While the end of World War I brought celebration and relief, it did not bring an end to the pain the conflict had caused. Of the 120,000 young New Zealand men who fought in the war, 18,000 perished. Over 16.000 of these were buried abroad and 5325 had no close friends estimated at 100.000, or 10 percent of the population—not only had no body to farewell but no grave or headstone to grieve over. War memorials—such as this horseman at Otahuhu—were erected all around the country in the years following the armistice and become the foci of the nation's grief.
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