By the end of the war almost 2,500 men and women from the province had served overseas. Most men were enlisted in the New Zealand armed forces, but some enrolled with the Australian and British forces, and a smaller number served as nurses and chaplains. This number does not include: those from Marlborough or northern West Coast who were part of the same military district; some of those who served in the British navy or air forces; the merchant navy; volunteers with the Red Cross; or others directly associated with the war effort. Those left behind raised funds, made up parcels, wrote letters, and kept the province running - all the time fearful of a telegraphed message bearing news of death or injury of a loved one.
Some of these men and women are featured in the exhibition and profiled on this website. Click the button below to discover more.
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This exhibition honours the centennial of the 'war to end all wars', World War One (1914 - 1919).
The extraordinary stories of these ordinary men and women make compelling reading. The contribution made by them has helped to build our nation's identity. The Nelson Provincial Museum is honouring the memories of those who served in World War One, telling the stories of many of them through this exhibition and online, as 'the war to end all wars' is remembered. The exhibition is being rolled out over a five year period and draws on the strengths of the Museum's collection; artefacts, photographs, letters and diaries illustrating 'At War' and 'At Home' themes. Part one of the exhibition entitled "A Jolly Big Adventure" is now showing in the upstairs gallery at Museum's central Nelson City location.
WW1 Service Database
The WW1 Service Database is now live on the Museum's website. The database lists the names of more than 2500 men and women from the region who served during the First World War. The database is the end product of many years work by regional researchers and genealogists and includes nurses, soldiers, Padres, and those men and women who served with Australian forces, the Royal Navy and the flying services of England.
Diary Transcription 16 Oct - 2 Dec 1914
This transcript is part of a diary held by the Clougher family. Jack Clougher embarked in Lyttleton then left with the Main Body of NZEF troops who departed from Wellington on 16 October 1914.
Huffam Diary 1914 - 1915
Daily entries covering Huffam's life in Nelson, voyage to Fiji during February 1914, his stay in Fiji, voyage to Brisbane working aboard "Amra" (May 1914), and life in Brisbane until his return to Nelson in January 1915. Comments about progress of the war during his stay in Australia, where he enlisted in the Naval Reserves and Expeditionary Forces in the hope of being called up. He embarked for war service from New Zealand on the 13th June 1915 in the Medical Corps.
F G Gibbs 1914 - 1915
Diary written by F. G. Gibbs covering the period between 9 Nov 1913 – 25 April 1915. F. G. Gibbs was a community leader in Nelson who was involved in the development of many Nelson institutions.