In the First World War miners from Waihi enlisted and travelled to France. They fought the battle on the front lines - underground.
The New Zealand Tunnelling Company was created at the request of the British Imperial Government in September 1915. The company specialised in underground work, providing a way to counteract the German underground war efforts.
The servicemen came from many backgrounds, labourers, quarrymen, miners, civil engineers. The tunnellers were mostly from the North Island, and most of these came from Auckland and Waihi.