Wellingtons Specialist Troops (Men-at-Arms, Volume 204)

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As time went by the Defence Department disseminated the new and old figures in various combinations when asked for them, making disentangling them more difficult. To address this question, we must first understand and define our terms of reference. The key is to decide who should be counted as a New Zealand serviceman or woman and who should not. Unfortunately, the obvious criteria of New Zealand birth or origin provide no clear basis from which to work. Any man of British extraction residing in New Zealand who was of military age and in good health could join the NZEF — and likewise, any New Zealand-born man residing in Britain, another dominion such as Australia or Canada, or a British Crown colony, protectorate or territory could join a local force.

Should we add them to the NZEF totals? The bottom line is that it was impossible to even estimate the total number of New Zealand-born personnel who served in other units, and, short of the compilation of a database of personal details of every Allied serviceman, this task is likely to remain impossible. The few partial statistics available are too patchy and piecemeal to give us even an indication of how many New Zealanders served across all the British Empire's military forces. We therefore need to treat the few available and very approximate figures for New Zealanders serving in imperial units with caution.

Of this number, were nurses. The Defence Department reduced the active service total to 98, in January , though its clerks sometimes gave out the number 99, in the early s. To judge the proportions that were volunteers or conscripts, we must first calculate how many there were in each group. By September the government had received , applications to serve in the NZEF, although many men applied more than once.

Of these, 69, men had been accepted for service and sent to camp. A further 24, volunteers were processed between late and the end of the war, of whom 13, were sent to camp a further were under orders to proceed to camp when the war ended. This means that a total of 83, volunteers were sent to camp over the course of the war. Together with conscripts, , men in all were sent to camp during the war [11] elsewhere the Defence Department gives the figure as , The Defence Department produced several conflicting figures for the total number of men called up under the conscription system between and , but the most reliable appears to be , An additional men were called up under s.

It also called up men under s. Some men were granted exemptions , while a large proportion of other men were rejected as medically unfit, both at the point of enlistment and after they had entered camp. The accompanying table illustrates this process.

Key statistics

Of the , men called up under the conscription system, only 19, ultimately left New Zealand for service abroad. Volunteers and conscripts found unfit for military service but still capable of civilian work were posted to the Home Service Branch, then granted leave without pay until further notice. The Minister of Defence could advertise for Home Service men with certain skills to volunteer their services, but had no power to conscript them for such work except, from July , as punishment for an offence.

They wore uniforms and were governed by the same rules as NZEF men serving overseas, but were based at home and served in purely support roles.

The pre-war Territorial Force, with its associated cadet units and Defence rifle clubs, remained in place to defend New Zealand from the possibility, however unlikely, of direct enemy attack, and to provide an informal feeder service for the NZEF. The Defence Department recorded the strength of the Territorial Force at various times, but not the number of men who passed through it. Over the course of the war the strengths of both the Territorial Force and the cadet forces fluctuated between 24, and 28,, while the rifle clubs had between and On average Home Service men and Territorials are distinct and separate groups from the NZEF serving overseas, and should be treated as a separate category of military service.

Calculating the proportion of New Zealanders who served in the NZEF depends, as with much else, on who you include and which figures you select. Provision and maintenance Graph 1 plots embarkation figures as a percentage of the total population, and concludes that 9. The official British statistics compiled at the end of the war record that, on 1 November , the combined British military forces comprised some 3,, personnel, of whom 29, were serving in the NZEF — around 0.

The Military Service Act required all men aged between 20 and 45 to register with the Defence Department, which made them liable to be called up in a conscription ballot. Eligible men could be exempted because of ill health, because they worked in an essential industry, or on a few other specific grounds; all others were legally obliged to serve in the NZEF. Some men, known as conscientious objectors, refused to serve on the grounds of religious, political or philosophical objection to the war.

The Military Service Act provided that only religious objections would be considered for exemption, and such men had to prove their case before a Military Service Board. Historian Paul Baker calculates that these boards collectively granted exemption to 60 conscientious objectors, while another 13 were offered exemption but refused it.

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Some balloted men failed to appear for their medical examination, the first phase of the recruitment process, or, having been deemed medically fit, failed to enter camp when ordered to do so. These men were initially given the benefit of the doubt, but once the Defence Department decided an individual was deliberately avoiding service he became subject to arrest, imprisonment and the loss of his civil rights for 10 years.

Men who deserted from camp also fell into this category. This suggests that around men avoided military service by refusing to present themselves as required by the ballot though individuals arrested more than once will be counted more than once.

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These men were deprived of the right to hold an elected public office of any kind or vote for 10 years. The government statistician estimated that around — or at most — men never registered for the ballot. These straightforward-seeming figures, however, should be treated with great caution. Its casualty lists therefore record not only those who had died or were being treated for illness or injury, but also those who were missing at the time the list was made, or had been taken prisoner by the enemy.

The first is the number of enlisted personnel who between 5 August and 12 November were killed outright or died from injuries sustained in battle, illness, accidents and other causes. Provision and maintenance recorded 16, such deaths, but this figure was subsequently revised upwards. The official New Zealand Roll of honour adds to this total the men who died while still enlisted in the NZEF, or after their discharge from war-related causes, between 12 November and 31 December , and the men who died while training in New Zealand. This brings the total deaths to 18, as of 31 December The New Zealand government, however, subsequently changed the basis for its official roll of honour.

This appears to have been based on the names listed in the Roll of honour , minus the post-August names and with a few other minor revisions. Taking the number of personnel as 98,, and the 16, who died between and as the most historically rather than administratively meaningful figure, then Twelve nurses died during the war, including 10 who drowned because of the sinking of the Marquette in Calculating death figures for any campaign or battle is a complex and sometimes fraught exercise, and the figures tend to be only as good as the most recent in-depth research into them. The source material is often patchy and inconsistent, and needs searching interrogation to be properly understood.

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Collecting data on the battlefield was a piecemeal and difficult process, and casualties were sometimes reported a week or more after the fighting had taken place. Men reported as missing or captured were later located or reclassified as dead, further complicating the collection of accurate data. Identifying the number who perished on the Somme, say, will depend both on the accuracy of the figures collected at the time and the dates at which you start and stop counting.

Others died months and even years later, and attributing each death to a specific battle or phase of combat would be a major exercise in statistical forensics. These complexities make it necessary to set some limits on the span of a specific campaign or battle. The figures for the Gallipoli campaign and the three major Western Front offensives involving New Zealand forces listed below are based on a estimates by the official medical historian Lieutenant-Colonel A.

Carbery in derived from official casualty returns, b later revisions of those figures by subject experts, and c death statistics gleaned from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database. A more recent individual analysis of the Gallipoli dead by historian Richard Stowers identifies New Zealand deaths during the campaign.

Carbery estimated in that there were NZEF casualties killed, wounded and missing as a result of the Somme campaign between 1 September and 7 October though the artillery remained in the field until 27 October. Of these, were killed, wounded and missing. Historian Andrew Macdonald puts the total casualty figure at , comprising dead and wounded between 31 August and 25 October The Commonwealth War Graves Commission database lists the deaths of New Zealand service personnel in Belgium between those dates, and in France between 8 June — when wounded men were first evacuated there — and 13 June.

This total of will include a few men who died of illness and from injuries unrelated to the Messines offensive. The Messines data awaits in-depth analysis and refinement. Carbery quotes a total casualty number of for October the month of the Broodseinde and Passchendaele offensives during the Third Battle of Ypres , during which men were killed or died of wounds, were reported missing and were wounded.

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His death figure is based on the number of New Zealand soldiers who died in Belgium during October , according to the Commonwealth War Graves database. Gallipoli claimed lives Lizzette Dela Pena. Zen Ferrer. Kohinoor Roy. Oakley Inc. Et Al v. Asia Pacific Trading - Complaint.

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