Learn more Skip to content
Free Admission
Open Daily 10am to 4pm

ANZAC Day Service

Anzac Day 2020

The Origins of Anzac Day

In December 1914, during preparations for the invasion of Gallipoli, in what is now Turkey, the New Zealand Expeditionary Force contingents were grouped together for the first time as the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Together, they provided almost half of the total number of troops in the Allied Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF). From this point on, all combined Australian and New Zealand forces became known as ‘ANZACs’.

On 25 April 1915, Australians and New Zealanders landed together at Gallipoli, at a place later called Anzac Cove. This date has been adopted ever since as the national day of remembrance for war dead in both countries. This first observance of Anzac Day in New Zealand took place in 1916.

How are you commemorating anzac day?

Image Poppies with George
This year, Anzac Day will be like no other. We’d love to hear or see how you are planning to commemorate our national day of remembrance in your bubble.
Perhaps you are planning to #StandAtDawn, light a candle in the window or wear a relative’s medals. Or maybe you’ve been making poppies or Anzac biscuits with the kids, writing poems, or doing some family history research? There are so many ways that we can still honour the service and sacrifice of those who have gone before us while we’re in lockdown.
Send us your your ideas, thoughts, reflections, and photos via email to communications@airforcemuseum.co.nz and we’ll create a special video compilation as a lasting memory of this exceptional Anzac Day.

The ode

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.
E kore rātou e kaumātuatia
Pēnei i a tātou kua mahue nei
E kore hoki rātou e ngoikore
Ahakoa pēhea i ngā āhuatanga o te wā
I te hekenga atu o te rā
Tae noa ki te aranga mai i te ata
Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou
Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou.

#StandAtDawn #LestWeForget

Anzac Commemorations - France and Belgium, Poppy in hands at Arras Memorial Cemetery
An RNZAF airwoman helps with the RSA’s Poppy Day street appeal in Wellington in 1979. Image credit: ©RNZAF Official PR2334-8~79
An RNZAF airwoman helps with the RSA’s Poppy Day street appeal in Wellington in 1979. Image credit: ©RNZAF Official PR2334-8~79

Poppies

In the Spring of 1915, fields of red poppies bloomed in the churned-up ground of the Flanders battlefields in Belgium. This sight inspired Canadian officer John McCrae to write the famous poem,’ In Flanders Fields’ and resulted in the red poppy becoming an internationally recognised symbol of remembrance.

Beginning in America in 1920, poppies were made and sold to raise funds for veterans.

The New Zealand RSA sold over 260,000 poppies for veterans’ welfare in the first ever poppy day for ANZAC Day 1922. This tradition has continued to this day, with the poppy now representing the sacrifice made by New Zealanders in all conflicts since World War One.

from our blog

RNZAF Chief of Air Staff Air Vice-Marshal Leonard Isitt (left) laying a wreath at the Wellington Cenotaph about 1944. Image credit: ©RNZAF Official PR2968
Anzac Day Over the Decades

Since Anzac Day was marked for the first time in 1916, Kiwis and Australians around the world have gathered to reflect on New Zealand and Australia’s national day of remembrance. The day holds special significance, because it is an opportunity to remember and honour the service and sacrifice of those who have gone before us. The Museum archives unit documents how…

Researching your family history
Researching your family history online

Whakapapa connections – who we are, and where we come from – are how we relate to our families and our own place in the world. Whether you’re researching a military or civilian ancestor, this blog will help begin your journey into exploring your family history – a journey you can start online.

Open daily from 10am to 4pm (except Christmas Day)
Entry to the Museum is free, donations are appreciated.

45 Harvard Ave, Wigram, Christchurch | 03 343 9532

We welcome visitors of all abilities

black-stripe
afm-roundel