New Zealand Rugby remembers
allblacks.com 06 Aug 2014 New Zealand Rugby Museum
The New Zealand Rugby Football Union (as it then was) noted in its Annual Report that by 1917 'practically every footballer of military age has enlisted' and many made the supreme sacrifice. The All Blacks were likewise affected. The team was on tour in Australia and were playing a match in Sydney against the Metropolitan Union when news of the war came through and on the ship returning home two weeks later, the players agreed they would all sign up. Many former All Blacks also enlisted and 13 gave their lives during the conflict, while others were badly injured.
Over the coming years, New Zealand Rugby will be marking milestones significant to rugby and working with New Zealand rugby communities and Government as they commemorate those milestones that affect all New Zealanders. There will be commemorations at games as well as recognition online, at New Zealand Rugby's offices and events and through publications.
The New Zealand Rugby Museum meanwhile is preparing its exhibition 'Balls, Bullets and Boots' which will explore the legacy of the War through the eyes of rugby players.
To learn more about rugby and World War One, read Ron Palenski's article Lest We Forget for the Onside Rugby Annual.
View the profiles of the 13 All Blacks killed during World War One: