The Spirit of Anzac stamp issue tells the story of New Zealand’s role in the First World War

March 5th, 2015 got to know that New Zealand Post is to release a series of stamps dedicated to of New Zealand's role in the First World War. The issue consists of ten stamps that will be put into circulation on the 23d of March.

First observed in 1916 and commemorated as an official day of remembrance in 1921, Anzac Day commemorates the landing of the troops at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915. 100 years on a new generation reflects on the events that occurred at Gallipoli, and remembers all New Zealanders who have served their country during times of conflict and peace.

The intention of the Gallipoli campaign was to open the Dardanelles strait to the Allied fleets, giving them access to the Ottoman capital of Constantinople to possibly force a Turkish surrender. After nine months of conflict, the ultimately unsuccessful campaign came to an end and the peninsula remained in its defenders' hands.

The effects the Gallipoli campaign had on New Zealand and Australia were devastating. More than 8,700 Australians and more than 2,700 New Zealanders lost their lives fighting for King and Empire in this ambitious campaign. It was through this hardship that the Anzac spirit was born, a comradeship felt and remembered to this day with the annual observance of Anzac Day ‒ 25 April.

Through the Anzac theme New Zealand Post looks at the tale of Evelyn Brooke, a nursing matron from New Plymouth. Evelyn was one of more than 500 nurses from New Zealand who served overseas during the war, and the only New Zealand nurse to be awarded the Royal Red Cross and Bar for her services.

80c Serving her country

Evelyn Brooke ‒ Evelyn Brooke was one of more than 500 New Zealand nurses who served overseas during the war and was the only New Zealand nurse awarded the Royal Red Cross and Bar. By the war's end she had served in Samoa, Egypt, off the shores of Gallipoli on the Maheno, and New Zealand, England and France.

80c Postcard from Egypt

Before the Gallipoli campaign began in April 1915, New Zealand troops had spent the best part of the new year in Egypt training for combat in a then-unknown theatre. The postcard featured on this stamp was sent by Llewellyn Beaumont in February 1915 from the Mounted Rifles Brigade's Field Post Office in Egypt.

80c Landing at Anzac Cove

On 25 April 1915 the first Anzac troops landed on the Gallipoli peninsula at a beach that would become known as Anzac Cove. Eventually more than 12,000 New Zealanders would arrive there, but they made little progress beyond the beachhead established in April.

$2.00 The Sapper and his Donkey

With the terrain above Anzac Cove 'vertical, treacherous, and exposed', carrying wounded men down to the beach was made a little easier by the occasional Anzac with a donkey. Titled The Sapper and his Donkey, the original watercolour was painted by New Zealand 'Sapper' Horace Moore-Jones.


$2.50 The Maheno

When the Gallipoli campaign was being planned, few foresaw the need to provide hospital ships for the treatment and evacuation of the wounded. In July 1915, as casualties mounted, the Maheno left Wellington for Egypt, with a matron, 13 nursing sisters, five medical officers and 61 orderlies among the personnel on board.

80c Chunuk Bair

This stamp, depicting a 1990 painting by Ion Brown, features a chaotic scene on the summit of Chunuk Bair, which the Wellington Battalion occupied at dawn on 8 August 1915 and held all day despite suffering casualties of nearly 90 per cent. The summit was lost to a Turkish counter-attack two days later.

80c Casualties return

As the fighting wore on, the cost of supporting disabled and recovering soldiers back in New Zealand grew, and communities responded through fundraising by 'patriotic societies' and Queen Carnivals, a kind of hybrid talent show and market designed to generate enthusiasm and funds for the wounded.

80c Marquette memorial

New Zealand's first hospital chapel was built in 1927–28 in the grounds of Christchurch Hospital to commemorate the sinking of the troopship Marquette. This stamp shows part of a stained-glass window within the chapel depicting a First World War nurse above the ship. Beside her a Second World War nurse is shown above the pyramids of Egypt.

$2.00 War Census

The government used posters and newspapers to raise funds, disseminate propaganda and, as shown on this stamp, persuade men aged between 17 and 60 to comply with the 'War Census'. This enabled the compilation of a register of men eligible for service overseas – a necessary precursor to the introduction of conscription in 1916.

$2.50 An enduring bond

The ANZAC Book, compiled by Australian war correspondent C.E.W. Bean, was first published in early 1916 and told the story of the Gallipoli campaign through satire, poetry, and illustrations. Included in the book was this poster by Australian soldier Otho Hewett, a contemporary look at the beginning of the Anzac tradition.

New Zealand Post:1915 The Spirit of Anzac First Day Cover