That day in 1914 New Zealand took over former German colony Samoa…

Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Logan reads out the proclamation at the courthouse. Photo / Alexander Turnbull Library
Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Logan reads out the proclamation at the courthouse. Photo / Alexander Turnbull Library

Live video coverage of the national ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of New Zealand’s Occupation of German Samoa from 4pm

Mele Ioelu still remembers running towards the village church when the sirens went off – signalling that the soldiers were coming.

“When they came, we all ran to the church to hide. Other families had built underground shelters and so they went down there to stay until the soldiers left.

“They were big men who wore their uniforms proudly. But they had big guns strapped across their backs – and I was always afraid I’d get shot one day.”

The 103-year-old Mangere resident was born and raised during some of Samoa’s most trying times. War had been declared in 1914 and the country, then under German control, was set for some hard times within the next few years.

She was just a couple of months shy of her 4th birthday when troops from New Zealand arrived on August, 29, 1914, to take over what was then German Samoa.

Britain had called on its friends in the South Pacific to seize the German colony.

More than 1400 officers, mechanics, medical staff and technicians made up the New Zealand Expeditionary Force that set sail from Wellington Harbour on August 15.

The history books say it was an exciting time, with many young Kiwis eager to take part in what would be the first world war.

As the troops neared the island nation, they would have been going through a whole set of emotions and a new and probably overlooked challenge – the heat.

Samoan historian Dr Leasiolagi Malama Meleisea, a lecturer at the National University of Samoa, said even though August was a relatively cooler time in the islands, the New Zealanders would have found the weather challenging.

“Yes, the conditions would have been less than ideal, but the sense of duty must have been sufficient motivation. It seems to me that the context of build-up to World War I, the feelings of nationalism, patriotism, honour – and hate – were successfully used to motivate the armed forces.

“They were determined not only to terminate German rule to Samoa, but to root out any pro-German sympathies among the population.”

As it turned out, the New Zealanders’ arrival was something of a non-event, with the Germans offering no resistance and effectively giving up without a fight.

“It could have been much worse,” Dr Meleisea said.

Read more here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Content Catnip

Quirky internet wunderkammer

The Claire Violet Thorpe Express

Home of everything relating to writing (and funny pictures of toys)

Just Stimming...

A land we can share (a place I can map)

Turbokitty's Blog


Imperator Fish

A blog about the media, the law, politics, and big fish


Stuff worth sharing


Looking for choice morsels of currents affairs, culture, and politics to chew on. Or spit out hastily. It depends.

Nonoy Manga

Manga, Hand Drawn, Animation, Drawing Lessons.

Oyia Brown

A WordPress site to share a smile; then an anthology showing how things really are.

Friendly Fairy Tales

Celebrating Nature and Magic for Kids of all Ages


Retrouvez toutes les informations du monde en temps réel



Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

Creepy Cincinnati

Cincinnati Hauntings & Urban Legends

%d bloggers like this: