The rural home front : a New Zealand region and the Great War 1914-1926 : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History at Massey University
New Zealand’s First World War studies have traditionally focused on the soldier and battlefield experiences. ‘The Rural Home Front’ breaks with that tradition and focuses on the lives of people and the local communities that the soldiers left behind in the predominantly rural region of Taranaki in New Zealand. ‘The Rural Home Front’ is essentially a study of the impact and effects of the First World War on rural society. By focusing on topics and themes such as ‘war enthusiasm’, the voluntary spirit of fund raising and recruiting, conscription, attempting to maintain normality during wartime, responses to war deaths, the influenza epidemic, the Armistice and the need to remember, this thesis argues that civilians experienced the Great War, too, albeit differently from that of the soldiers serving overseas.