World War One
Where can I find information about World War One?
Image: A Lewis Gun in action. New Zealand troops. March 1918. Collection: Imperial War Museum.
Entry last updated: 20/12/19
World War One, also called the First World War, took place between 1914 and 1918. New Zealand fought as part of the Allies (the British Empire, France, Russia and others) against the Central Powers (Germany, Italy, Turkey and others). The years 2014 to 2018 mark the centenary of the war - 100 years since it happened.
There are many good websites that have useful facts, images, stories and other information about World War One. Here are some of our favourite sites that have information about the war, how it started, where the battles were and what it was like for soldiers and other people involved.
This is one of the world’s best military history museums.
- Go to the War and Conflict section.
- Then choose First World War.
The website has some mini-guides about World War One all written by experts. These include How the world went to war in 1914 and Pre-war alliances. You can also find out about the Gallipoli Campaign, Living in the trenches, air aces (World War One fighter pilots) and many other topics.
Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it its. Check the About us link on the website if you can find one. That can tell you what the company's mission and values are.
This is a great website where you can search for information on the course of the war and individual battles.
- Go to the World War One section, which links to lots of useful articles, videos and pictures.
- Check out the WWI Secondary - Schools page for interactive guides.
- You'll also see the BBC's World War One programmes site, which includes a series of interactive guides presented by well-known historians and experts on world war one topics such as the battle of the Somme, the home front and war horses. These are being added to all the time.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us page on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.
Another great place to look is EPIC. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics and is put together especially for New Zealand school students. You may need a password from your school or local library to access it.
This is an information resource for schools with encyclopaedia articles, journals and periodicals, multimedia, primary sources, and other learning resources.
- Select a level.
- Do a keyword search.
- You can move up or down a level if you need to.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it's better to leave out small words like the, a and of and just choose the main ones, eg Somme. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.
This database provides an overview of world history that covers including World War One. To find the best information we suggest using keywords such as 'Passchendaele' or ‘Gallipoli'.
Tips: To get to the EPIC databases you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or, you can log on to AnyQuestions.co.nz between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday, and one of the librarians can help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
New Zealand websites
New Zealand was also involved in World War One. Here are some good places to find out about the war from a New Zealand perspective.
This is a great place to start for information about New Zealand Aotearoa.
- Use your keywords 'world war one' to search.
- Select First World War from the results.
This first page gives a summary of what happened from a New Zealand perspective. From here, you can go to different parts of the story to get more detail.
Tips: We like sites like this because they're reliable. You can tell because of their web address - they have either .govt or.ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations.
This website has heaps of information on New Zealand’s involvement in World War One, as well as what it was like in New Zealand during the war.
- Choose New Zealand at war from the three links under the main introduction.
- Next, choose an article such as Origins of the war or Official war art.
Tips: If we go all the way down the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Herita ge, so the information is well-researched and reliable.
This is a New Zealand government website dedicated to remembering the First World War, one hundred years on. They have information on the commemorations around the conflict.
- Visit the New Zealand at War part of the site.
- you will bring up facts and stories in Discover WW1.
- There's also an interactive timeline of New Zealand's involvement.
Tips: We like sites like this because they're reliable. You can tell because of their web address - they have either .govt or.ac. They're also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.
Topic Explorer (National Library)
This is an online tool that has a wide range of quality resources for students in a range of formats (eg articles, books, images, videos, primary sources, sets, websites) on a variety of topics. These resources have been selected from reliable national and international sources.
- Go to the Filter by Keyword option and enter 'war'.
- Then select the topic you want, like New Zealand and the First World War.
There have been many books written on World War One - check out your local public or school library to see what they have.
Some recommended titles are: