The Fields of Remembrance in Schools Project
Now children place upon this stone a garland,
and learn of us each Anzac Day at dawn.
We are New Zealand’s dead from distant conflict,
our sacrifice remembered ever more.
From the poem Spirit of Anzac by Mike Subritzky.



Students in a Belgium field of poppies
Ten secondary school students jointly won the Ministry of Education, Fields of Remembrance Trust and Passchendaele Society digital competition about the Battle of Passchendaele. The winners - two group entries and one individual entry - came from St Paul’s Collegiate, Rotorua Girls’ High School and St Margaret’s College.
The prize was a trip to Belgium to attend formal commemorative events in recognition of the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele.
In a very comprehensive itinerary prepared by Students Horizons, also a supporter of the competition, the students visited cemeteries and memorials, battlefields and museums in both France and Belgium. They attended commemorations at the Menin Gate, the National Commemoration Service at the Tyne Cot Cemetery and the opening of the New Zealand Memorial and Garden. Their final days were spent in Amsterdam, visiting the Jewish Quarter and Anne Frank house and museum for a very sad reminder of the horrors of WWII.

Students with the soldier statue at Messines Students at Tynne Cot
Ceremony at Passchendaele
Sculpture in field of poppies At Menin Gate New Zealand Memorial and Garden, photo from Student Horizons
‘We couldn’t believe the huge number of New Zealanders killed, some as young as 19"
It was a time of learning, sharing and reflection. The trip was described as a journey of a lifetime!

The outstanding winning entries may be viewed via the attached links.
St Margaret’s College, Christchurch by Alexandra Lay
The judges were impressed with the digital map that navigated users through this website. It provided a coordinated story of the Battle of Passchendaele with provocative questions, a brilliant German photo album and some great quotes providing a New Zealand context. It had excellent interactive tasks for the students to complete.

St Paul’s Collegiate, Hamilton by Dylan Woodhouse, Tony Wu, Lucy Tustin and Conor Horrigan
The students created a website which had interactive activities and strong links to the curriculum. The judges were impressed by the use of social media, community engagement and provocative questions. They applauded the website’s ability to address diversity, connect the past with present and encourage students in Years 7 to 10 to engage and do their own research. It had the standout “wow factor”.
Rotorua Girls’ High School, Rotorua by Alyssa Mae Pineda, Kayla Kautai, Mairaatea Mohi, Atawhai Ngatai and Keighley Jones
The students created a scrolling menu of pages on their website that detailed different aspects of the battle, a quiz to test learning and material in Te Reo Maori. The website impressed the judges because it enables students to think critically about the Battle of Passchendaele.

Passchendaele Competition Poster
The Minister of Veterans’ Affairs sponsors an annual multi media competition.
Click HERE for more information. NOW CLOSED.
2017 Matakana Commemoration

Matakana School is always an integral part of the ANZAC commemorations.
Matakana School held a memorial service to honour those who fought for New Zealand during the great war.
Students, teachers and parents gathered around Matakana School's King George statue on April 13 for their Anzac ceremony before the school holidays.
Palmerston North Boys' High School coat of arms
Palmerston North Boys' High School - ANZAC Commemorations
The annual Palmerston North Boys’ High School Anzac service was held today, Tuesday, April 3. Our school Anzac service remembers all those who have served and sacrificed for their country, in particular our 202 Old Boys who lost their lives in World War One, World War Two and the Falklands Conflict. In 2016, the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, we remembered especially the 70 Old Boys killed during World War One, nine of whom fell at the Somme.
Year 13 students Malachi Hill and George Baldwin presented the Anzac address, focusing on PNBHS Old Boys killed in the battle of the Somme. Mr Phil Smith presented the school with a medal awarded posthumously to his uncle, Phillip Smith, after whom he was named. This will be held in perpetuity in our archives.
The second part of the Anzac service included all young men and invited guests walking a path boarded by crosses bearing the name, service number and photograph of all 202 of our Old boys killed at war, and a fly over from a World War Two Harvard aircraft.
Parallel lines of crosses
Boys stand by corridor of crosses
Palmerston North Boys' High School Assembly
Guests and Veterans walk between the crosses
Boys walk between the crosses of Fallen Old Boys
White crosses at Palmerston North Boys' High
Fields of Remembrance in Early Childhood Centres
The Fields of Remembrance Trust and the Ministry of Education have formed a partnership to support all early learning services in commemorating the sacrifice of our veterans during World War 1 (WW1).
  Across the country early learning centres (Kindergartens, Playcentres, Kōhanga reo, and Day-care centres) will be sent a WW1 Commemoration Package, including three small white crosses to commemorate the men and women who died serving New Zealand during WW1. The commemoration packages aim to inform and inspire younger generations. 
Montage of ANZAC activities at preschool
Little Kiwis Early Learning Centre in South Auckland shared a wonderful moment of commemoration with parents and staff for Anzac Day.  We invited a parent, who is currently working in the NZ Army, to speak on behalf of all those who served during World War I.  We did lots of painting, art activities, storytelling, planting poppies and even tried army training with our monkey bar, traffic cones and makeshift cargo nets.  Parents shared photos of their grandparents, and great grandparents who served at war, and these were put on our Board of Commemoration.  All our children, even little babies, love to look at the pictures on the wall, which reminds them of their families and origins. 
Poppies and crosses activities from pre-school

Sancta Maria Montessori Pre-school children created a special memorial space for their Field of Remembrance crosses. 
The stories of Nurse Hildyard, Sergeant Travis and Second Lieutenant Grace feature on the front.  Amongst them is a field of beautiful paper poppies, and a poppy wreath, made by the children.    
"Their Stories, Our Stories"
National competition commemorating the centenary of the First World War
Prize winning entry by Cam Loft and Cheyenne Ballantine
This entry a garden created by Cam Loft and Cheyenne Ballantine of Hauraki Plains College in Ngatea won the top prize.

The Ministry of Education and The Fields of Remembrance Trust held a national competition for school students commemorating the centenary of the First World War called “Their Stories, Our Stories”.
148 entries were received in 4 categories (years 1-4, 5-8, 9-10 and 11-13) and students could enter as a group or solo. The judges were impressed with the range and quality of the entries saying that they reflected a huge amount of research, creativity and hard work. The entries included, poems, paintings and drawings, video clips and this prize winning garden.

For more information and links to all the entries please click HERE.

The competition is sponsored by the RNZRSA, the Auckland RSA, the Vodafone Warriors and Canterbury NZ.

Canterbury logo


Vodafone Warriors Logo
Vandalised Fields
It was with great sadness the Trust learned of two schools who had their Field of Remembrance vandalised.
Berkley Normal Middle School in Hamilton found their crosses destroyed just before Anzac Day. The offender was caught and has been dealt with by the courts.
The Trust’s Vice President Graham Gibson travelled to Hamilton with a replacement set of crosses.
Read more here.

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Pukekohe also found their Field had been desecrated. Sadly no one has been found responsible for the damage.
Children seated at Assembly
Children present at St Joseph's School Assembly
Graham Gibson addresses the assembled children
Trust members were privileged to attend an assembly at St Joseph’s and provide them with replacement crosses. The school has honoured the Anzac Spirit with projects and Olivia Dykes who chose Anzac as the theme for her speech will be representing the school in the Franklin Speech Competitions. This competition is against all the schools in Franklin who have Year 7 & 8 children.

Here is Olivia's speech:
Why we should always honour ANZAC day in memory of lost soldiers and for how it shaped our nation.
In flanders fields the poppies blow, Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place.
and in the sky,
the larks, still bravely singing, fly,
scarce heard amid the guns below,
Picture this,
You are an anzac soldier, you are starving, you are rationed a tin of corned beef, and a few hard biscuits. This is to last you a whole day. You are huddled in a muddy trench, your filthy army clothes stick to your body with a cold sweat. Rats scurry across your feet. The stench of death, disease, and dirty men, fills the foggy air.
BANG! A bullet impales your best friend beside you.
 There is no time to grieve or weep over your friend, because bullets are flying all around, and YOU must carry on the fight. You poke your head above the trench, and shoot. You HAVE to survive.
 Anzac day needs to be remembered, for 3 important, key reasons. First because, we need to remember the soldiers that died for us. Second, for the freedom they gave us, and third for the people that came back and  suffered.
It is documented that over 18,000 soldiers from New Zealand alone, died in World war 1. That is nearly half of my town, Pukekohe dead. Blown out. Non - existent.
Also 41,000 people were injured. If 41,000 people were seriously injured tomorrow, we would need 3 and a half times the hospital beds that are currently available, in New Zealand today.
 We must remember them.
 Not only do we keep those who died in our hearts, but we also remember those who survived, and came back to New Zealand. struggled emotionally,  physically and mentally too.
 We must remember them.
 I feel very blessed and honoured, that I have had the opportunity to march in an ANZAC dawn parade, with my great grandad pete pete, who is now 93. Through this, I have learnt that the bravery, and courage of these men, gives us the freedom and ability to live in our beautiful country, New Zealand.
 I’m sure that lots of you already know that this year is the 100 year anzac anniversary, marking the time when our anzac soldiers arrived at anzac cove, Gallipoli. This is a very special year for our country, and we should always remember it, not just for the anzacs, but for all soldiers, who fought for New Zealand.
With this in mind, I hope that you all know what the soldiers went through, and sacrificed so that we can live freely, how we want in New Zealand. Lest we forget, the sacrifice of those who gave their lives, that we might live.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
to you from failing hands we throw, the torch,
be yours to hold it high,
for we shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
in Flanders fields.
Clevedon School
Anzac Day parade
Planting the crosses in the Memorial Garden
School children with crosses
Clevedon School joined their community in a service to remember ANZAC Day. The children held the white crosses and planted them in the rose garden at the Clevedon School Monument. Senior students laid the wreaths and read at the service.
Kapanui School, Waikanae
Wreath "We will remember them"
Children during ceremony.
Girl placing poppy by a cross.
Kapanui School's commemorations went very well and included speakers from the local high schools - Kapiti College and Paraparaumu College along with Mayor of Kapiti and a representative from the Paraparaumu RSA.
Orere Primary School
Orere community gather by the Field.
The Field of Remembrance initiative had a huge impact at our small country school. The seniors were all involved in putting it together and all the school families were asked to contribute to the giant poppy we erected beside it. Many from the Orere Point community also added their messages. Each red disc had a remembrance message from a family to someone who went away to a war. The ANZAC service at our school/ community hall was organised by the school and community- the first service ever held here. Pupils were involved in the service which concluded at our Field of Remembrance & Poppy and was blessed by our two ministers. Everyone was impressed with our white picket fence and presentation-just like the fields overseas.
Mansell Senior School, Papakura
IMG 1965 2-421
We at Mansell Senior School combined our inquiry of our local soldiers with our inquiry into Maori protocols (we are 75% Maori) so first we held a completely student-led powhiri to welcome the crosses into the school and then we later held a ceremony in our memorial garden to lay the crosses - it was beautiful. The highlight - having a student from the local high school come play the Last Post after we said the ode- the students were stunned!  
Read more in an article in the Papakura Courier
Children holding their artwork

Art pieces about two local fallen soldiers submitted to our Papakura RSA Fallen Soldiers competition
Three boys bringing crosses to the Field

Some of our boys preparing to lay the crosses
Glenfield College, Auckland

poppy and crossStudent's cross

students laying out the field
Glenfield College had each of their junior students research a fallen soldier from WW1 and create a cross that was then placed in a field of remembrance at the school. "We have 220 students and have sourced the wood and made our own crosses. We are having students stencil on service number, rank and name." 
Students at ceremony
Glenfield College Field of Remembrance
Glenfield College cadets
St Joseph's School, Otahuhu
Crosses with a "river" of poppies climbing the fence
"I would like to thank the team that put the Fields of Remembrance resource kit for schools together.  It was an outstanding resource. The resource was very well thought out, with clear instructions and all the materials and information contained within the kit. 
 St Joseph’s School in Otahuhu Auckland held a memorable service based around the field of crosses. It was a visual and poignant occasion when the students could participate and remember this important part of our history."
May Road School, Mt Roskill, Auckland
"What an honour to have the Vice Chairman of the Fields of Remembrance Trust, Mr Graham Gibson and also the Manager of Veterans & Membership Services, Mr Andy Francis at our Fields of Remembrance Closing Ceremony. They were so happy to be a part of our Closing Ceremony. To hear The National Anthem, The Himene (He Honore) being sung, The Last Post, The Reveille, The Last Ode being read out in Te Reo Maori and in English, to listen to the names of the soldiers being called out and the children removing the crosses with Mana was an amazing experience for all of us. To listen to the Principal's message and also to Mr Graham Gibson's speech was heartfelt. Thank you Mrs Lynda Stuart, Ms Beth Noakes, Teachers, Parents, Visitors and most important a very big thank you to the students. They were AMAZING."
Graham Gibson surrounded by pupils from May Rd school

Palmerston North Boys' High School
Pathway between white crosse
Boys walking through the crosses
Avenue of crosses
Palmerston North Boys' High School school made crosses (199 to represent each old boy killed in WWI, WWII and the Falklands) to mark the pathway from our War Memorial Gallery to the Gallipoli Oak (which was planted on April 25, 1916). Each cross was marked with the service number, name, rank and photo of each old boy.  
"For our ANZAC service the entire school (nearly 1800) walked this pathway in silence and two of our WWII veterans walked down it to lay a wreath at the Gallipoli Oak with the school lined up either side of the pathway.  We were also privileged to have 10 Ghurka soldiers from the 1st Ghurka Rifles present for the ceremony." 

Goldfields School - A Special School and Area Resource Centre
Girl hammering in a cross from her wheelchair
Goldfields school children
Teachers and pupil hammering in cross
"We are a small special school in Paeroa. Your information pack and resources were excellent and whilst we obviously adapted them for our more able students, they enabled staff to really develop a sense of understanding and awareness with our students.
​The attached link is to a set of photographs on our school website which shows the students laying out The Field of Remembrance."
Uplifting the crosses
May Street School children
Schools will be  uplifting their crosses on 4th May 2015.
Some will have a small ceremony to mark the occasion.
Schools are invited to keep their crosses and use them again to remember those who died World War I 1914-1918.
Some dates to commemorate may be found here.

The Fields of Remembrance Trust would like to thank the students, parents and especially teachers who have established Fields of Remembrance across the country.

Click here to watch a video produced by Birchville School Upper Hutt.
Niue Island Field of Remembrance

Niue Island Field of Remembrance
In October 1915 150 Niueans arrived in New Zealand and began training at Narrow Neck. In early 1916  they embarked on the SS Navua for a 5 week journey to Egypt where they joined the newly formed  Pioneer Battalion.

In May 1916  they travelled to Armentieres in France and began work on the trenches. They worked at night to avoid the worst artillery fire. They had to contend with mud, rats and cold.  Twenty one of these men died in World War I.

To honour these men the Fields of Remembrance Trust sent kits to schools in Niue. The Niue High School Newsletter reports:
Students in front of flag poles
"The school had the privilege to hold a “Field of Remembrance” ceremony this term, for the first time. It was a ceremony to open a field of white crosses, which symbolizes and remembers the Niuean soldiers that fought in World War 1 and World War 2.
It was a momentous and significant event which was very emotional for all involved.and the school acknowledges the esteemed company of the Hon. Minister Joan Viliamu; His Excellency Ross Ardern; Rev. Aifolia Poumale; Presi- dent of Niue RSA Charlie Tohovaka and his Executive Committee; Acting Director Gen
eral of MoSS Hubert Kalauni; Acting Director of Education
Cherie Morris-Tafatu; Chief of Police Tony Edwards; Constable Ramona Jackson; and special guest David Priore, which added to the colour of the occasion.
Niue Field of Remembrance commemorations
This event was organised by the Year 13 teacher, Nainasa Fale’ovalu, and her students and they did a splendid job, which made the school very proud. 
There is already talk for this event to become one of the fixtures on the school calendar going forward, which speaks volumes for the significance and regard that we, and especially our students, hold our fallen heroes."
Tawhai School, Stokes Valley
Guests at Tawhai School
Children waiting to lay their wreaths
Crosses and wreaths at Tawhai School
Children assembled by their Field of crosses
"We had a very wonderful and moving service here at Tawhai. I believe it has made such a huge impact on our school community. Everyone has been spurred on during this last week to make their own inquiries about any past family members."

 Rotorua Boy's High School

 St Kevin’s College in Oamaru.

Milford Primary School, Auckland
 Rotorua Boy's High School 
 St Kevin’s College in Oamaru
Milford Primary School, Auckland
Edendale Primary School, SouthlandYear Six pupils at Edendale Primary School have felt priveleged to be able to erect our set of crosses in our small town and are enjoying researching the names of the veterans on the crosses. Thank you for helping the pupils to feel involved in the ANZAC Day commemorations.
Sunnybrae School, Auckland

Students at Sunnybrae Normal School in Auckland place poppies by the crosses in their Field, as part of their ceremony.
Matakana School

Students from Matakana School, North Auckland added their crosses to those at the Matakana War Memorial.

Alexandra School
Alexandria School
Alexandra School
"We would like to thank the Fields of Remembrance Trust.  Your initiative of providing each school with an informative, and well-resourced kit ensured that every school had the opportunity to plan and implement their own way of remembering our fallen soldiers, and also those who returned.
Our Field of Remembrance Service was led by senior students (Year 8).  We incorporated the songs "Lest We Forget" and "Little Red Poppy", as well as the National Anthem.  Wreaths were laid that had been made by students, and we read the names from our historic Alexandra District High School Roll of Honour.  We said "The Ode" and finally we had a blessing for the unknown soldier."

Brookfield School, Tauranga
Brookfields School children
Anzac biscuits for the children
School Field of Remembrance
 Brookfield School in Tauranga built a remembrance garden with the crosses. "We did it with our school leaders and all the classes visited it and read the Flanders field Poem and laid poppies they had made in it. It has been really spectacular. So successful in creating a place where children could do some thinking and remembering."

Te Rito School, Otaki
the great-grandson of Lt.Rikihana Carkeek who features in the Scale of War exhibit in Wellington
Assembling the crosses
Working on the crosses
"We took time and care to make these crosses, knowing that each of these crosses representing a life, a person who sacrificed their lives for their country.  One of our students is a direct descendant of Lt. Rikihana Carkeek who features in the Scale of War exhibit in Wellington."
Hon. Nathan Guy and students
Hon. Nathan Guy and students from Kapanui School, Waikanae.
WWI display in Murray's Bay Primary School
WWI display in Murray's Bay Primary School, Auckland.

Makauri School, Gisborne
Students laying a field of remembrance.
White crosses and red poppies

Makauri School created their Field of Remembrance and added 1000 red poppies to it.  It has even survived rain showers in the last couple of days!
Click here to see video footage of their Field.

Hurunui College
Students applying the name label to a cross
Students assemble the crosses
Students placing the crosses in a Field
Students reading the Ode by their Field

"At the end of last term our 'Investigating' students, years 8, 9 and 10 took to experience some activities based around the experiences of one hundred years ago. They also assembled the crosses and installed the Field of Remembrance. They discussed the significance of the crosses, and listened to the Last Post and a reading of Flanders Fields. There has been quite a bit of interest from the other students about the significance of the crosses. and I believe there will be some other class activities around."

 Education Minister, the Hon. Hekia Parata helping Ngāti Toa School students set up their Field of Remembrance. Ngāti Toa School is in Titahi Bay, Porirua.

Hon. Hekia Parata, Minister of Education
Hon. Hekia Parata, Minister of Education
Schools across the country have established a Field of Remembrance as a way of acknowledging the service and sacrifice of those who lost their lives in World War I.
St Canice’s School in Westport, Buller.
Parkland School
Wellington Girls’ College
South Featherston School
St Canice’s School in Westport, Buller.
Parkland School
Wellington Girls’ College
South Featherston School
Cheviot Area School.

Waikari School

Bell Block School
Cheviot Area School.
Waikari School
School Don Buck
Bell Block School


“It was really about helping the students to forge a personal connection with one of the New Zealand soldiers." 

Schools around the country have received Fields of Remembrance kits provided by the Trust. Each kit contains 30 small crosses, labels with names of people from their wider region who died in the conflict and a range of supportive material.

One school that has already made the most of the Fields of Remembrance concept to provide an authentic learning experience around WW1 is Samuel Marsden Collegiate School for Girls. Last year, the school’s Year 9 social science students each chose a soldier to investigate and report on.

Fiona Crawford is head of humanities at Samuel Marsden’s Karori campus. She says that their Field of Remembrance was the culmination of a classroom learning programme. It was a great way to connect her students with an event that was formative to New Zealand’s very identity, yet to young, modern eyes, can seem very distant in time.

“It was really about helping the students to forge a personal connection with one of the NZ soldiers. I think that they are going to be bombarded with commemorative stuff over the next four years, and I think that to encourage the students to investigate the life and experiences of one person brings the whole thing a bit closer to home. These were real people, not an army of anonymous faces,” says Fiona.
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Tell us what your school is doing to commemorate the 100 anniversary of World War I

Resource Links for Schools may be accessed here.
A Guide for White Cross Ceremonies may be accessed here.
Some fun activities may found here.


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.