We’ve just added nine military collections – almost half a million records – to the Anne Bromell collection of New Zealand historical records.
These new collections are outlined below:
New Zealand sent almost 10 percent of its population overseas to do battle on World War I’s killing fields as the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF). The casualty rate (killed and wounded) among the men who went was over 50 percent. These records are the published Alphabetical Rolls of the NZEF from World War I and provide an index of soldiers who embarked from New Zealand as part of the NZEF.
New Zealand’s casualty rate per capita was among the highest in the Second World War. Some counts estimate that almost 1 out of every 150 New Zealanders died in the war.
These rolls provide an index to the men and women who embarked from New Zealand as part of the 104,000-member-strong Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF) on their way to fight in Greece, North Africa, Syria, Europe, and elsewhere. Along with name, rank, unit, and the like, the rolls also list occupation (including body-builder), last New Zealand address, and next of kin.
Between 1860 and 1919, New Zealanders fought in 3 major conflicts: the New Zealand War of 1860–1870, the Second Boer War, and World War I. This collection, compiled from the New Zealand Official Yearbook (1919) and Defenders of New Zealand (1887), indexes individuals from New Zealand who were awarded medals, decorations, or other military honors during this time.
Men who, for moral or political reasons, did not meet their obligations for compulsory military service during World War I were declared military defaulters after the Expeditionary Forces Amendment Act of 1918 – more commonly known as conscientious objectors. You’ll find their names and places of residence in this index.
The original defaulters list was published in the New Zealand Gazette in May 1919, and taking a stand came with a cost. Defaulters lost their rights to vote, hold office, or be employed by any public authority until 1927.
To keep the ranks of the NZEF filled, the Military Service Act of 1916 instituted compulsory military service. Men not already registered for service with the NZEF were to register for the reserve, which became the government’s pool from which draftees’ names were drawn.
Two rolls were compiled. Each record contains the name of the reservist, his occupation, and place of residence at time of enlistment. The second roll also includes a classification based on the number of children the reservist had. Class A was for reservists with no children; Class Fs had more than four.
By the end of WWI approximately 124,000 New Zealanders had served in the NZEF – nearly half of the eligible male population of 250,000. These lists include the names of those who died of wounds or sickness while on active service during the war or while training in New Zealand, as well as wounded and prisoners.
New Zealand lost more than 18,000 soldiers in World War I. This index of NZEF soldiers who died during their WWI military service is divided into three sections: persons killed in action or who died from wounds or disease while on active service, persons who died from wounds or disease after discharge from the NZEF, and persons who died from accidents or disease while in training in New Zealand.
Thomas Wayth Gudgeon’s book features short biographies of colonists who distinguished themselves during the New Zealand War of 1860-1870, tales of the Māori, recipients of the New Zealand Medal, and men killed in action during the war.
Chronicles of the N.Z.E.F. was a magazine published twice monthly in London during WWI. The pages reported on service life in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, including stories, entertainment, and information about sporting and social events. Each issue also contains obituaries and casualty lists, as well as hospital reports on wounded troops. This collection includes 61 issues with pages listing the names of thousands of men and women serving with the NZEF.