Email me when new posts are made to this blog

Armistice Day Speech

Written by on November 14th, 2018.      0 comments

One of the highlights of the 2018 Armistice Day Commemorations at Auckland War Memorial Museum was the original speech by Fabiana Mazza - Carson. 2018 Fields of Remembrance

When I was a child my father told me to look at my hands and realise they were the same as any other persons. He told me when I grew up, what would seperate me from every other person, what separates each of us from every other person are how we choose to spend our time using them

Today, when I think of war, when I think of this war, I do not think of soldiers dressed in green or grey. I think of hands. White hands and brown hands, big and small ones, men’s hands and women’s hands and children’s hands.

What was this war if not fingers resting on triggers, fingers pressed to buttons, dropping bombs, hands grasped tightly around the handle of a spade or the wheel of a tank, digging trenches, holding gas masks over faces, held straight to foreheads in salute. What was this war if not a mothers palms, reaching up, cupping a son’s face, palms pressed to together and raised like psalms to God, lowered to benches, shaping biscuit dough. And what was this war if it was not brothers carried, clasped to backs across minefields, hands throwing footballs onto minefields turns sports fields, lifting flagpoles, waving pride or regret.

This war was more than the black hand that ignited it and the hands thrown up in surrender that ended it. To me it was humans dead on both sides, bleeding the same red, the same hands rendered useless. To me there is nothing more tragic than the image of hands with so much potential to create, to express humanity forced for a short time only to destroy before becoming too stiff and cold to hold tools or each other.

I learned in primary school that humans are made in God’s image. To me, the greatest proof of this is that just as God flooded the earth with a wave of his hand, humans too have cried one hundred years worth tears of anguish and pain over this war and we have created oceans. There are seas of graves separating different sides but if we grasp the oars tightly enough perhaps we can row ourselves across them to meet each other. On this one hundred years past since the guns fell silent let us remember those who fell and those who were left behind and what they all died and lived for. For peace.

This war, if nothing else, was one of the greatest examples of man’s potential for destruction in human history. But it was also one of the greatest examples of how destruction can inspire creation. All we have to do is look behind us to see the evidence of that. It was human hands who killed the men those crosses represent. And it was human hands that laid that field, created the building that stands behind me. When we look at those buildings. When we look at that field. When we think of this war I hope we can think of the hands that fought it, remembering only in armistice can we move forward. I hope we can remember that it was these men, our men, who built the rockets that put man on the moon. Whose hands that broke down the Berlin Wall, liberated Aushwitz, liberated us.

And lest we forget that. 

It is a hard task to be the mother of soldiers.

Written by on November 4th, 2018.      0 comments

The Brothers Field remembers the families who suffered multiple losses. Thank you to all those families who have alerted us to their losses. We have updated the figures.
Woman holding Casualty list

Brothers in Arms


‘I prayed so hard that you might both come back to me ... but it is a hard task to be a mother of soldiers.’
Mrs Knight

  • 714 families lost more than one child.

  • 53 families lost three sons.
  • 9 families lost four brothers.

  • 23 sets of brothers died on the same day.

Updating the Brothers Field

Written by on October 26th, 2018.      0 comments

The Brothers Field is the most moving part of the National Armistice Field.
Brothers Field
Identifying family members from 100 year old records has been a challenge and we always knew we would have missed some brothers.
It has been wonderful to have people come forward and let us know of their family’s losses.

We now have 700 families who lost more than one child in World War I with an additional family loosing three of their sons.

We are working toward adding them to the Brothers field and updating the lists.
As one of the family members said: 
'these deaths could not even be spoken of until the next generation as there was so much pain felt by the siblings.’

A recent book has been published on those families –
Broken Branches, New Zealand families who lost three of more children in the Great War / Josh Scadden / fair Dinkum Publications.

Even in death they are not divided

Written by Juliana Austen on October 18th, 2018.      0 comments

Twin brothers - while researching soldiers for the Field of Remembrance Brothers Field I have identified a number of twin brothers who lost their lives in World War I.

‘They were very popular. One was a corporal and one was a private, and when the private wanted to go to town he used to put his brother’s coat on with the corporal stripes. It did give us a bit of a knock. We used to think, What will their mother think now?’
Leslie Sargent  An awfully big adventure, New Zealand World War One veterans tell their stories / Jane Tolerton 2013

David and John Baillie
David Baillie

12/500 PTE. D.S. BAILLIE
Born 1 October 1893
Died 3 May 1915

 ‘Wee Davie’ died of wounds received in action at Gallipoli and was buried at sea. His twin ‘Jack’ was killed in action on the Somme in France. They were both just 22 years old.
John Baillie

12/1545 PTE. J.R. BAILLIE
Born 1 October 1893
Died 3 July 1916

Arthur and Henry Boyd
Harry Boyd
12/4139 PTE. H.R. BOYD
Born 16 Jan 1894
Died 15 Sep 1916

Harry was killed in action in 1916 and Arthur was killed at Passchendaele 12 October 1917. Their only other brother George returned from the front partially disabled.

Arthur Boyd
4/355 SGT. A.A. BOYD
Born 16 Jan 1894
Died 12 Oct 1917

Laurence (Tiny) and Leo (Jum) Donohue

3/2631 PTE. L.P. DONOHUE
Born 3 July 1896

Died 20 Oct 1917
Three of the five sons of Mr and Mrs Martin Donohue made the supreme sacrifice. The twins older brother
24/254 SGT. E.J. O'DONOHUE
Ernest was killed in action on the Somme in September 1916. He served under the name O’Dononue.
Born 3 July 1896

Died 3 Dec 1917

Lewis and Sydney Garry

34468 CPL. S. GARRY
Born 9 JAN 1895
Died 12 Sep 1918
They died within 3 days of each other in September 1918. A newspaper report noted: ‘Both these boys have been about three years at the front, and been up in the front trenches most of that time, bearing all the severe trials of the war. Coming so close on one another their deaths will be a very severe blow to their relatives here.’
34468 CPL. S. GARRY
Born 9 JAN 1895
Died 12 Sep 1918


Leonard and William Hansen

79450 PTE. W.J. HANSEN
Born 11 Dec 1897
Died 2 September 1918
A newspaper report noted: ‘Among the many severe blows and sad losses sustained by New Zealand settlers, few could have fallen harder than that which came to Mr and Mrs Harry Hansen, of Strathmore, who lost their two young twin sons’. The report went on: ‘Both having together enlisted to their country’s honor, died in the same way within a few days of each other.’ They died in an influenza epidemic.
76332 PTE. L.G. HANSEN
Born 11 Dec 1897
Died 11 September 1918

Percy and Charles Marriner

Percy Marriner
12/2375 CPL. P.D. MARRINER
Born 29 Dec1890
Died 29 Sep 1916

Percy was killed in France in 1916, Charles was wounded in Gallipoli and France and died shortly after returning home home to New Zealand after an appendectomy. Their memorial card noted that – Even in death they are not divided.
Charles Marriner
12/2374 PTE. C.C. MARRINER
Born 29 Dec1890
Died 15 Sep 1919

Duncan and Stuart Menzies

23/979 L/CPL. S. MENZIES
Born 11 Nov 1894
Died 15 Sep 1916
Four brothers from the Menzies family served in World War I. On September 15 19l6 in the Somme Battle Stuart was killed and Duncan wounded. After recovering Duncan was in the firing line till the time of his death in September 1918
25/779 RFM. D. MENZIES
Born 11 Nov 1894
Died 27 Mar 1918


The parents are no less heroes than their sons.

Written by on October 4th, 2018.      0 comments

In the Armistice Centenary Field of Remembrance there will be a special field honouring the families who suffered multiple losses.

Armistice Centenary 2018 Event

Written by on October 2nd, 2018.      0 comments

We commemorate the 100 anniversary of the signing of the Armistice and the end of the war, with a field of 18,277 crosses for each New Zealander who died in World War One.

The No.1 New Zealand General Hospital 1916-1919

Written by Juliana Austen on July 20th, 2018.      0 comments

The village of Brockenhurst was home to the No 1. New Zealand Hospital during World War I. In the churchyard of St Nicholas lie the graves of nearly one hundred New Zealanders.

White Crosses

Written by on May 1st, 2018.      0 comments

Planned Field of Remembrance for Armistice Day November 2018

Christchurch Field of Remembrance

Written by on April 24th, 2018.      0 comments

ANZAC Day 1918 a field of 4,398 white crosses remembered those from the wider Canterbury region who died one hundred years ago in the First World War.

Auckland Field of Remembrance

Written by on April 23rd, 2018.      0 comments

ANZAC Day 2018 a field of 4,799 white crosses remembered Aucklanders who died one hundred years ago in the First World War.

Wellington Field of Remembrance

Written by on April 19th, 2018.      0 comments

ANZAC Day 2018 a field of 5,270 white crosses remembered those from the wider Wellington region who died one hundred years ago in the First World War. 

New Zealand Secondary Schools Passchendaele Centennial Tour

Written by on November 16th, 2017.      0 comments

Our young people remember - Battle of Passchendaele Competition winners.


Written by on November 10th, 2017.      0 comments

At the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month an Armistice was signed ending the Great War.

War in the desert

Written by on November 3rd, 2017.      0 comments

The war in the Middle East. "...we were just about a forgotten unit on a forgotten front."

Passchendaele Offensive Field of Remembrance

Written by on October 10th, 2017.      0 comments

Two thousand four hundred and twelve New Zealanders died in the Passchendaele Offensive that began 31 July and ended 30 November 1917.

The Fields of Remembrance Trust was established in 2012 to honour those who served and died for our nation during World War One.

The Trust is made up of the Passchendaele Society, the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association, New Zealand (RNZRSA) representIng all local RSAs, and the Auckland RSA. It is a registered charity.