But from the horrors of war evolved a national identity. Thousands of kilometres from home, New Zealand became dear. They were 'British' no more, but Kiwis.
And the young men themselves. They had no idea what they were signing up for, the brutality they would see and endure; the conditions they would live under.
Imagine the dread at the arrival of a telegram. The loss of hope. The loss of dreams. The heart pain. The excruciating anguish of parents who would never see their child again.
I bet our ancestors never imagined when they immigrated here that their children, grandchildren and/or great-grandchildren would be fighting and sometimes giving their lives in wars geographically far removed from us, arm in arm with the folk of the "old country".Imagine the fear and anxiety of mothers as they waved their teenage sons off to war, young unmarried men who had not yet really experienced life. Some never would.
Artwork by TJB