Survivors' Roll of Honour from the 'Anzac Centenary Print Portfolio'

Accession Number ART96846.002
Collection type Art
Measurement Sheet: 76 x 56 cm
Object type Print
Physical description screenprint on paper
Maker Jack, Fiona
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra
Date made 2014
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

The prints in this portfolio were commissioned as an edition of 20. In the case of Jack’s print, each of these is a unique screenprint. Stretching across a white expanse of 20 sheets is a survivors’ roll of honour.

When thinking about family stories from both the First and Second World Wars Jack realised that “in our large extended family everyone known to me survived”. Growing up she had not recognised the significance of this or appreciated it as a blessing. Tales of traumatised and damaged people returning home carried an emotional weight, and Jack was conscious that while “they hadn’t made the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ their experience was beyond anything I could imagine … yet none of them were on any national roll of honour for their lifelong sacrifice”.

The National Memorial in Wellington, New Zealand, houses a copy of the Roll of Honour, but there is no complete list of those who served and survived. It was also unusual for names of First World War survivors to be included on New Zealand war memorials, which is in contrast to Australia, where on more than half of the memorials erected across the country the names of returned soldiers are inscribed alongside those of the dead.
While it may appear to be a simple list, this singularly exhaustive roll of New Zealanders who fought in and survived the war was painstakingly assembled in collaboration with historian Phil Lascelles. It remains “the first and most complete list” of New Zealand First World War survivors to date, comprising 108,920 names. Jack and Lascelles compiled and cross-referenced the names, adding to the original army embarkation lists and including, among others: nurses; Voluntary Aid Detachment personnel; New Zealanders who had served in the British army, the Royal Navy, and the fledgling Royal Air Force; New Zealand men and women in the merchant navy; and soldiers of Maori and Pacific Island descent.

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