Coming Home imageComing Home - 90th Anniversary of the World War One Armistice

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is universally associated with the remembrance of those who died in the First World War.

The date marks the moment when hostilities ceased on the Western Front in 1918, with the signing of the Armistice.

From October 2008 to March 2009, the return of soldiers to New Zealand was commemorated in a series of events, talks, movie showings, exhibitions and recitals throughout the country.

Organisations that participated in ‘Coming Home’ included the National War Memorial, Archives New Zealand, National Library of New Zealand, Army Museum Waiouru, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, New Zealand Film Archive, the Royal New Zealand Returned Services’ Association, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Royal New Zealand Defence Force, Armistice in Cambridge and local councils.

Christchurch City Libraries’ material

Christchurch City Libraries celebrated ‘Coming Home’ with a selection of digitised material relating to the period.


A selection of public notices.

Diggers’ poems

A small collection of poems by returned soldiers published after World War I.

Memorial Service held on Anzac Day, 1916

The first annual commemoration of the landing of the men of New Zealand on the Gallipoli Peninsula, April 25th, 1915, and of the lives laid down on that day and during the ensuing campaign. Service held in ChristChurch Cathedral.

Winning through from war to peace: New Zealand, 1919 edited by L.S. Fanning

Cover subtitle: this illustrated book, edited by L. S. Fanning, shows the wide range of help given to discharged soldiers by the New Zealand Government in the re-establishment of the men in civilian life.

City of Christchurch, N.Z. : peace celebrations

Programme of Christchurch peace celebrations, held on 19-21 July 1919 to mark the end of World War I. Programme includes list of committees, military, school and civilian processions, fireworks displays and Peace Thanksgiving Service.

The Canterbury (New Zealand) Aviation Co. Limited

Details of services and training offered by the company following World War I.

The Canterbury Aviation Co.: the first hundred pilots

A brief history by Henry Wigram recounting the beginnings of the Canterbury Aviation Company. Notes on training pilots for defence purposes during World War I, and prospects for future. Includes a list of the first hundred pilots trained by the company.

Christchurch War Memorial: Bridge of Remembrance

The history and symbolic features of the Bridge of Remembrance opened by Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa, on Armistice Day, November 11, 1924. Extracts from the address of J. Wyn Irwin, of the Bridge of Remembrance Committee.

Seditious prisoners and conscientious objectors fund

By Edwin Howard. A history and accounting of the fund, which was set up in December 1916, to provide for objectors arrested under the War Regulations.

Cecil Malthus: World War I papers [letters, telegrams, documents]

A collection of Malthus letters has been digitised and made available online by Christchurch City Libraries. The letters are penned to his future wife, Hazel Watters. Malthus died on 25 July 1976. The letters follow Malthus’ progress from training in New Zealand to his experiences throughout the war, including time in Egypt preparing for Gallipoli, and his time in France. Malthus was injured in September 1916 and returned to New Zealand in March 1917.


Links to our material regarding the First World War.

Armistice Day

Backgound information about Armistice Day.

1918 Influenza Epidemic - How Christchurch Coped

Article about the epidemic and how Christchurch and Canterbury coped.