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Te Kaipuke Matenga | The Death Ship

Between October and December of 1918, New Zealand was struck by an influenza pandemic. In two short months approximately 9,000 New Zealanders died, a devastating blow that came at the end of the Great War which had killed over 18,000 New Zealanders.

Our new exhibition focuses on HMNZT Tahiti. This ship was transporting NZ soldiers to Europe in the last stages of the war. When it stopped to re-supply in Sierra Leone personnel on the ship were infected with the flu. The 1,117 military personnel and 100 support staff quickly became ill. By the time the ship reached England 90% of the passengers were infected and 78 had died with a further 9 more dying after arrival. A medical inspection of the remaining passengers revealed only 260 men were fit for service.

We can guide your students through this incredible exhibition either in person, or remotely, to your locked down class or to your classroom. Contact us to find out more.

Influenza vs. Covid Infographic

The Death Ship: A Fateful Voyage – Planner