I mean.

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  3. I used to go and sit and eat my lunch in a little churchyard in Doncaster years ago. The church was no longer in use as a church, but the old graveyard was still kept nice and tidy. I would wander around reading the headstones and remember being totally shocked at finding one which belonged to a family where not only had three sons been killed in the war, but also the father. My heart broke for that poor woman. How did these people bear all that pain. No wonder it was called the lost generation; so many women of that time never married.

    And yet twenty years later we went through it all again.

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    • That part of the Field was so incredibly heart-breaking. I really liked the fact that the plaques acknowledged the terrible pain and sacrifice of the families. And that the (female) nurses were remembered too.
      When I was a child I had a bunch of, large,y honorary “maiden aunts” who had never married because their young men died inWWI. It’s terrible in one respect, but they were women who had travelled and had careers and done so much more than other women I knew. Out of their loss, they forged really meaningful lives and were my greatest role models.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. WWI is really the forgotten war. WWII got much more attention. Lovely tribute and valid questions/thoughts, Su. Tomorrow (and officially on Monday) we in the US celebrate Veteran’s Day. It’s meant to honor living vets, with Memorial Day for those who’ve given their lives. But I think of both groups on both days and want to never forget them.


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  5. What a heart breaking sight all those crosses are and the lost lives they stand for… Overshadowed by Germany’s role in both the World wars but foremost the second, Armistice Day isn’t well known around here, although there are a few remembrance events I think.

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    • Yes, the scale of the field really brings home the numbers. German casualties were very high in both wars, so it is sad to think they are not remembered. A friend of mine’s husband is the German Consul here in Auckland. They attend all. The Remembrance events, along with Japanese and Turkish representatives.

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