A World War One commemorative poem written by a Waingaro School student will be read by the author at the official opening of the WW1 exhibition, For Us They Fell, at Waikato Museum today.

The winning poem by Year 7 student Isara Gatfield-Dudson was chosen from entries to the museum's School War Poets Competition, developed as part of the launch for the commemorative exhibition which opens to the public on tomorrow.

Waikato Museum director Cherie Meecham says the museum was overwhelmed at the response from Waikato and Coromandel schools .

"Our young war poets have obviously been doing their homework. The winning poem encapsulates the feelings of a community coming together to commemorate a war and honours those that fell to give us our freedom.


"It's a beautiful and very moving poem."

The exhibition tells the Waikato WW1 story through the experiences of Waikato people. The exhibition takes the visitor from Waikato as it was just before the war, through the major campaigns and events and to the present day.

"We are indebted to the many people of the Waikato who have contributed many untold stories and personal treasures to make this a truly unique Waikato WW1 project," said Ms Meecham.

For Us They Fell will continue to evolve during the WW1 centenary years from Anzac Day 2015 until the 100th anniversary of the Armistice in November 2018. The exhibition is supported by a website forustheyfell.org.nz where people can view and contribute to soldiers' information. The exhibition is open from 10am-4.30pm daily at Waikato Museum. Entry is free and guided tours are from Thursday to Saturday 1.30-2.30pm.