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Anzac poetry (WW1)

22 Jul 2016

Our Subjects / Ā Mātou Kaupapa:
English, History, Society and culture

Where can I find information about the poetry read at Anzac Day memorial services?

LEVEL: Primary / Intermediate

Anzac Day is an important national holiday when New Zealanders and Australians attend memorial services to remember those who have fought in wars. To start with Anzac Day commemorated the Gallipoli campaign, but now those who served in all wars that New Zealand has been involved in are remembered. Poetry is an important part of these memorial services.

NZHistory is a great website for information about New Zealand Aotearoa and is an excellent source of information about World War One. If we go all the way down the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

There are a couple of pages on this site which have info about Anzac Day poetry. To find them:

  1. From the homepage, choose 'New Zealand at war'
  2. Then click on 'First World War'
  3. Now select 'commemoration'
  4. Finally, choose Anzac Day. The two pages to look at are the ceremony and the red poppy - each will introduce you to a different poem 

Another website that will help is the New Zealand government's Anzac website. From the links across the top of the homepage you can go to 'Anzac Day today' and then to the typical order of ceremony. This page has information about how poetry is used on Anzac Day.

The Australian Anzac Day Commemoration Commitee also has a list of poems that can be used in memorial services. Click on Anzac Service, Schedule and Guides and then choose Poetry (click on Read More). Here you'll find several Anzac poems from an Australian point of view that will help in expanding your own ideas about what Anzac day means to everyone.

HOT TIP: We like these sites because they’re either from a government organisation (Ministry or Council) OR a reputable organisation. You can sometimes tell this by their web address – they might have .govt in their address - or by checking the 'about us' page.

The School Journal features poems that relate to Anzac Day. These can be found in the June 2014 issue and can be downloaded as PDFs. They reflect on different themes from World War One

Check out our other ManyAnswers entries which are related to this topic: Anzac DayGallipoli; & Anzac biscuitsYou may also like to take a look at our Anzac Day Poppy (WWI) entry. This will lead you to a lot more information about one poem used on Anzac Day


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