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Object: Postcard, ’German War Flag captured at Samoa by New Zealand Expeditionary Force’

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Postcard, ’German War Flag captured at Samoa by New Zealand Expeditionary Force’
Production Wilson, William Thompson (publisher), 1914-1916, New Zealand
Materials paper, printing ink
Classification Visual and Verbal Communication, postcards
Dimensions Overall: 89mm (Height) x 139mm (Width)
Credit line Purchased 2011
Registration number GH023107

This is an example of a commercial postcard published in New Zealand referencing New Zealand's occupation of the German colony of Samoa on 29 August 1914. This postcard titled ’German War Flag captured at Samoa by New Zealand Expeditionary Force’ is one of a small group of items at Te Papa associated with the New Zealanders landing and occupation.

Capturing the Flag

A New Zealand newspaper, The Evening Post reported that the flag was captured by Private Herbert Lloyd Bailey (Bayley) who was a member of the Legion of Frontiersmen in Fiji. He enlisted in the Samoa Advance force when they passed through Fiji en-route to Samoa. When the troops landed, Bailey spotted the German flag and rushed forward and lowered it. New Zealand troopers who witnessed the event remarked that there was quite a dramatic scene as the flag was hauled down, with German Government officials standing in the vicinity. As 'they saw it lowered they one and all reverently saluted’.

A presentation

Private Bailey was given permission to keep the flag by military authorities. However, later on, he and other members of the Fiji contingent decided to present the flag to the New Zealand Government. In front of the headquarters at camp, the flag was handed over to the commanding officer of the troops from the Auckland district of New Zealand. The Fiji contingent expressed a hope “that the Government would see fit to retain the flag in Auckland.” The newspaper records also tell us that in the decades after the war, several other flags captured in Samoa made their way into the collections of the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Aquisition History

The original photograph was probably taken in New Zealand, some time between 1914 and 1916. The postcard was aquired by Te Papa at auction in 2011.

Pictured - back row: Trooper T. Mc Carroll, TV Roberts, CA Warden, RN Caldwell, H.F. Bayley (Bailey), Front row; Trooper D.Clutterbuck, G. Major, G.W.Wishart, H.R.Lister, Reclining: Sergeant R.J.Cottingham


Auckland Weekly News

The Evening Post

Liava'a, C. (2009) Qaravi Na'i Tavi They Did their Duty: Soldiers from Fiji in the Great war. Auckland, Polygraphia Ltd.


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Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.