Remembering Anzac Day

by The Listener / 16 April, 2015

A selection of the Listener's Anzac Day coverage since the magazine's birth on the eve of World War II in 1939.

The landing at Gallipolli. Artwork/Charles Dixon/Auckland Turnbull Library

Image/Alexander Turnbull Library


New Zealand's blackest day in Flanders fields Our most lethal military campaign was on the Western Front between 1916 and 1918. Matthew Wright describes the worst day, a century ago in 2017, when 845 Kiwis died trying to take a small Belgian village.

Goodbye to all that A hundred years ago in 2015, the evacuation of Gallipoli began. In contrast to the campaign, it was a model of planning and execution. Military historian Glyn Harper recalls the feelings of “the lucky ones” who got out.

Why Witi Ihimaera wants New Zealand to bring its war dead home Witi Ihimaera's journey to Commonwealth war graves for a new documentary, In Foreign Fields, is both personal and political.

The little-known story of Ernest Rutherford's secret anti-submarine work Famous for his work splitting the atom, Kiwi Ernest Rutherford also distinguished himself in secret anti-submarine research that helped the Allies win WWI.

Great war myths Historians are challenging our popular vision of World War I, that of heroic young men being pointlessly killed by obeying the orders of incompetent British generals.

Short rations Festive cheer was reserved for officers during a miserable 1915 Christmas.

Johnny get your gun In World War I, Kiwi soldiers had a growing sense of their national identity.

 25th anniversary of Gallipoli. Photo/Cover of the New Zealand Listener, 1940.
"I would rather be with you" A trove of wartime letters from Kirsty Cameron's grandfather to her father reveals a soldier’s loving guidance to his young son.
Moments of truth from World War I Attempts to uncover the real stories behind three World War I tales have produced surprising results.

Birthplace of mateship The crucible of the Anzac bond explains Gallipoli’s place in New Zealand war commemorations, writes historian Damien Fenton.
Real-life rambo The exploits of heroic troublemaker John Douglas Stark provide a colourful window on the realities of New Zealand’s World War I soldiers.
Passchendaele was "nothing but utter desolation" Greg Hall remembers the actions of those who fought at the Battle of Passchendaele. Although we tend to regard World War I as “ancient history”, there are Kiwis still alive whose fathers fought in one of these engagements.
With God on their side The legend of Gallipoli is being challenged by Turks who want their country to have a more Islamic identity.

Too quiet on the western front The residents of Le Quesnoy, France, have never forgotten the town’s heroic liberation by Kiwi soldiers in 1918. Now is the time for New Zealand to honour our heroes and heritage.

How a group of New Zealand gunners prevented a massacre of Anzac soldiers in Vietnam Heroic stories from the war in Vietnam are little remembered, but the actions of a group of New Zealand gunners 50 years ago saved the massacre of almost 100 Anzac troops.

Words of the war warriors Historian Monty Soutar has dedicated his life to telling military stories. In a new book, he’ll chronicle World War I through the eyes of Maori soldiers – all he needs to do so is the letters they sent home.

Beloved son Anzac epitaphs tell some of the most moving stories.

Interview with Sir Max Hastings The full version of Sir Max Hastings interview with Karl du Fresne.

 50th anniversary of Gallipoli. Photo/Cover of the New Zealand Listener, 1965

Anzac biscuits – the best recipes Lois Daish's investigations into the history of the Anzac biscuit revealed the earliest published recipe, and a modern update.

Record of ruin The authorities congratulated Bridget O’Gorman on her contribution to the war. But the loss of four sons was an extraordinary price to pay.


The unofficial lifesaver Kiwi Beatrice Maunder set up a string of hospitals for WWI victims and received a medal from the Belgian king. Yet here her extraordinary achievement has been forgotten.

Beyond the graves Major Don Stott is one of our more than 30,000 war dead whose bodies lie in distant lands. The New Zealand War Graves Project is photographing the tombstone or memorial plaque of every New Zealander killed while on active service.

Interview: Gallipoli veteran Martin Brooke "If there had been any rats, they would have been killed and cooked"

The Brookes: a hell of a place Oral historian Jane Tolerton, author of a new book of Kiwi soldiers’ extraordinary World War I memories, shares a rugby family’s tale.

Voices from the Korean battlefield Veterans’ memories of a conflict that remains both unresolved and forgotten.

My father’s war Bill Ralston sifts through the myths and truths of his father's wartime experiences in Africa and Europe and realises how lucky "Rooker" Ralston was to come home.

The Kiwi ‘Red Baron’ Brian Carbury was one of the top five fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain. But because of a fall from grace the flying ace has been given little public recognition.

A boy at war When the first Anzac Day ceremony was being held in Tinui, on April 25, 1916, a boy born in the Wairarapa town was about to become a soldier – although aged just 15. The authorities knew how old Sydney (Stan) Stanfield was, but let him go – as they did thousands of other under-age soldiers. By the time he turned 19 – the age he should have been to enlist – he had fought in the Battle of Messines, and been wounded at both the Battle of Passchendaele and the Second Battle of the Somme. This is his story.

Hitler’s shadow Democracy once produced a monster, so what's to stop history repeating itself?

The Soldiers’ Kodak Photographs shape our visual memories of World War I, illuminating its great themes. A new book and exhibition reveals New Zealand's rich legacy of material, much of it from the frontline.

Dawn’s early light Judy Bailey's personal pilgrimage to Gallipoli.

‘I was nine & wanted to go on a train trip …’ Decades later, children of the Holocaust share their harrowing stories.

War in the Pacific As TVNZ prepares to screen a major series looking at the ground war in the Pacific, the inevitable questions are "Is it accurate?" and "Where were our boys?"

Klara’s choice One Holocaust survivor's desire to start a normal life in New Zealand meant not talking about her time at the hands of the Nazis.

At peace with the past Those Kiwis who fought in the Great War are long gone and the number of World War II veterans is declining rapidly. Yet attendances at Anzac Day ceremonies are soaring, as later generations find new meaning in the sacrifices that were made.

Forever young Increasingly, young Kiwis are coming to see Gallipoli as the defining moment in New Zealand's struggle for national identity.

The disarming of New Zealand 2006 is the Year of the Veteran - a year, according to the government, for all of us to "commemorate and honour the sacrifice and service of New Zealand's servicemen and women". So just how much honour are we doing them?

Anzac’s ghost Unlike Australia, New Zealand has yet to come to grips with the agony of the Gallipoli campaign.

The folly & the glory Gallipoli was the beginning of the end of our "imperial subservience".

Back on Chunuk Bair In the footsteps of the doomed Anzacs at Gallipoli.

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