First World War Newspaper Timeline

A DigitalNZ Story by jamie mackay

An attempt to find newspaper headlines to support a chronological history of NZ's participation in the First World War. Of course newspaper reports are always after the actual event, and in some cases - such as the German raider Wolf laying mines in NZ waters - nothing was known for a year or more after the event. See the timeline this is based on here:

ww1, first world war, war, newspapers

Key events First World War and how they were reported in New Zealand.  The events mentioned are listed on NZHistory

 The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo (the capital of the Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia-Herzegovina) on 28 June 1914 eventually led to the outbreak of the First World War. 

 The New Zealand government was informed of the outbreak of war just before 1 p.m. on 5 August (NZ time). At 3 p.m. the governor, Lord Liverpool, announced the news from the steps of Parliament to a large and enthusiastic crowd. Most New Zealanders regarded themselves as British and Britain as home, so there were few doubts about fulfilling our obligations to the Empire in its moment of crisis.  

When war broke out in Europe in August 1914, Britain asked New Zealand to seize German Samoa as a ‘great and urgent Imperial service’. 

When it was suggested that Māori be sent to garrison the newly captured German colony of Samoa, New Zealand Administrator Robert Logan warned that this might provoke the Samoan population. Instead, a Maori Contingent of about 500 men left Wellington for Egypt aboard the SS Warrimoo on 14 February 1915. 

Based on the Territorial Force, the 8,454-strong New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) was quickly assembled under the command of Alexander Godley, a British general on loan to New Zealand. It left New Zealand on 16 October 1914, the largest body of men (and horses) to leave New Zealand at any one time. 

On 2 November 1914 Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire (which included modern day Turkey), an ally of the German and Austro-Hungarian empires. The British Empire (including New Zealand) and France declare war on the Ottoman Empire on 5 November. 

The NZEF combines with Australian Imperial Force units to form the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). 'Anzac' is adopted as the label for Australian or New Zealand soldiers following the Gallipoli landings.  

 New Zealand soldiers see their first combat of the war when they help defend the Suez Canal against an attack by Ottoman troops. 

The ANZAC land near Ari Burnu at what has become known as Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula of Turkey. The first New Zealand troops land in the late morning. 

The New Zealand Infantry Brigade deploys south to Cape Helles, Gallipoli and takes part in a series of unsuccessful attacks toward the village of Krithia on the slopes of Achi Baba. They suffer over 800 casualties.  

The Wellington Battalion captures Chunuk Bair during the Battle of Sari Bair. New Zealand units hold the summit for two days until relieved by British troops on the night of 9-10 August. Chunuk Bair is recaptured by the Turks the next day.  

The authorities in London decide to withdraw from the Gallipoli peninsula. New Zealand troops are evacuated from the Anzac area between 15 and 20 December. The campaign has cost New Zealand nearly 7500 casualties, including 2779 dead. 

A New Zealand Division is formed with three infantry brigades. Major-General Sir Andrew Russell is given command. The division is sent to the Western Front and arrives in France from Egypt in April 1916. 

The first Anzac Day services are held in New Zealand to mark the anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. The government had announced the establishment of 'Anzac Day' as a half-day holiday on 5 April. One of the first services was held at Petone railway station