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Collection Policy 

Online Cenotaph is a unique collection of national significance. The Museum’s intention is to provide a page for all personnel who have served our country on active service. This includes New Zealand born personnel serving in the New Zealand and international military services as well as non-New Zealanders serving in the New Zealand Military Forces. 

Senior Nurse Clara Edwards Cherry at No.3 New Zealand General Hospital Codford.

Senior Nurse Clara Edwards Cherry at No.3 New Zealand General Hospital Codford.

From the album of Sister Mabel Crook, Image kindly provided National Army Museum of New Zealand 1997.747.Image has no known copyright restrictions.

The “Cenotaph Database” was established in 1996, as a biographical database relating to individual New Zealand service personnel. Content was gathered from a range of publicly available sources such as embarkation documents, military service and other government records, newspapers and personal records.

To coincide with the WWI Centenary commemorations, the Cenotaph Database was redeveloped in collaboration with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage with the database migrated into Vernon, the Museum’s main collection management system. It was relaunched in January 2015, under the name Online Cenotaph and included the facility for user generated contributions (UGC) to be added. These public contributions include textual data, images and documents. This UGC data is stored in a separate collection management system (Kentico) to that of the source data, held in Vernon. In 2015 the Museum extended the collection to include both those who died during active service as well as those who survived.

Online Cenotaph is a digital collection that includes transcribed and born digital material. Digital research outputs from researchers are actively collected to enrich our source records.

Major themes of the collection

1. Military records for individual New Zealand service personnel serving in international conflicts

2. Military records for individual New Zealanders who served in non-New Zealand military service in international conflicts

3. Non-New Zealanders serving in New Zealand Military Forces

4. Māori and Pacific service personnel

5. Female service personnel

2020 Collection Objectives

Post-World War II conflicts with emphasis on the Korean War and Malayan conflicts.

Overall Collection objectives:

  • To build a comprehensive collection of records that document and acknowledge New Zealand service people and non-New Zealanders serving in the New Zealand Military Forces, on active service in both national (New Zealand Wars specifically) and international conflicts from the 19th Century until today. Coverage is for New Zealand as a whole.
  • To create records from primary, secondary and publicly available resources.
  • To accept research outputs, including academic research and family history material, that is in a format appropriate for inputting into Online Cenotaph’s source system.
  • To provide an online space for born digital, user generated contributions to be added to each individual record. This public / community engagement enables the melding of official and personal memory.

For exceptions see bottom of page.

Collection status (Chronological order)

It should be noted that:

1. The New Zealand Defence Force Archives does not hold a complete lists of names for those who served in each international conflict.

2. Naval personnel enlisted as individuals and not part of squadrons, battalions, regiments or reinforcements. Each person has a separate service trajectory making it very difficult to track their service.

3. Ethnicity, gender and iwi affiliation were not included as part of most enlistment documentation.


Collection

Area or theme

Collection strengths

Collection weaknesses

New Zealand Wars (1845-1900), including permanent militia.

  • Records for Māori casualties in the First Taranaki War (1860-61) and Gate Pa (29 April 1864).
  • Record for less than 10% of the 10,000 British Soldiers served in the Imperial Army.
  • Very limited number of records for Māori who fought
  • Information often unverified.

South African Wars (1899-1902) (formerly known as the Anglo Boer War or the Second Boer War).

  • Basic records for most who served in the New Zealand Contingents.
  • Duplication of records for those who also served in the South African Wars and later conflicts.
  • Female service personnel.
  • Service personnel clearly identified as being of Māori descent.

Other 19th Century Conflicts – American Civil War, Crimean War, Anglo-Zulu War, Indian Mutiny.

  • Crimean War (14 Records).
  • Anglo-Zulu War (1 Record).
  • American Civil War (1 record).
  • Indian Mutiny (3 records).
  • Weak overall.
  • Small number of records.
  • Service personnel clearly identified as being of Māori descent.

World War I, 1914-1918.

  • Army Records very strong.
  • NZEF Nominal Rolls.
  • Links to Archives New Zealand Military Personnel Files.
  • Links to Auckland Museum medal collection.
  • New Zealanders serving in Australian Imperial Force, Peter Dennis, UNSW Records.
  • Troopship magazines.
  • Records for those who died on active service, all forces.
  • Navy and Air Force Records.
  • Service personnel clearly identified as being of Pacific descent.
  • Female service personnel.
  • Personnel, particularly Officers, who attested outside of New Zealand.
  • Service personnel serving in international forces.

World War II, 1939-1945.

  • Army records very strong.
  • Canadian Air Force Training School.
  • 28th Māori Battalion.
  • Records for those who died on active service.
  • Navy.
  • Air Force.
  • Service personnel clearly identified as being of Pacific descent.

Korean War, 1950-1953.

  • Records for those who died on active service.
  • Records for 6% of the 6,000 New Zealanders who served.
  • List of those who served in analogue format. Chamberlain, H. (2013). The New Zealand Korea Roll : honouring those who served in the New Zealand Armed Forces in Korea, 1950-1957. Wellington, N.Z.: Author.
  • Service personnel clearly identified as being of Māori or Pacific descent.

Malayan Emergency, 1948-1960.

  • Records for those who died on active service.
  • Records for 6% of the 4,000 New Zealanders who served.
  • List of those who served has not been surfaced by Archives New Zealand or the Defence Force Archive.

Borneo Confrontation, 1963-1966.

  • Records for those who died on active service.
  • 1500 records for unknown number of service personnel from H.E. Chamberlain list.

Vietnam War, 1961-1975.

  • Includes records provided by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. This Vietnam List is an updated version of New Zealand's original Vietnam nominal roll – the Flinkenberg List – compiled by Captain Con Flinkenberg in 1972.
  • Very few images.
  • Service personnel clearly identified as being of Māori or Pacific descent.
  • 41 Squadron.

Regular Military Service (20th Century onwards).

  • Enriches the records of those who served in international conflicts.
  • No complete list of service personnel.
  • Weak overall – unsure of how many served.
  • Service personnel clearly identified as being of Māori or Pacific descent.

Territorial Military Service (20th Century onwards).

  • Enriches the records of those who served in International Conflicts.
  • No complete list of service personnel.
  • Weak overall – unsure of how many served.
  • Service personnel clearly identified as being of Māori or Pacific descent.

Regular Military Training.

  • Increasingly used by personnel for recording their service careers.
  • Enriches the records of those who served in International conflicts.
  • No complete list of service personnel.
  • Weak overall – unsure of how many served.
  • Service personnel clearly identified as being of Māori or Pacific descent.

Other 20th Century Conflicts, Thailand, Spanish Civil War, Falklands.

  • Spanish Civil War all possible records (24).
  • No complete list of service personnel.
  • Weak overall – unsure of how many served.
  • Information often unverified.
  • Service personnel clearly identified as being of Māori or Pacific descent.

UN Peacekeeping including Afghanistan, East Timorese Crisis.

  • Lists those Killed in Action or subsequently.
  • Recent conflicts – New Zealand Defence Force Records are not publicly available.
  • Weak overall – unsure of how many served.
  • Service personnel clearly identified as being of Māori or Pacific descent.

Afghanistan.

  • Lists those Killed in Action or subsequently.
  • Public figures for example Willie Apiata (VC recipient).
  • Recent conflicts – New Zealand Defence Force Records are not publicly available.
  • Service personnel clearly identified as being of Māori or Pacific descent.

Māori and Pacific content.

  • Māori Pioneer Battalion, First Contingent, WWI. Including the Niuean, Cook Islands (Rarotongan) Contingents.
  • 28th Māori Battalion, WWII.
  • Māori and Pacific service personnel engaged in all other conflicts in non- Māori Units.
  • Those Māori who embarked under Anglicised names.
  • Iwi, hapū, rohe or waka not included in embarkation documentation – therefore difficult to create a full list of Māori service personnel.

Female Service Personnel.

  • Service Women Project: 2,400 records created with sponsorship from the Auckland Returned Services Association, Returned Servicewomen's Branch; Marjorie Traill, Dorothy Grant, Daphne Shaw and Margaret Woollett.
  • Post- WWII records.
  • Linking photographs and Manuscript records held within the Auckland Museum Documentary Heritage Collection.

Medals and Awards.

  • Military Medals and Military Crosses for WWI records.
  • Victoria Cross all conflicts.
  • Medals held within Auckland Museum (post-1995 accession).
  • WWI portraits of the Great War Recipients as held in Archives New Zealand.
  • New Zealand Defence Force Archives list of Medals and Awards recipients (1864-2015).
  • London Gazette or New Zealand Gazette citations.
  • Medals held within Auckland Museum pre-1995 accession.

Prisoners of War (POW) all wars.

  • Work of Nigel Prickett for New Zealand Wars.
  • WWI up to 1917 - New Zealand High Commission (Great Britain). (1917). A short sketch of the work of the New Zealand Prisoners of War Department in London and of other undertakings connected with the war. London, England: High Commissioner for New Zealand.
  • WWII, more than 8,000 people were detained in prisoner of war camps.
  • List of 2NZEF Prisoners of War. 1941-1945. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 2009/8.
  • New Zealand. Army. Expeditionary Force. (1945). Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. Wellington, N.Z.: Government Printer.
  • Post 1917, WWI.

Auckland Museum building specific – Hall of Memories.

  • WWI, WWII and Post-Malayan Conflict
  • Pacific/European theatres of war, and other areas where NZ troops were or are deployed.

WWII Hall of Memories Panels not yet imaged and matched.

Portraits and Images of individual service personnel.

  • Schmidt Collection, Provided by Auckland Libraries.
  • Auckland Weekly News images.
  • Personal family photos collated over the past 20 years.
  • Auckland Museum WWI Albums.
  • 1st Contingent South African War.
  • NZEF Nominal Rolls individual pages attached to each record.
  • Great War Medal Recipient images in Archway
  • Complete collection Auckland Weekly News portraits, WWI and WWII
  • South African War, New Zealand Wars, WWII and Post-WWII conflicts.

Images of Memorials and Rolls of Honour.

  • Auckland Province.
  • WWI Hall of Memories, Auckland War Memorial Museum.
  • Ad hoc selection of memorials.
  • In most part limited to the great Auckland region.
  • Reliant on Volunteers to provide photographs.
  • WWII Hall of Memories, Auckland War Memorial Museum - partial.

User Generated Content

  • Allows for multiple view-points.
  • Includes more than 100,000 pieces of information, images and documents not previously publicly available.

 

Exceptions to the inclusion criteria for Online Cenotaph

There are specific exceptions to the Online Cenotaph inclusion criteria. Individuals who are proven to have been a part of the following service organisations, or undertook the following service, are accepted for inclusion into Online Cenotaph:

  • Members of the New Zealand Merchant Navy (e.g. individuals who were crew on New Zealand ships undertaking wartime service), or New Zealanders who were members of any Allied Merchant Navy.
  • Members of the New Zealand Women's War Service Auxiliary (Overseas Hospital Division) or the New Zealand Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (Voluntary Aids) and served with Voluntary Aid Detachments.
  • New Zealanders, or individuals living in territories governed directly or indirectly by New Zealander, who undertook officially organised coastwatching activities during wars in which New Zealand had official involvement. This includes employees of the New Zealand Post and Telegraph department.
  • Conscientious objectors. Online Cenotaph currently only includes records for Imprisoned conscientious objectors, 1916-1920.
  • New Zealanders who fought in the Spanish Civil War.

Please note these individuals did not attest as part of the New Zealand Defence Force and are not eligible for medallic recognition. However, Online Cenotaph has chosen to acknowledge this war time service.