Reserve soldier representing NZDF at Somme centenary

New Zealand Army Reserve Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Dave Warren
New Zealand Army Reserve Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Dave Warren

9 September 2016

New Zealand Army Reserve Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Dave Warren has left his day job as a fishery officer for a few weeks to escort the colour of 3/6 Battalion of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) at the Battle of the Somme centenary commemorations in France.

SSGT Warren is the Company Sergeant Major (CSM) of the Battalion, based in Auckland, and he says he is honoured to be part of the NZDF contingent.

“The New Zealand Army is a distinctive family to belong to. The camaraderie and friendships formed over the years through the good times and the bad, and the experiences shared, are second to none,” he says.

SSGT Warren has been part of the Army for 30 years and says there have been many career highlights, including being deployed to the Solomon Islands in 2007.

“During that deployment I had the opportunity to visit Mono Island, where my maternal uncle was killed during the Second World War. I was able to visit the memorial on the island, which includes my uncle’s name, and that gave me a genuine connection,” he says.

There are a number of skills that are transferable between SSGT Warren’s Army job and his day job.

“Planning, decisive thinking, organisational skills, command and control, and critical incident management are just a few things which help me in my roles as a CSM and a fishery officer,” he says.

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

This page was last reviewed on 9 September 2016.