They were remembered

by Kent Caddick

From the smallest of rural towns to the largest urban areas in Selwyn, locals came together last week to remember New Zealand’s fallen, and serving, servicemen and women on Anzac Day.

Tributes were paid to those who had lost their lives in the service of their country at this year’s 102nd Anzac Day, which began as a remembrance to New Zealand and Australian soldiers who were killed in the failed battle for the Gallipoli peninsula early in the first world war.

This year also marked the 100th anniversary of what is often referred to as New Zealand Defence Forces’ ‘darkest day’ during the Battle of Passchendaele, which occurred in October 1917.

In terms of lives lost in a single day, the failed attack on Bellevue Spur on October 12 was probably the greatest disaster in New Zealand’s military history.

Eight days earlier, 320 New Zealanders died during the capture of Gravenstafel Spur, one of two spurs on the ridge above Passchendaele in Flanders, Belgium.

On October 12, the II Anzac Corps was ordered forward once more but by the end of the day more than 800 men lay dead in the mud, including 45 officers.

Those soldiers, and hundreds more who had come from the Selwyn district to fight for their country in the two world wars and other conflicts around the globe, were remembered in moving services across Selwyn on Anzac Day.

The parade arrives at the war memorial in

Children from West Melton kindergarten place a wreath

West Melton Anzac Day service MC Bruce Russell helps a young 
girl place her poppy on the war memorial

The service gets underway at the West Melton war memorial inside
the local school grounds

Malvern Community Board member Judith Pascoe and Selwyn district
councillor John Morten place wreaths at the Darfield war memorial

The pipe band leads the Anzac Day parade through Rolleston

Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton speaking at the Rolleston Anzac
Day service