20. Chinese hero
Private Herbert Stanley Sing was in a dugout on the Western Front in July 1916 when enemy shells rained down.
Sing, who had survived Gallipoli, was not so lucky this night.
According to his brother Albert Victor Sing, crouched in nearby trenches, the German bombardment started at 10pm and didn't let up until 2am.
"We only got the tail end of the 'strafe'," Private Sing wrote in a letter published in the Auckland Star on October 25, 1916.
As the name suggests the Sing brothers were Chinese New Zealanders. Besides Herbert and Albert, Percy and Frank Sing also served with NZ forces. Only Herbert, who was buried in France, failed to return.
The number of New Zealanders of Chinese descent who enlisted is unknown but an Australian historian, Alastair Kennedy, in a book called Chinese Anzacs, identified about 50 out of 150 possible candidates "who appear to have Chinese ancestry".
Richard Leung, national vice-president of the NZ Chinese Association, said the contribution of soldiers of Chinese descent to the war was little known outside his community. He said that at a time accusations of xenophobia had surfaced in the election campaign after New Zealand First leader Winston Peters made an anti-Asian "joke", it was worth recalling that 100 years ago Chinese New Zealanders fought and died alongside their countrymen.
Mr Leung said: " It hurts us when politicians make cheap cracks at a community which has always tried to participate in society."
His frontline companions said Herbert Sing was a brave and popular soldier. He was a cook at the Royal Hotel when he joined the infantry and sailed for Suez in October 1914. Wounded at Gallipoli, he rejoined his company, which withdrew to Ismalia beside the Suez Canal. In February 1916, Private Sing was made the company cook.
Albert Sing wrote that Herbert, a trained signaller, made a name for himself just a few weeks before his death. Knocked over by a mortar shell, he collected himself and restored the phone line.
Albert Sing said his gallant brother was recommended for a Distinguished Conduct Medal. Neither he nor his family appear to have received it, because it is not mentioned in his war service records at Archives NZ. All his mother got was the Dead Man's Penny, a little bronze memorial plaque.