Nelson men and women have served their country in both world wars.

Of the 3,600 men and women of Nelson Province who served in the First World War a total of 680 died as a direct result of the war. Currently 93 of them are remembered on the Anzac Park Cenotaph.

In the First World War most men were enlisted in the New Zealand armed forces, but some enrolled with the Australian and British forces, and a smaller number served as nurses and chaplains.

The 3,600 men and women does not include those from Marlborough or northern West Coast who were part of the same military district; some of those who served in the British navy or air forces; the merchant navy; volunteers with the Red Cross; or others directly associated with the war effort.

At home the Nelson citizens raised funds, made up parcels, wrote letters, and kept the province running – all the time fearful of a telegraphed message bearing news of death or injury of a loved one.