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Cenotaph Stories

  • 25 years of Online Cenotaph

    December 2021 marked 25 years of Online Cenotaph. It is amazing to think that we have been telling the stories of Aotearoa New Zealand’s military veterans and their comrades for a quarter century.  We are so excited to recognise this significant milestone in digital commemoration.

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  • Anzac Day Contributions

    Over Anzac Day we received numerous contributions of images, notes, and more as people shared precious details. Here, we have highlighted some of the beautiful photographs contributed to Online Cenotaph by loved ones.

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  • Always in my thoughts

    By Nelson Bennett
    Collection Technician Research Support

    "You are always in my thoughts" was how Richard Grace signed off one of his letters to his dear friend Alice. Their emotional letters exchanged during the First World War was featured in our recent Love & Loss exhibition, this article shares more about the experiences of Richard and his two brothers who served for New Zealand during WWI.

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  • Lest We Forget: A Personal Story

    For our annual Lest We Forget Poetry competition we asked writers to respond to the theme of A Personal Story. Encouraging writers to visit Online Cenotaph for inspiration through the personal stories of service men and women. Here we share this year's winning entries.

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  • 80th Anniversary of the Women's Royal New Zealand Naval Service

    By Hannah Pym and Madison Pine

    In celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the establishment of the Women's Royal New Zealand Navy. We have highlighted the many roles of Wrens during the Second World War, and the legacy of their service post-WWII.

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  • Records of the Fourth Force

    Madison Pine
    Collection Technician, Research Support

    Between November 2021 and February 2022, Online Cenotaph had two dedicated transcribers working on the Records of New Zealand Seamen, also known as the Merchant Navy. Here, we share their work, and our efforts to include this fourth force in Online Cenotaph.

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  • Worth a thousand words

    Online Cenotaph encourages the contribution of information, documents and photos, as well as personal stories that portray the experiences of New Zealand service personnel. These photographs are some of the images that have recently been shared by whānau to their loved ones Online Cenotaph records.

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  • Death in the Spring

    By Gail Romano
    Associate Curator, History

    In this article, Gail Romano writes on the life of Private Lemuel John Bagnall known as Jack, and the Bagnall family of Auckland. Jack served with the New Zealand Railway Engineers in Samoa, and then later with the Auckland Regiment, during the German Spring Offensive.

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  • A collie for the service corps

    Gail Romano, Associate Curator History

    On this Purple Poppy Day, Associate Curator, Gail Romano acknowledges the contribution of the mascot Sam. Sam was ‘a handsome English collie dog’ gifted to the Canterbury section of the New Zealand Army Service Corps during WWI.

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  • Bobby Newson

    Madison Pine
    Collection Technician, Research Support

    Robert Newson, known as Bobby is a beloved member of the Tāmaki Paenga Hira whanau. We sat down with Bobby earlier this year, to chat about his experiences with the New Zealand Army. We share his story in commemoration of Armistice Day, where we come together to remember the service of New Zealanders in war and peacekeeping operations.

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