The barefoot men of Niue sent to die in the trenches of World War I

Pete's Kiwi Korner

Book Review:
NIUEAN SOLDIERS WHILE IN TRAINING AT AUCKLAND’S NARROW NECK CAMP. THE SOLDIER LEFT OF CENTRE HAS REMOVED ONE OF HIS SHOES. WEARING SHOES AND BOOTS WAS AGONISING FOR THE NIUEANS, WHO WENT BAREFOOTED OVER A THEIR ISLAND’S LANDSCAPE OF OLD CORAL AND WERE UNUSED TO FOOTWEAR. IMAGE COURTESY OF THE SIR GEORGE GREY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, AUCKLAND LIBRARIES, REFERENCE: 7-A14272.

Not a happy bunch of recruits?

Michael Field reviews a new study of Niue’s role in World War I, when Sir Māui Pōmare despatched 150 Niueans to fight in a mysterious war.

Millions of dollars have been spent in adoration of New Zealand’s mythology which says sending 18,000 men to die in the Great War made us a really great nation. Gallipoli, according to the articles of faith, turned Australia and New Zealand into blood brothers, while at the same time seizing Berlin through…

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