Researching World War One

Guides to research

  • WW100
    Your starting point for research. A growing list of resources developed across the country, covering a range of subjects, from conscientious objectors, what it was like back home to fighting soldiers and war memorials.
  • Researching New Zealand soldiers in the First World War.
    New Zealand History Online (Ministry for Culture and Heritage). An excellent list of resources to start your research. See also their collected stories and resources New Zealand the First World War.
  • Archives New Zealand - Discover World War I
    NZDF Personnel file search, plus a list of other WWI resources and sites, including the collection of WWI art commissioned by the NZDF. Their War Research Guide is a useful tool for researching all wars with NZ involvement at the Archives.

Key online resources

  • Te Ara - NZ Encyclopedia Online - their pages on WWI are an excellent complement to the resources on NZ History Online.
  • Cenotaph database
    Records of soldiers who have served.
  • Nelson Provincial Museum
    Their Stories - Our History WWI exhibition information and the World War I Service database. Records the names of all those from Nelson Province who served in any capacity in WW1 - over 7000 names include 3700 servicemen and women plus the names of the 3500 men conscripted into the Reserves (Reservists have an * immediately after their name) and those who served in the South African War ( a trailing * is after their name). All service personnel are linked directly from the database to the On-line Cenotaph at Auckland War Memorial Museum and from there to their Military Records at Archives NZ.
  • The Prow
    WWI stories with a local connection - at home and at war - have been collected together. The Prow will continue to add stories throughout the commemorative period. Your story is welcome.
  • Kete Tasman
    See the Roll of honour - all servicemen from the Tasman area and some from the Nelson and West Coast areas who were killed in the Boer, First and Second World Wars.
    and WW1 Basket – for community contributions
  • Papers Past
    Essential reading for local reporting on the war, and information about what was happening at home. Some newspapers are available up to and including the war years, eg.
    Nelson Mail to 1918
    The Colonist to 1920
  • Ancestry Library – available to search in Nelson and Tasman Libraries
                   New Zealand Army WWI Reserve Rolls, 1916-1917
                   New Zealand Army WWII Nominal Rolls, 1939-1948
                   New Zealand Army WWI Nominal Rolls, 1914-1918
                   New Zealand Army WWI Casualty Lists, 1914-1919
                   New Zealand Army WWI Roll of Honour, 1914-1919
                   New Zealand Army Medal Rolls, 1860-1919
                   New Zealand WWI Military Defaulters, 1919-1921
                   Chronicles of the N.Z.E.F., 1916-1919
  • Marlborough Museum Collections Online - Anzac and Military history


The library has an extensive collection of World War 1 resources. Search the catalogue or ask at the Information Desk. A number of titles are held in our Stack and Heritage collections and are will not be found on the open shelves. Also search the New Zealand Libraries catalogue for other titles held in NZ – and we can organise interloans.

Digitised books

A large number are now available. Search:

Serials held at Nelson Public Libraries

  • Nelson College Magazine: The Nelsonian (1915, December)/ The Nelsonian (1916, May):
  • Roll of Honour Nelson College(1916, May) The Nelsonian
  • Roll of Honour Nelson College (1918, December) The Nelsonian
  • Wright, K. ( 2008) Nelson’s Turkish pontoon. Nelson Historical Society Journal. Vol.6, No. 6, p.4-13.

Film – MediaNet

The NZ Film archive at Nelson Public Libraries. To see the full catalogue of films held at Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, search their catalogue keyword eg World War One, or have a look at their themed resource - Sights and Sounds of WWI:   For titles not available on MediaNet, ask about an interloan.
See also

Nelson Returned Services Association Library

The library is located at the Stoke Rugby Rooms in Songer St Stoke. Contact them for access.
The following is a list of NZ World War One titles held - and not held elsewhere in Nelson or on-line. Many other titles are held.

  • Fair, R. (1965). A Treasury of Anzac humour. Brisbane: Jacaranda Press.
  • The Kia ora coo-ee: The magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918. (1981). Sydney: Angus & Robertson.
  • Men of Anzac (1916) The Anzac boot. Gallipoli: Men of Anzac
  • New Zealand. (1916). The long trail. S.l.: Published by the Right Wing of the 18th Reinforcements aboard the transport, Tofua.
  • New Zealand. (1917). New Zealand at the Front. Written and illustrated by men of the New Zealand Division. London: Cassell & Co., 1917.