Gangin underground : Scottish born soldiers in the New Zealand Tunnelling Company 1916/19 : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand

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In early 1915, the call went out to the British Empire for groups of experienced miners,tunnellers and other associated skilled manual workers to form up into tunnelling companies to assist Allied forces to combat German tunnellers primarily on the Western Front in France and Belgium. By the end of the First World War, the New Zealand Tunnelling Company numbered 500 individuals and their efforts in the tunnels and caverns around Arras entered the common history of both the French and New Zealand Great War experience. Some 62 of these individuals who chose to serve in the New Zealand Tunnelling Company were born in Scotland. The vast majority of this focus group were career coalminers who are clearly shown to have left Scotland for better lives in New Zealand, or a least finding themselves in New Zealand for financial benefit. This thesis looks at a snapshot of some of the lives in Scotland to help identify some of the reasons for making the long journey to New Zealand. It also tries to investigate the reasons for enlisting and their experiences during war. Finally it tries to answer the question what happened next, looking at the psychological impact of war and also why did these men choose to return to, or remain in New Zealand long-term as the majority did.
Images in this thesis have been removed for copyright reasons, or because of other restrictions. Those remaining have no known copyright restrictions.
New Zealand. Army. Tunnelling Company, New Zealand. Army -- Recruiting, enlistment, etc, Scots -- New Zealand -- Biography, Scots -- New Zealand -- History, Coal miners -- Scotland -- History