- Title: RUGBY-NZ/MEMORIAL Visiting All Blacks attend war memorial
- Date: 4th November 2014
- Summary: VARIOUS OF CHOIR SINGING
- Embargoed: 19th November 2014 12:00
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA3VTZWAQ6UON4MQ4WYEE7U8X9S
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- Story Text: Members of the visiting All Blacks rugby squad attended a war memorial to their fallen countrymen in London on Monday
More New Zealanders died in the First World War than all sugsequent conflicts combined, including 13 All Blacks. Current
players Dane Coles, Charlie Faumuina, Luke Romano and Ben Smith attended the wreath-laying ceremony at the New Zealand
memorial at Hyde Park Corner. Ten per cent of the New Zealand population in 1914 (100,000) served in the war, with almost one
in five never returning home.
"It does put it into perspective, " said fullback Ben Smith " These guys who lost their lives obviously they put everything on the
line so rugby is obviously important to us but it's not life or death."
New Zealand High Commissioner, Sir Lockwood Smith said : "It didn't matter how big a star you were in New Zealand as some
of those great All Black players were. They all served the same in the war and the trenches there and they died the same. So it
reminds us of just how huge the sacrifice was."
The ceremony was rounded off by a rendition of the haka, the traditional Maori war dance that the All Blacks perform before every
match. The New Zealanders are in London ahead of the Autumn International clash with England at Twickenham on Saturday.
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