Story: First World War

Raising the Union Jack in Samoa

Raising the Union Jack in Samoa

Within a month of the declaration of war a New Zealand force had captured Western Samoa from Germany. Here the Union Jack flag is raised at Apia by New Zealand soldiers at 8 a.m. on 30 August 1914, the morning after the occupation. The capture was strategically important because there was a radio transmitter in the hills behind Apia capable of sending signals to Berlin and to the German fleet in the Pacific. The New Zealanders' conquest was a peaceful affair, but it was marred by some disorder when New Zealand soldiers ransacked the liquor store at Aggie Grey's Hotel.

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: C.001559
Photograph by Thomas Andrew

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Ian McGibbon, 'First World War - Initial response', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 June 2022)

Story by Ian McGibbon, published 20 Jun 2012