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Cenotaph Stories

  • An Invisible History: Wāhine Māori in the Air Force during World War II

    By Stacey Fraser and Angela Wanhalla (Kāi Tahu)
    History Programme, University of Otago

    'The Style for you is Air Force Blue' was the recruitment tag-line for the New Zealand Women's Auxiliary Air Force, established on the 16th January 1941. In this article Angela Wanhalla and Stacey Fraser from University of Otago look at the formation of the WAAFs and Wāhine Māori who served in the Air Force during the Second World War, who's history has largely been invisible.

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  • History of Poppy Day

    Dr Stephen Clarke
    Making History Ltd.

    Poppy Day is usually held on a Friday before Anzac Day and is one of the oldest nationwide appeals by a voluntary welfare organisation in New Zealand. This year is the first year the Returned and Services Association have made the difficult decision to postpone the national Poppy Day appeal. Here Dr. Stephen Clarke reflects on the History of the Poppy Day.

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  • Stage Door Canteen encounter changes a young navigator’s direction

    By Michael Smythe
    New Zealand Design Historian

    Known fondly as the Godfather of New Zealand Industrial Design, Gifford Jackson has left a significant legacy to the Industrial Design scene. Michael Smythe New Zealand Design Historian shares part of Gifford Jackson's story and how a chance encounter at a stage door changed New Zealand's Design History.

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  • Language from the First World War

    Glyn Harper
    Professor of War Studies at Massey University

    As we're all confined to quarters, spare a thought for those who spent months and years in the squalid environs of the First World War. Just as words like 'lockdown' and 'bubble' have come to define our COVID-19 lives, war spawned a new, often times humorous, language to describe the miserable, dangerous and peculiar world that soldiers found themselves in.

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  • The Zero: Two men and a plane

    By Gail Romano
    Associate Curator History

    On 15 September 1945 the Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero, flown by Wing Commander Kofoed, landed at Piva airfield in Bougainville. This aircraft is now on display in Auckland War Memorial Museum and the story of its journey here has been widely repeated. However, the story hinges on two men of different nationalities who were each instrumental in the Zero’s acquisition.

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  • The Pacific War - 75 years on

    By Dan Millar and Madison Pine
    Collection Technicians Research Support

    In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day, we have put together some of the stories of the men and women of all of New Zealand's forces who served during the Pacific War.

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  • A journey to the archives

    Victoria Passau, Collection Manager Online Cenotaph

    Online Cenotaph is shifting its Collection objectives to focus on non-Army records as well as more recent conflicts. This article outlines our journey to the Wellington archives.

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  • Anzac Day 2020

    Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year's Anzac Day commemorations have been cancelled. The Online Cenotaph team has worked with New Zealand Historians and families to share some stories on the history of Anzac Day and veterans who have served for New Zealand.

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  • The lost Airmen of 41 Squadron

    By Douglas "Scotty" Wingfield
    Researcher

    Over the thirteen years of the Vietnam War, 41 Squadron RNZAF made 1,979 landings into the conflict. Scotty Wingfield's research helps Airmen to receive their Vietnam Medals and Vietnam Veteran status.

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  • Goldfish Club

    By Madison Pine
    Collection Technician, Research Support

    Their Club Motto is "Gold for the value of life. Fish for the Sea," they joined by ditching an aircraft into a body of water. These are the stories of the Goldfish Club.

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