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Search for a Soldier this Anzac Day

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

100 years on from the first Anzac Day commemorations, Auckland War Memorial Museum invites history buffs, war researchers, genealogists and the naturally curious to find a mystery fallen New Zealand WWII Serviceman.

Auckland War Memorial Museum – Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

The enigma of this New Zealand soldier was brought to the Museum’s attention by the Israeli Ambassador Yosef Livne after a 2012 visit to New Zealand war graves in Poland.

Back in Israel, Mr Livne read about a Hebrew soldier who was helped in WWII by an unknown soldier. He’d been given New Zealand dog tags to avoid persecution from German soldiers.

Mr Livne began researching and discovered a book written by an Israeli soldier in the British Army, Letters from the Desert - A Story of Friendship, describing the friendship between the author Moshe Mosenzon and a New Zealand soldier whose last name was 'Tate'.  The soldier was apparently killed in the battle of El Alamein. 

It is the mystery surrounding 'Soldier Tate' which the Ambassador and Auckland Museum want to solve.

"One thing is for certain - if everything in the story is true - is that somewhere a New Zealand soldier is buried in a place only known to God. We need to find this soldier and be able to honour him," says Mr Livne.

Auckland Museum’s Library and Armoury team have been researching the Kiwi Solider ‘Tate’ as mentioned in the book.  However they have hit a dead end and are hoping that the public can help. 

"Auckland Museum would like the public to get involved in trying to identify 'Soldier Tate' to unlock this mystery. Every piece of information, big or small, can contribute to solving the enigma," says Museum Director, Roy Clare.

Discover more about this story

Watch the short video to understand what we know about Soldier Tate.

  • Mr Livne explains the story of soldier 'Tate'
  • The facts that they have discovered to date
  • Links to resource websites for further research

He Toa Taumata Rau Online Cenotaph was relaunched in February 2015 and new features allow users to upload their own stories relating to service people along with images and photographs and the ability to lay a virtual poppy.  To date more than 1,000,000 records have been added to the database.