100 years ago today, Private James Gunn (Jason's Grandfather) joined the 2nd Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment (WIB) battalion in France towards the end of the Battle of the Somme. He was 26 years old.
How to research your
World War I Ancestor
The personnel files of the New Zealander’s that served in World War I have been digitised and are available to download, at no cost, from:
Archives New Zealand: archway.archives.govt.nz
Discovering Anzacs website: http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/ This website also includes Australian World War I records.
Each page of the original file has been scanned and in some places you may find that there are multiple copies of documents, sometimes handwritten, sometimes typed. Sometimes the writing can be hard to read.
Archives New Zealand has a guide to researching War: http://archives.govt.nz/war
The New Zealand Defence Force Archives has created a useful guide to some of the commonly used abbreviations in the files. This can be downloaded from: http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/downloads/pdf/nzdf-archives/ww1-abbreviations.pdf
Online Cenotaph: http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/war-memorial/online-cenotaph You can search for your ancestor on the Auckland War Museum website and add details to their service and life.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: http://www.cwgc.org/ To find details about family members that died while serving for their country you can search this website.
There are two ongoing projects of interest to family historians related to World War I.
Measuring the Anzacs: https://www.measuringtheanzacs.org/#/ This project is crowd-sourcing to transcribe all the New Zealand World War I personnel files and make the data available for researchers. You can help by marking or transcribing records.
Onward Project: http://www.fairdinkumbooks.com/news-and-events This project aims to publish a photograph of every member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who served in World War I. Three volumes have been published and the fourth is being compiled.