Topic: ANZAC

Wellington commemorates 100-years since Passchendaele

By Talisa Kupenga
  • Wellington

Hundreds gathered at Wellington's Pukeahu National War Memorial for the centenary commemorations of one of New Zealand's greatest military disasters; The Battle of Passchendaele; often referred to as the country's darkest day.

Crowds gather to commemorate the brave who fought at The Battle of Passchendaele.

Andre Taikato of The Royal New Zealand NAVY says "It's a day to commemorate and honour those who fought so we could live our lives today.”

The New Zealand Defence force performed at the Last Post Ceremony this morning (NZ time) at Menin Gate, Belgium. In Auckland, crowds also congregated to pay their respects.

Taikato says "it's important that we show our respect and honour to them especially today being the darkest day, with our allies at the Third Battle of Ypres."

At Passchendaele 1860 New Zealand soldiers were wounded and 845 killed. This remains highest single-day death toll suffered by NZ soldiers overseas.

Taikato says “it's important that we gain awareness first and foremost of what these amazing and gallant men did for us that fought for our nation to give us the freedom that we have today."

Belgium's commemorations for New Zealand's participation in the Battle of Passchendaele will take place at Tyne Cot Cemetery tonight (NZ time).