A box has been found. Inside, every item is a clue to a bigger story...


Each item in the box looks to be at least 100 years old...

Opening the box you discover a large official looking envelope full of papers and a small cotton bag that has 'Personal Effects, Please return to Next of Kin' typed neatly on it. Underneath is a date... 10 August 1915. 

Inside the envelope are photos, what looks to be pages from a diary, letters and even a map.  The bag reveals a large square piece of silk with a camel, buttons, an envelope and a piece of heavy woollen fabric.

At first glance these items do not appear to all belong to the same person but they do all appear to be very old with many carrying dates from between 1914 - 1918. 

Discover the story behind your item

There are 32 items inside the box your teacher has found. Each item carries a very different story. It is important that before you begin you know that each of these stories is real.  Nothing in this box is made up or pretend.  Each item belonged to a person that attended a school in New Zealand, just as you do today. How much or how little you discover of their story depends on you. What we can promise is that the story is out there waiting to be discovered. This website will give you great clues that you can use to find the pieces of the story behind your item. We hope you love the journey as much as we have.  


There are 32 items in the box. Each item is real and is the first clue to a much larger story. Choose an item that catches your eye. Remember to be respectful of the item you choose.


Click the button below and find your item. Click on your item's picture and you'll be taken to a page full of clues, research tips, leads and hints. Read the story of your item's owner.

03. complete the tasks in research support          –

Each item has 3 tasks designed to be completed independently using good research skills. Make sure you have the When We Search Fact Sheet to help you.

04. USE your RESEARCH skills to find more

Each item has a large story behind it. How much of the story you find will depend on perseverance. We've included a second set of clues to help find more pieces of the puzzle.


The Walking with an Anzac Project

In 2014 School Kit was commissioned by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage WW100NZ Project Office to deliver the Walking with an Anzac Education Programme in New Zealand Schools. The brief  was unexpected - not to commemorate famous battles, not to learn the history behind medals or even to study our famous war heroes but to support New Zealand classrooms to develop their research skills through the discovery of local stories of First World War soldiers.

The programme was multifaceted and while it predictably included a set of educational resources (Teacher Guides and Fact Sheets which can be found here) it also included the School Kit Team visiting and documenting First World War ephemera held in the 800 oldest schools in New Zealand; working with 9 major Boys Schools in New Zealand, helping them to get full and complete electronic records of all the names included on their Rolls of Honour; documenting (and in many cases re-discovering) Rolls of Honour found in schools and working with schools to show how they could research the lives behind the names on those Rolls.

Over the commemorative period the School Kit Team visited 2400 schools and documented items with a connection to the First World War.  School staff took the time to show us trees, medals, chairs, trophies, flags, badges, diaries, photographs, plaques, Rolls of Honour, churches, drive us up distant country roads to visit old school sites, rang locals in the know, opened long locked rooms and clambered into dusty school attics. Overall we found 2752 stories and connected schools with the research and records on at least one soldier from every discovery. It has been nothing short of an obsession, highly emotional, exciting and a huge honour.

This box contains 32 of the best stories from those schools but the lesson has been that our own community story is all around us, everywhere, if we just teach ourselves how and where to look.




Teacher Resources