A new online WWI database, five years in the making, has been launched today to help New Zealanders find out more about relatives killed in the war.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has unveiled its newly completed online archives and a new Discover 14-18 microsite.
The online resources, launched to coincide with the centenary of the outbreak of The Great War - 1914-18 - next month, will make locating and visiting memorial sites of relatives and loved ones killed in the war "easier than ever before", group says.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, founded in 1917, is responsible for marking and caring for the graves and memorials of over 1.7 million Commonwealth war dead from the two world wars - including more than 18,000 New Zealanders.
As part of a five-year project, more than 300,000 working documents relating to those who died in service during WW1 have been scanned and uploaded to the CWGC.org website.
From today, all of those documents are now available for the public to view for the first time.
The documents give a unique insight into the process of commemoration undertaken by the Army and the CWGC after WW1, and include details of personal headstone inscriptions, date of death, rank, regiment and even some documents which show the journey of the deceased to their final resting place.
"The documents are a window into the commission's past, and the incredible work carried out after the war, to ensure those who died will not be forgotten," said Andrew Fetherston, CWGC archivist and records manager.
"As working documents, it is fascinating to see the typed and handwritten lists, the corrections and notes as they strived for accuracy.
"For the families of those we commemorate, these records give a snapshot into the processes by which their relatives would have been identified and buried, or commemorated on a memorial, and give a direct link back to a time in the immediate aftermath of the war."
Also launched today is the Discover 14-18 microsite that features a timeline and events calendar for WW1.
Content is themed around major battles and the different roles of the Army, Navy and Air Force, all linking back to the CWGC memorial sites and the new online archives.