One Flag, One Queen, One Tongue: New Zealand and the South African War

Edited by Ian McGibbon & John Crawford

‘. . . this is a substantial collection of essays with much to offer the student of the South African War as well as the student of turn of the century New Zealand.’ – Jeffrey Grey, New Zealand International Review


The South African War was New Zealand’s first overseas war – and one of its most popular. More than 40,000 people farewelled the First Contingent when it left for South Africa in October 1899 and further contingents were quickly raised. In all, more than 6000 men would eventually serve in South Africa, most as mounted infantry. So too would a limited number of women – as nurses and schoolteachers.

In One Flag, One Queen, One Tongue aspects of New Zealand’s experience in the South African War and of the wider imperial context are explored in thirteen authoritative essays. They include two essays on opposition to the war, essays on women and Māori and the war, and several by distinguished overseas historians on Canadian and Australian perspectives.

Relying on original research throughout, this is the most significant publication on the topic ever published. New light is thrown on New Zealand’s involvement in a conflict which has not been widely studied but was a significant precursor to the larger wars of the twentieth century.



John Crawford is the New Zealand Defence Force’s historian and has written on aspects of the history of the New Zealand armed forces and defence policy.

Ian McGibbon ONZM is senior historian at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, specialising in the history of New Zealand’s defence and foreign policy, and military history.


April 2003, 215 x 150 mm, 225 pages, illustrations
Paperback, ISBN 9781869402938, $49.99