World War One Key Dates

New Zealand Forces Actions in World War 1


Photo of Occupation of German-Samoa 1914
29 August 1914:  Invasion/Occupation of Samoa

Led by Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Logan, the 1385-strong Samoa Advance Party of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force landed at Apia on 29 August. There was no resistance from German officials or Samoa’s general population.


Photo of Auckland Battalion landing at Gallipoli Turkey during World War I 25 April 1915(copy)
Stretcher Bearers bringing in the wounded.
Gallipoli, Turkey. Read, J C :Images of the Gallipoli campaign. Ref: 1/4-058065-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
25 April 1915:  ANZAC and Helles landings

The New Zealand Expeditionary Force landed on the shores of the Dardanelles at what is now known as Anzac Cove. By the end of the day 147 men were dead. At home the newspapers reported their “splendid gallantry” and talked of them coming through unscathed but by May the casualty lists showed the true story.
28 April 1915:  1st  Battle of Krithia (British)

6-8 May 1915:  2nd Battle of  Krthia
12 May 1915:  Arrival of  Mounted Rifles Brigade
They came as reinforcements, without their horses.
19 May 1915:  NZ Mounted Rifles Defence of Anzac
28‐30 May 1915:  NZMR Attack at No.3 Outpost
4 June 1915:  3rd Battle of Krithia
28 June - 5 July 1915:  Battle of Gully Ravine (Helles)

6 August 1915:  Battle of Sari Bair  NZEF
6-7 August 1915:  NZMR capture the Sari Bari Foothills

6-13 August 1915:  Battle of Krithia Vineyard NZEF
6-12 August 1915:  Battle of Lone Pine (ANZAC)
8-10 August 1915:  Battle of Chunuk Bair (ANZAC) (includes Hill 971 and Hill Q)
This ferocious battle for the heights of the Dardanelles  involved the  New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade , the Maori Contingent, the Auckland Battalion and the Wellington Battalion who successfully captured the summit, led by Lieutenant Colonel William Malone.  They were relieved by the Otago Battalion and the Wellington Mounted Rifles who held the summit for two days until relieved by British troops. Chunuk Bair was recaptured by the Turks on the 10th August.  Casualties were very high 650 dead including Lt. Col. Malone.
7 August 1915: Battle of the Nek (ANZAC)
7 August 1915: Victoria Cross
Corporal Cyril Bassett, NZ Divisional Signals, 1NZEF
10–21 August 1915:  Battle of Scimitar Hill (Suvla)
21–29 August 1915:  Battle of Hill 60 (ANZAC)

Image of the hospital ship Marquette with list of members of the New Zealand Medical Corps, and New Zealand nurses lost in the sinking on 23 October 1915. Price, William Archer, 1866-1948 :Collection of post card negatives. Ref: 1/2-000610-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.


23 October 1915: Marquette torpedoed
The transport Marquette  was torpedoed in the Aegean Sea.  on board were officers and men of the New Zealand Medical Corps, 36 New Zealand Army Nursing Staff, 610 officers and men of 29th Divisional Ammunition Column , 541 mules and some ammunition. Twenty nine crew and 182 troops were lost. Ten of those who died were New Zealand nurses who had been working at No.1 New Zealand Stationary Hospital in Port Said. 

Learn more about First World War Nurses here.

18–20 December 1915:  Evacuation ANZAC and Suvla

Of the 2721 men they left behind on the Gallipoli Peninsula only 265 have graves.

This 1984 television documentary contains footage of Gallipoli veterans telling their stories -
Gallipoli: the New Zealand Story



Sinai & Palestine

The campaigns in Sinai and Palestine are not as well known as the battles of Gallipoli or the Western Front. Units involved in the fighting here included the NZ Camel Corps and the NZ Rarotongan Company. Desert conditions were harsh and unforgiving.

Camel acting as Brigade Headquarters ready for the road

New Zealand Mounted Rifles encampment at Bir el Maler, Egypt.. Powles family :Photographs. Ref: PA1-q-604-33-3. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
Australian Camel Company

15 March 1916:  Formation of ANZAC Mounted Division

4‐5 August 1916: Battle of Romani

23 December 1916:  Capture of Magdhabat

9 January 1917:  Capture of Rafah

26 March 1917:  First attempt to capture Gaza

17‐19 April 1917:  Second attempt to capture Gaza

30‐31 October 1917:  Gaza‐Beersheba Line broken in Third  Battle of Gaza

14 November 1917:  Defeat of attack at Ayun Kara

24 November 1917:  Loss of bridgehead River Auja

21 February 1918:  Capture of Jericho

27‐30 March 1918:  First Battle of Amman

1‐6 May 1918:  First Battle of  Es Salt

25 September 1918:  Capture of Amman

31 October 1918:  Ottoman Empire signs Armistice

March ‐ June 1919: Suppression of Egyptian revolt

30 June 1919:  Brigade Disbanded

Battles of the Western Front

New Zealand soldiers in a trench in France

A Lewis gun in the front line.


Image of the Maori Pioneers laying a road

Image of soldiers carrying the wounded

Image of New Zealand troops


Soldiers loading a howitzer

Le Quesnoy-724
15 - 22 September 1916:  Battle of The Somme (Flers ‐ Courcelette, France)

This was the New Zealanders first major engagement on the Western Front. They went over the top at 6.30 AM and by the end of the day thay had secured their objectives, taking the village of Flers. It was however an expensive victory with some 1200 casualties - 600 dead.

15 September 1916: Victoria Cross
Sergeant Donald Brown, 2nd Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment, 1NZEF
25 - 28 September 1916: Battle of The Somme (Morval, France)
1 - 18 October 1916: Battle of The Somme (Le Transloy, France)

7 - 14 June 1917:  Battle of Messines (Belgium)

This carefully prepared attack was a striking success. It commenced with the explosion of huge mines under the German lines, reportedly heard in London. The New Zealanders still payed a heavy price - by the time the New Zealand Division was withdrawn on 9 June, it had suffered 3,700 casualties, 700 of them dead.

7 June 1917: Victoria Cross
Lance-Corporal Samuel Frickleton, 3rd Battalion, 3rd NZ (Rifle) Brigade, 1NZEF


31 July 1917: Victoria Cross
Corporal Leslie Andrew, 2nd Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment, 1NZEF

26 September - 3 October 1917: Battle of Polygon Wood

4 October 1917: Battle of Broodseinde

12 October 1917:  Battle of Passchendaele

This is New Zealand's darkest day. 846 young New Zealanders were killed in the first four hours of the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium. By the end of the day the total number of casualties, the wounded, the dead and the missing was 2,700. It took two and a half days to clear the battlefield of the dead and injured.

3 December 1917: Victoria Cross
Private Henry Nicholas, 1st Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment, INZEF

28 March 1918: Battle of Arras

5 April 1918:  Battle of the Ancre
24 July 1918: Victoria Cross
Sergeant Richard Travis, 2nd Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment, 1NZEF
21 - 23 August 1918: Battle of Albert
24 August 1918: Victoria Cross
Sergeant Samuel Forsyth, NZ Engineers, attached to 2nd Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment, 1NZEF
26 August 1918: Victoria Cross
Sergeant Reginald Judson, 1st Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment, 1NZEF
31 August - 3 September 1918: Battle of Bapaume
1 September 1918: Victoria Cross
Sergeant John Gildroy Grant, 1st Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment, 1NZEF

12 September 1918: Battle of Havrincourt
12 September 1918: Victoria Cross Sergeant Henry John Laurent, 2nd Battalion, 3rd NZ (Rifle) Brigade, 1NZEF

27 September 1 October 1918: Battle of Canal du Nord
30 September 1918 Victoria Cross
Private James Crichton, 2nd Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment, 1NZEF
8 - 9 October 1918: Battle of Cambrai

9 - 12 October 1918: Pursuit to the Selle

25 October 1918:  Battle of the Selle

4 November 1918:  Battle of the Sambre

7 November 1918:  Capture of Le Quesnoy
Learn more about New Zealand in the First World War 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.