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Hibiscus Coast Genealogy: WWI Project

Hibiscus Coast Branch of the NZ Society of Genealogists, Roger and Diane Shearer, Branch Committee Members

Honouring sacrifice

Anzac Day was a chance for us to reflect on the effects of a war and honour our veterans’ contribution to the peace, freedom, and security our country enjoys today.
Special WW100 coverage in 2015

Field of crosses and memories

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The 64 small white crosses in the roped off Field of Remembrance on Cenotaph Park display the barest details of the Warkworth men who lost their lives in World War I.

Remembering the sacrifice of Coast soldiers in World War l

As we commemorate Anzac Day this month, 100 years on from the Gallipoli landing, we remember the local men identified on the three war memorials.

Dawn service at Anzac Cove

Attending the dawn service at Anzac Cove, followed by the NZ Service at Chunuk Bair will be an emotional experience for Ron Davidson of Stanmore Bay.

WWI descendants gather at RSA

More than 200 people attended an Anzac Day Remembrance Dinner at Warkworth RSA last month, as part of the Gallipoli campaign 100th anniversary. 

We will remember

Residents of the Hibiscus Coast and Mahurangi gathered in their thousands at Anzac services across the district to mark the 100th anniversary of the first landings at Gallipoli.

Rural families turn out in force

Record turnouts for Anzac ceremonies around the country were reflected at the little, Upper Waiwera cenotaph on April 25.

All ages commemorate World War I

Young and old will come together in Wellsford on Anzac Day to remember locals who served in World War I.

Poppies spread messages of peace at Estuary Arts

About 1000 hand made red felt poppies are tumbling from a tree outside Estuary Arts Centre in Western Reserve, Orewa.

School stops to contemplate war effort

Local schools have held Gallipoli commemorations this week. For Whangaparaoa School this included placing crosses on the field, as part of a solemn ceremony.
World War I Timeline - 100 years ago

March 1915

The Third Reinforcements arrive in Zeitoun. The (NZ) AMR receives 115 horses, some of poor quality.

February 1915

New Zealand soldiers see first combat of the war when they help defend the Suez Canal from an attack by Ottoman troops. Private William Ham, severely wounded during the fighting, becomes the NZEF’s first combat fatality two days later.

January 1915

For the first four months of 1915, the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment (AMR) continues training in Egypt. Hopes of action in defence of the Suez Canal and then in the invasion of the Dardanelles are dashed. 


More stories from WWI

Ashton family’s service

Captain Sidney Charles Ashton, of Big Omaha, enlisted in 1916 and served for nearly two years with the Auckland Mounted Rifles Brigade. He fought in the third battle of Gaza, led by General Edmund Allenby, as part of the British Egyptian Expeditionary force. 

Pakiri soldier accidentally shot 

Kenneth Brown, aged 27 from Pakiri, the son of Henry and Catherine Brown, was killed by friendly fire, ironically and tragically, “keeping his head down” with the enemy just yards away.

One who served

Whangaripo farmer, Private Everard Brown, embarked from Wellington with the 31st Reinforcements Auckland Infantry Regiment, A Company on 16 November 1917 and died of pneumonia in Tidford Hospital, England, on 13 February 1918 after serving in France. 

Riding to remember WWI horses

Snells Beach retiree Peter Caccia-Birch got back in the saddle for the first time in 25 years to join a special War Horse Parade recently.
Remembrance and tributes

Great War remembered in Orewa

The 100th anniversary of the start of World War I was commemorated by Orewa College in August 2014 with a battle scene, a replica trench, a fly past and a visit from the New Zealand Defence Force.

Warkworth’s Sister Town ambassador visits

A representative of Warkworth’s Sister Town in England visited Mahurangi last month to strengthen ties between the towns and investigate links between World War veterans. 

Veterans honoured at Christmas lunch

More than 100 people enjoyed hearing the first-hand experiences of WWII veterans, who were guests of the Probus Club of Hibiscus Coast at its Christmas lunch at Whangaparaoa Golf Club on December 2.

Albertland History Column: Christmas in wartime

As the festive season approaches, 100 years since WWI began, I think about all of the young men (and women) who went overseas to fight for their country never returning for Christmas with their families. 

Personal perspectives on WWI shared

A new book published by Exisle Publishing gives a very Kiwi perspective on World War I. A Job to Do is a collection of personal accounts by men who joined the 2 NZ Division.


Mahurangi College honours young soldiers

When the Roll of Honour of young local fallen soldiers is read out at Mahurangi College on Anzac Day in 2015 it will be three times as long as previous years.
More stories
100 years ago
December 1914: WWI timeline • November 1914: WWI timeline • October 1914: WWI timeline • September 1914: Mounted Rifles join Expeditionary Force • August 1914War begins with occupation of Samoa • July 1914: Feeding the war machine


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For the past year we have been following the events of World War I on a month-by-month basis leading up to the Gallipoli campaign.

These accounts have covered significant dates, as well as information and stories about local soldiers.
  Share your stories
Warkworth RSA hopes members of the wider community will come forward with stories of family members, from the Mahurangi area, who served overseas in WWI. They could be stories that have been handed down by word-of-mouth or perhaps the contents of letters and postcards.

“We’d be keen to hear from local descendants, as well as descendants of those who fought and returned to live in the community,” RSA manager Robbie Blair says.

For further information or to have a family member who served recognised and remembered, email Robbie at robbie@warkworthrsa.co.nz or contact the Warkworth office.
We acknowledge the following sources: NZ History Online, Auckland War Museum, Cenotaph Database and Papers Past Website.