They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
This ANZAC Day a field of 4,398 white crosses remembers those from the wider Canterbury region who died one hundred years ago in the First World War.
1915 – 639 killed in action
1916 - 825 killed in action
1917 – 1406 killed in action
1918 – 1528 killed in action
In 1918 New Zealand soldiers helped counter the German Spring Offensive, and liberated the French town of Le Quesnoy just a week before Armistice was declared.
The deadly influenza pandemic also took its toll of the soldiers in the field and at home. Some of the crosses here commemorate those who died in the years immediately following the end of the War from wounds or illness contracted while on active service. Those of the Jewish faith are remembered with a Star of David.
This field is in Cranmer Square and will be taken in again one week after ANZAC Day. They will be put out again in the same place on 1/11/2018 for the month. After Armistice Day families will be offered the opportunity to uplift their families crosses.