In 1925, New Zealand Railways wished to exhibit AB608 at the South Seas Exhibition in Dunedin, alongside the historic Double Fairlie engine built in 1872.
It was felt AB 608 should have a name if to be displayed alongside “Josephine” – the Minister of Railways, Gordon Coates agreed that the engine could be named in memoriam for the more than 5000 railwaymen that served in World War One. After rejecting the names “Somme”, “Le Quesnoy” and “Ypres”, “Passchendaele” was selected. Two plaques bearing the name “Passchendaele” were cast and affixed to the sides of the locomotive. NZ Railways had not named locomotives since the 1870s, and AB 608 was the largest, and last, locomotive to be given a name by them.