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Cenotaph Stories

  • Edward Breton Bestic

    By Sophie Coombe
    Collection Technician, Research Support

    Collection Technician Sophie Coombe sat down with retired veteran Edward Breton Bestic to talk about his experiences during the Vietnam War.

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  • Ian Lewis Ruxton Wilson

    By Madison Pine
    Collection Technician, Research Support

    Collection Technician Madison Pine interviews Angela Ruxton Caughey, who was contacted through Online Cenotaph by a member of the public helping her family to locate her brother's grave site.

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  • Conscientious Objectors

    Conscription was introduced in New Zealand in 1916, under Section 34 and 35 of the Military Service Act. Many were opposed for a variety of reasons, approximately 600 men declared Conscientious Objections.

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  • Manava Toa: the Cook Islands in WW1

    Tūrou Tūrou `Oro Mai. Over 500 Cook Islanders fought for New Zealand in the WWI. They served with distinction but suffered great loss. Find out more about these courageous servicemen.

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  • The Women's Auxilary Air Force

    Established to free up more men to engage overseas service in World War II, the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force was created in 1941 and saw 4750 women pass through its ranks, freeing up more men for active service.

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  • Ngāpuhi Nursing Sisters

    Find out more about the Ngāpuhi Nursing Sisters, who organised themselves using the military ranks and traditions of the New Zealand Army to contribute to New Zealand's War effort during the South African War of 1899 - 1902.

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  • Henry William Insley

    Libby Passau shares her memories of her grandfather Henry William Insley, who served alongside his brother with the New Zealand Field Engineers during the First World War.

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  • Stanley James Lugg

    Audrey Ansell explores her great uncle Stanley James Lugg's First World War experiences serving with the New Zealand Mounted Rifles.

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  • Faces of Passchendaele

    The year 1917 was a frustrating and demoralising year for the Western powers fighting in France and Belgium. The lowest point for the New Zealand battalions came in October around the village of Passchendaele, near the city of Ypres. The battle soon became a byword for the horror of the Great War.

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  • Pip Squeak and Wilfred

    By Janet Anderson
    Pou Maumahara volunteer

    Janet Anderson often assists our visitors to explore the medal collection and helps to bring the stories of these medals to life. Here she writes about the WWI campaign medals fondly known as 'Pip, Squeak and Wilfred'.

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