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First of more than 18,000 crosses installed outside Auckland War Memorial Museum to mark WW1 deaths

On a dim and wet Auckland day, the first of more than 18,000 crosses - one to mark each death from WWI - are being carefully and painstakingly put in place outside the city's War Memorial Museum.

There was a private blessing this morning to mark the start of the installations.

The thousands of white crosses will keep being installed across the weekend and through to Monday afternoon at the earliest.

Auckland RSA president and Fields of Remembrance vice chairman Graham Gibson told 1 NEWS the end result will be a poignant sight.

"This is coming to the final stage, Armistice 2018, when the guns stopped. We're finally putting this field in as a national field," Mr Gibson said.

"It's 18,277 crosses."

The Fields of Remembrance started in 2014, as commemorations began intensifying leading up to this year's 100 year anniversary of the Armistice signing that ended the war.

There is grief behind each of the crosses, and a separate field is especially for the many families that have more than one cross.

"In that field is the nine mothers that lost four, the 51 mothers that lost three sons, and the 636 that lost two sons," he said.

"It's actually quite significant that we're starting to lay the field on this day, the 12th of October. History tells us that's when our bloodiest thing [happened] in the first World War, the Battle of Passchendaele, where we lost 846 men in the time it takes to play three games of rugby."

Current NZDF members have been laying the crosses today.

"It's only fitting that the military lay the crosses for the men and women that went before them.

"It was all for the young ones, and we wanted the young ones to understand what service and sacrifice was about."

From October 20, a bugler will walk through the fields at 7am and 7pm.

TVNZ will be broadcasting Auckland's Armistice centenary service live.

First of more than 18,000 crosses put in place at Auckland War Memorial Museum ahead of Armistice centenary commemoration. Source: 1 NEWS