Commemorating World War One Battle of Paaschendaele

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Local Year 13 school students have been encouraged to enter a nationwide multi-media competition commemorating the World War One Battle of Passchendaele.

Coromandel MP Scott Simpson says the competition is a chance for today’s youth to connect with an important and historic part of New Zealand’s WW1 history by using a modern medium. 

“The Battle of Passchendaele was one of New Zealand’s most deadly conflicts during the First World War. On just one day — 12 October 1917 — more than 845 New Zealanders were killed and more than 2700 wounded” said Mr Simpson.

“There were many young men from our region who took part in the battle and many who made the ultimate sacrifice. Some were from Waihi and Karangahake and had been miners qualified in digging tunnels. They formed part of the New Zealand Tunnelling Company.

“The underground war effort was just as important as that above ground. Both the Allies and the Germans tunnelled under each other’s lines to lay mines.

“This annual competition is open to all year 13 students from around New Zealand but I hope that because of our very local historic connections we will have lots of entries from local students.

“This is a completion that helps ensure New Zealand’s sacrifice on the Western Front is not forgotten.

The winner will receive a $2000 education contribution and, along with the runner up, attend the Battle of Passchendaele centenary commemorations in Belgium in October 2017.

Both students will travel with the New Zealand Defence Force as part of a larger group of Youth Ambassadors selected by NZDF, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth Development and the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association.

Entries close 26 September 2016.

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