Australia and New Zealand mark Armistice Day 2013 with online archive

Posted on centenarynews.com on 11 November 2013
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Australia and New Zealand were among the first nations to mark the 95th anniversary of the end of the First World War this year.

They announced that in a "joint ANZAC tribute" a shared First World War online archive wil be made available to Australians and New Zealanders.

New Zealand's Internal Affairs Minister, Chris Tremain, and Australia's Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, said the Discovering Anzacs website would go live today, 11th November 2013.

Records from the National Archives of Australia have been made immediately available, whilst records from Archives New Zealand will be made available in April 2014 on the website.

Mr Tremain said that "this shared collaboration will help our citizens understand more about those who served and the challenges they faced. This will be an innovative and user-friendly website which can only enhance the strong and proud tradition we share".

 Senator Brandis said that Australia "welcomes the opportunity to work with New Zealand to provide a deeper view of our strong Anzac tradition and pay tribute to the Anzacs as we commemorate the centenary of World War I".

The archive will provide online access to digitised Australian and New Zealand service records from the First World War. It will also provide files on internment, munitions and the South African War.

Australia

Australia marked Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, at local and national levels today, with many holding services and commemorative events.

The Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, joined the Premier of Victoria, Denis Napthine, in attending a service at Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance,  alongside thousands of members of the public.

The Austalian War Memorial in Canberra held a Remembrance Day service, where former Prime Minister Paul Keating delivered a speech, describing the First World War as a conflict "devoid of any virtue".

New Zealand

New Zealand also held commemorative services and events  at local and national levels.

A new history of New Zealand’s involvement in the First World War and its effect on the nation, New Zealand and the First World War 1914-1919 by Damien Fenton, was launched today.

The event was attended by Prime Minister John Key, the Governor-General, Lieutenant-General  Sir Jerry Mateparae, and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson, at Government House in Wellington.

The book aims to be the "first accessible, single-volume history to explore New Zealand’s involvement in the war in its widest context".

It is the "flagship publication" of the First World War Centenary History Programme, a partnership between the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the New Zealand Defence Force, the NZRSA and Massey University. It's published by Penguin.

 Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain said that Armistice Day is "a very appropriate time to launch this history of New Zealand's involvement in the First World War".

"“It is a time to reflect on the war’s consequences for New Zealanders who served overseas, and those who remained at home, and how their collective experiences have shaped us a nation".

Source: New Zealand and Australian Governments' websites

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News

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