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Researching Your Family Service History

If you would like to know more about New Zealand’s contribution to the war effort, or find out about any of your family members who took part, here is a selection of helpful places to start your research, or spark your interest.


Personnel Archives within the New Zealand Defence Force can provide service records of New Zealand service personnel. They are based in Wellington - 04 527 5280

New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 is designed to complement the AIF database and to respond to the largely justified criticism that Australians habitually leave the 'NZ' out of ANZAC. It can be searched by name, number and address (or any combination of one or more of these fields). Material is added on a daily basis.

The NZANS website lists all the nurses who have served in the New Zealand Army Nursing Service, later the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps. Over 2000 names can be found on the rolls of all the nurses who have served from 1915 until to 1990. A project for 2015 is to upload photographs of nurses who served during WW1, with about 100 uploaded to date.

Archives New Zealand is digitising and publishing online the New Zealand Defence Force's WWI service records.  So far, around 85% of the 160,000+ records have been digitised and around half have been published online. You can view them by searching, for example, for a service-person's name, rank, or military unit.

Archives New Zealand and the National Archives of Australia are jointly developing the interactive Discovering Anzacs website, which will have online access to Australian and New Zealand service records from World War I. Archives NZ are digitising more than 160,000 New Zealand WW1 service records, and many of these (around 85% so far) will soon be available via this website. You will also be able to post your own photos, stories, and details of family members' service.

A comprehensive First World War research guide - explains how to start your own research, and lists helpful places to look

The National Library have digitised many of the personal diaries of service personnel, and you can now read them – and a blog about their digitisation – online.

Papers Past contains more than three million pages of New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1945 and includes 83 publications from all regions of New Zealand.

Managed by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, this website has information about WW100 centenary projects, events and activities, a timeline, and more…

A history of New Zealand and the First World War

For guidance about researching WW1 soldiers

A comprehensive list of sites and sources for learning about the history of the First World War from a New Zealand perspective, and the role your family members might have played

The Cenotaph database holds a basic record for most of the soldiers in WW1



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