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Cantabrian leaves the seas for the Somme

Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Able Communications Warfare Specialist (ACWS) Anastasia Moshammad
Royal New Zealand Navy Able Communications Warfare Specialist (ACWS) Anastasia Moshammad

8 September 2016

Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Able Communications Warfare Specialist (ACWS) Anastasia Moshammad is heading to Longueval, France this month to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

On 15 September ACWS Moshammad, originally from Christchurch, will act as flag bearer as the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) contingent honours those who took part in the battle 100 years ago.

“I am extremely humbled to follow in the footsteps of previous service people whose activities continue to shape the lives and freedoms we have today,” she says.
ACWS Moshammad is an NZDF watch keeper responsible for maintaining and facilitating communication between deployed units and New Zealand.

“I help to ensure that all NZDF’s aircrafts, ships and operations have a main link back home, no matter where they are in the world,” she says.

She joined the RNZN in 2012 aiming to learn what it meant to be part of something bigger than her.

“I joined to develop strong connections with people, make lifelong friends and to see the world through a different perspective,” she says.

As well as her day job, ACWS Moshammad is studying politics at the University of Auckland.

“The NZDF supports me and allows me to nurture my goals and make them possible though my studies.

“I am able to do things I might have never been able to do if I hadn’t joined the NZDF, it has opened so many doors for me,” says ACWS Moshammad.

The Battle of the Somme was New Zealand’s first major engagement on the Western Front. It took a huge toll on the 15,000 members of the New Zealand Division who were involved.  The New Zealand Division sustained 8000 casualties and 2111 soldiers were killed in action between 1 July-18 November 1916. The New Zealand Memorial to the Missing in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery lists 1205 names.

  • WW100 is a programme established by the New Zealand Government to mark the First World War centenary through a range of activities from 2014 to 2019, in New Zealand and overseas. For more information about WW100, New Zealand’s First World War programme, visit WW100.govt.nz

 


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