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Cenotaph Stories

  • A Family Affair: Intergenerational Service in the Merchant Navy during WWII 

    Sophie Elborough
    COLLECTION TECHNICIAN - RESEARCH SUPPORT

    These are the stories of two families whose lives were inseparable from the Merchant Navy. As these siblings, children, and parents served alongside each other during World War II they demonstrated incredible perseverance and their experiences highlight a surprising sense of continuity despite global conflict.

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  • David Daniel and the 14 Squadron

    Victoria Passau, Online Cenotaph & Enquiry Service Manager

    David Daniel's journey from joining the Air Training Corps in New Zealand to his service in Japan's post-war efforts reflects a noteworthy yet relatable experience. Initially drawn to flying, his path led to essential ground roles during WWII and Japan's rebuilding, illustrating the valuable contributions of service personnel during this pivotal period.

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  • Return from War: The Impact of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic on First World War Veterans

    Matthew Nickless
    Collection Technician - Research Support

    As New Zealand's servicepeople returned home from the First World War they were faced with the rise of an influenza pandemic. It killed thousands of New Zealanders, and many soldiers. These are the stories of two of those men.

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  • New Zealand Nurses in Samoa

    Sophie Elborough
    COLLECTION TECHNICIAN - RESEARCH SUPPORT

    When the Expeditionary Force Advance Party set sail from Wellington to Samoa on 12 August 1914, they became some of the first New Zealand troops to see active service. Among them were six, soon to be seven, New Zealand nurses whose unusual service fundamentally shaped New Zealand's contribution to the war effort.

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  • Hope you ok ma?: The Jayforce letters of James Thomas Griffin

    James Thomas Griffin & Victoria Passau, Online Cenotaph & Enquiry Service Manager

    James Thomas Griffin's service with Jayforce in Japan (1946-1947) underscores New Zealand's role in demilitarisation and reconstruction post-WWII. Stationed in Yamaguchi, his letters, shared by his daughter Judy Cardno, reveal the impacts on locals and the experiences of New Zealand forces, offering insights into the daily life of the military in Japan.

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  • Tough Love: Kayforce Engagement with the Korean People

    COLONEL (RETIRED) RICHARD HALL OBE, MNZM
    Pou Maumahara Volunteer

    In the Korean War, New Zealand's Kayforce built meaningful connections with Koreans, transcending initial barriers of mistrust and language. Their involvement in humanitarian efforts and the formation of bonds highlighted a remarkable story of camaraderie and compassion, showcasing the positive impacts of their presence amidst the complexities of war.

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  • The Gilbert and Ellice Islands Contingent

    Matthew Nickless
    Collection Technician - Research Support

    In 1918, twenty five members of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Native Police Force travelled to New Zealand to enlist for war. This is their odyssey.

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  • Ben Peckham: the advocate

    Ben Peckham served in the New Zealand Army from 1990 until 1997 including service in Bosnia. In this interview we consider his life before, during and after service. Ben's experience has made him a passionate advocate in the veteran support space. He believes the incredible wrap-around support he received during some of his hardest times should be the default experience for other personnel.

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  • A Year in Review: Online Cenotaph 2023

    Online Cenotaph, Sophie Elborough and Matthew Nickless

    The Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Online Cenotaph team has had another impactful year in 2023, marked by sharing poignant stories, and enhanced community engagement. This review highlights the key achievements and milestones of the year, showcasing our commitment to honouring New Zealand’s military history.

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  • The Korean War: A Multinational Affair

    Colonel (Retired) Richard Hall OBE, MNZM
    Pou Maumahara Volunteer

    Nobody will ever know what was going through Dennis Fielden’s mind as he trudged up the steep slope to join A Company, 3 Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) on Hill 504, near Kap’Yong, on the 23rd April 1951. No doubt he would have been mentally and physically tired. The previous 24 hours had been particularly hectic for 16 Field Regiment (Fd Regt)...

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