Lest we forget - anzac educationApril 2015
The centenary of Anzac Day brings the opportunity for rich and varied educational experiences for young New Zealanders.
The Cyril Bassett Speech Competition
In April this year all eight finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will travel to Gallipoli to experience the commemoration of the Anzac landings for themselves.
Opotiki College student Caitlin Papuni McLellan won the competition at the national final in March in Wellington. She delivered an inspiring speech about her relative Kurei Papuni and the mana and integrity of the Māori contingent
who fought at Gallipoli.
The students each had six to eight minutes to speak about New Zealanders in World War I. Each finalist has received the trip to Gallipoli, a smartphone, $1,000 in an ANZ bank account and a further $1,000 cheque for their school. In addition to these prizes, Caitlin has received a laptop and will have the honour of delivering her speech at Gallipoli.
The speech competition is a partnership between the RSA and ANZ to promote a greater understanding of the sacrifices made by those who have served New Zealand in conflicts overseas.
Now in its fifth year, it was established as a tribute to Cyril Bassett, VC (1892–1983), the only New Zealander at Gallipoli to be awarded the Victoria Cross, who spent his entire career with ANZ Group.
These finalists will join 17 other young New Zealanders as part of the Gallipoli 2015 Youth Ambassadors NZ programme, an initiative of the Minister of Veteran Affairs, Craig Foss.
World War I material showcased online
To mark Anzac Day and the centenary of the 1915 Gallipoli landings, Victoria University of Wellington’s library has created a digital collection of World War I material. The material, which is publicly available, includes the Victoria University archive’s Honour Roll, which lists the names of then-current students and former students who
were killed during World War I.
The Honour Roll links to biographies and portraits of fallen students that were published in the 1920 issue of student newspaper, Spike. The collection also includes archival material related to Professor von Zedlitz, one of Victoria’s founding professors, who was forced from his post at Victoria due to the Alien Enemy Teachers Act 1915.
This material includes the report of the Victoria University College Council, letters of support from professors and students, and statements from Professor von Zedlitz. “We thought it was important to make this archival material available to a wide audience, particularly as we commemorate the Gallipoli centenary,” says Noelle Nelson, university librarian.
“Reading the biographies of the fallen reminds us of the huge losses New Zealand and other countries suffered in this terrible conflict.
“The von Zedlitz material gives us an insight into what was a controversial and extremely sad case, which unfortunately reflected some of the extreme sentiment of the time.”
Students to set sail on Anzac voyage
Two Victoria University of Wellington students with World War I connections will represent New Zealand on board a square-rigged tall ship as dawn breaks at Gallipoli on Anzac Day. Isabella Thompson and Bex McMenamin are two of three New Zealanders and 21 Australians selected to crew the Young Endeavour ship across the Mediterranean Sea on the third leg of its world voyage.
After a few weeks on the water, the Young Endeavour will sail to the Gallipoli Peninsula, anchoring for a dawn service on Anzac Day, along with naval ships from Australia and New Zealand.
Both Thompson, who is studying toward a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, and McMenamin, a third year law and arts student, have personal connections to World War I—which was part of the criteria for New Zealanders to board the Young Endeavour.
Thompson’s great-great-grandfather fought in Gallipoli along with two great-great-uncles, one of whom died at Quinn’s Post. His name is on a memorial at Lone Pine Cemetery in Gallipoli.
McMenamin’s great-grandfather and his cousin arrived at Gallipoli and fought in World War I, then moved to Belgium where the cousin died. “To be at the 100th anniversary commemoration of Gallipoli on Anzac Day is going to be really special,” says McMenamin, who is also looking forward to seeing the sun rise in different places and meeting new people.
“The ship is a mini world. You are relying on each other all the time so you do form quite intense, strong friendships.”
New Gallipoli app
A free smartphone and tablet app that offers a new way to explore the Gallipoli campaign has been released.
The Ngā Tapuwae Gallipoli app features compelling diary entries from World War I, with clear facts, authentic and beautiful imagery, as well as audio tours narrated by leading historians. The app draws on the expertise of World War I historians to provide heritage site interpretation for locations where New Zealand played a significant role.
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry has welcomed the app’s release.
“Ngā Tapuwae Gallipoli will be your informative travel guide, providing accurate information from a New Zealand perspective. It’s our unique story, following in the footsteps of ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps)
soldiers as they experienced Gallipoli in 1915,” she says.
“It is the most authentic and inspiring travel resource you can use on your trip to Gallipoli. Through it you can imagine the scenes that unfolded there and gain new insights into our brave soldiers’ contributions to the war.”
The app is designed to be used offline to avoid expensive roaming charges and is free for all to download in New Zealand and overseas.
The name Ngā Tapuwae refers to following in the footsteps of those who went before. The Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First World War Trails are being developed by the WW100 Programme as a legacy project to commemorate the centenary of World War I.
Minister Barry also recently announced the launch of Anzac: Sights and Sounds of World War I, from Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision, which combines archival film footage from across the world with recorded interviews, songs
and photographs to give an evocative, insightful and compelling view of the conflict.
“Having this footage publicly available at no cost makes the site an important part of our ongoing World War I commemorations. It will also be a valuable education tool,” says Barry.
Anzac Day curriculum resources
There are a number of Anzac Day learning activities on offer surrounding the 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign. The Anzac Day TKI resource page offers an array of classroom ideas and links to resources.
The Ministry of Education, the National Library’s Services to Schools, and the WW100 Programme Office have also worked together to develop a range of World War I inquiry guides and resources to help students gain
insights into World War I.
The Ministry of Education has also formed a partnership with the Fields of Remembrance Trust to support all schools and kura in commemorating the World War I centenary. The initiative gives schools the opportunities
to establish their own fields of white crosses, to reinforce the impact that World War I had on New Zealand. All New Zealand schools and kura can participate in this commemoration initiative, with each given 30 named
white crosses to commemorate the men and women who died for New Zealand.
A brief history of Anzac Day
Anzac Day occurs on 25 April. It commemorates all New Zealanders killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women, past and present.
The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the ANZACs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. The aim was to capture the Dardanelles, the gateway to the Bosphorus and the
Black Sea. At the end of the campaign, Gallipoli was still held by its Turkish defender.
Thousands lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign: 87,000 Turks, 44,000 men from France and the British Empire, including 8,500 Australians.
Among the dead were over 2,700 New Zealanders, almost one in four of those who served on Gallipoli.
It may have led to a military defeat, but for many New Zealanders then and since, the Gallipoli landings meant the beginning of something else – a feeling that New Zealand had a role as a distinct nation, even as it fought on the other side of the world in the name of the British Empire
Anzac Youth Award
A special category was added to this year’s Youth Awards – the Anzac Youth Award.
Youth Minister Nikki Kaye says the Anzac Youth Award is for young people who’ve helped recognise the centenary of the Gallipoli landings, or helped celebrate the Anzac spirit.
This year, 25 youth ambassadors will also be supported to travel to Turkey to attend the Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli.
Nominations for the 2015 Youth Awards opened in early March and close 28 April.
Parcels From Home: Jack’s War is a book by cartoonist Steve Bolton about the Red Cross POW aid parcel scheme during World War II. It looks and reads like a graphic novel, but touch various points and you get sound
effects and pop-ups with historical information. The whole time it’s working on several levels at once: read it as a cartoon, read the text along with looking at the pictures, listen to sound files as you go, and get the historical factual depth from the pop-ups.
Added to that is an extensive glossary explaining terms, places, military events and more. Meanwhile, the companion history book History of the NZ Red Cross Parcel Scheme in World War Two by Mark Webster and Paul Luker looks and reads like a book, but bold text reveals the source of the information when you tap it.
Pictures expand when you tap on them for closer inspection. Read primary source interview accounts and tap an icon to hear their actual voices.
This history book is the result of research over seven years across hundreds of sources and hundreds of hours in archives and museums across New Zealand and at the New Zealand and Australian Red Cross Headquarters
(Wellington and Melbourne).
Both books support highlighting sections and note taking. Words can be defined if your device is online.
CreativeTech Ltd Publishing will present the two books on 24 April at the headquarters of the New Zealand Red Cross Society in Wellington, and 1 May at the Grey Lynn Returned Services Club in Auckland.