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 5,270 white crosses remembers those from the wider Wellington region who died one hundred years ago in the First World War.
1915 – 884 killed in action
1916 - 965 killed in action
1917 – 1570 killed in action
1918 – 1851 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.The Field is situated on Salamanca Lawn, Botanic Gardens Wellington and will be on display until Sunday 6 May. On that last day between 10am till 4pm relatives and friends can collect their crosses to keep.
Read a Salute to Wellington's fallen soldiers.