11 November 2018 ended four years of centenaries of various WWI battles and events.
When the guns fell silent at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, 18,277 New Zealand servicemen had been killed (as calculated by Fields of Remembrance). The impact of every community losing friends and relatives was felt nationwide and led to more than 500 memorials being erected in towns over the following decade. There were also thousands of returned servicemen suffering from PTSD (shell shock), many of whom would never lead a ‘normal’ life.
At the time of the Armistice, New Zealand was in the midst of the 1918 influenza pandemic. In two short months approximately 9,000 people died. Deaths peaked on 23 November 1918 and by December it was declining sharply.
If all that tragedy was not enough, there was still a depression to come in 1921-22. Then after a period of slow growth the big one hit with the Great Depression in the early thirties followed by WWII. They must have been very resilient people.
NZ has enjoyed comparatively golden times over the last 50 years.