First World War resources for New Zealand schools

Students and teachers: when you’re looking for quality information on the First World War to support your teaching and learning, we invite you to explore and use the official guides and resources below.

First World War inquiry guides and resource packs


NZ soldiers around a billy
NZ soldiers around a billy, by Henry Sanders, 1918. Alexander Turnbull Library. 1/2-013081-G

First World War inquiry guides (English medium) and resource packs (Māori medium) for teachers of years 1-13 are now available on the First World War Inquiry Guides and Resources website

First World War quotes

Children’s Toys

“The tastes of children (in toys) have undergone a great change since 1914. In that year the demand for everything suggestive of war, such as guns, pistols, ships of war,  soldiers, swords, flags,  and other things, was extraordinary. We could have sold many more of  these articles than were available, but this year the children, like their parents, appear to be tired of war and war toys.”


Dominion, Volume 11, Issue 80, 28 December 1917, Page 6

First World War resource guide


Ettie Rout with her Volunteer Sisterhood
Stanley Andrew, Ettie Rout with her Volunteer Sisterhood, 1915. Ref: 1/1-014727-G

Our online First World War resource guide for schools provides access to up-to-date online First World War and WW100 commemoration resources. This includes the experience and perspective of New Zealanders during the war, here and overseas and also resources covering commemorations held in New Zealand and Europe.

The above photograph shows Ettie Rout (in the middle, without a hat) posing with members of the volunteer sisterhood, which she organised to provide care to New Zealand soldiers overseas. In 1915, without government approval, they travelled to Egypt and worked in canteens, soldiers’ clubs and convalescent homes. Later in the war they also worked in Serbia, France and England. The soldiers saw Ettie as their guardian angel. However back in New Zealand many people were outraged that she would offer care to men who were indulging in activities they viewed as immoral. Ettie didn’t care what anyone thought  - she just helped where she saw a need.

Featured resource

Photograph of George Wallace Bollinger
Photograph of George Wallace Bollinger at Gallipoli, by unknown photographer, 1915 Alexander Turnbull library. MS-Papers-2350-3-01

In this diary extract George Bollingerrecords the sinking of the British liner troopship Royal Edward by a German submarine torpedo shortly before Bollinger arrived at Gallipoli. Over 900 British soldiers drowned.

“She sank straight down from this position. Only one thought flashed across our mind. She had been torpedoed. Our course was changed, a full complement of stokers put on and we made for our lives at the best this good ship could give. We all went below & put on our lifebelts then going aft to await our turn the hospital ship put back to the scene of this disaster but I am afraid there would not be many souls to save.”

A few days later Bollinger was in the thick of fighting on Gallipoli

"On we rushed against a rain of bullets and our men began to drop over, before they fired a shot... Our men were dropping in hundreds." - Bollinger, diary entry on April 27