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Te Ara marks Anzac Day with a personal account of war

Media Release

Te Ara – New Zealand’s online encyclopedia

23 April 2012

A soldier’s story: Te Ara marks Anzac Day with a personal account of war

On Wednesday New Zealand stops to mark Anzac Day, and remember those who’ve fought for New Zealand. Te Ara is marking the day with a series of new entries and a first – a video story documenting the tragic experience of a New Zealand soldier, George Bollinger.

George Bollinger was a young man from Taranaki who enlisted very soon after the First World War was declared. He sailed with the main body of troops and served with distinction at Gallipoli. However, he was the son of German immigrants and rumours started to surface about his alleged German sympathies. To put the rumours to rest he volunteered to return to the front, and three weeks after reaching the western front, he was killed.

With careful research into the records at Archives New Zealand and the Alexander Turnbull library and using contemporary photos, the Te Ara team has pieced together a war portrait of the life and times of Bollinger. A mini documentary outlining his role in the war, and the objections made about him is now available to watch here:

George Bollinger’s story is the first to be presented in this format, and will be followed by other stories of First World War soldiers and nurses. Jock Phillips, senior editor at Te Ara, says that the powerful story of George Bollinger brings home with one example the terrible costs of the Great War. The video is a fruitful partnership of Te Ara’s research and writing skills with the major archives of Wellington. It supplements the 13 new entries about war in Te Ara ( and the excellent coverage of the First World war on our sister side, New Zealand History online (.

To find out more about Anzac Day and its history check out the latest Te Ara blog:

For further information visit:

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