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Cenotaph Stories

  • Uncle Bambi and the mystery of the travelling guitar

    Victoria Passau
    Collection Manager, Online Cenotaph

    Many Online Cenotaph staff have had an ongoing fascination with a series of photos of a guitar that have been attached to nearly 150 personnel records. This is the story Peter Utanga's guitar.

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  • Peter Gallacher: Documentarian of D Company

    Victoria Passau
    Collection Manager Online Cenotaph

    We recently interviewed Malayan Emergency Veteran Private Peter Gallacher who served in 10 Platoon D Company 2 New Zealand Regiment. The avid photographer has kindly shared his collection of images taken throughout his Malayan service.

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  • World War Voices

    By Sarah Johnston
    Sound History Researcher (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rākaipaaka)

    During the Second World War the National Broadcasting Service Mobile Unit recorded interviews and reports about the fighting and the day-to-day business of war, as well as thousands of simple messages home from servicemen – and a few women. Sound History Researcher, Sarah Johnston explores their stories.

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  • May Palmer

    By Georgina White
    Curator, Cenotaph Galleries

    Determined to offer her services during the First World War, Nurse May Palmer travelled from Wellington to France, where she joined the French Red Cross, nursing in Hospitals in Northern France and Belgium. Here is the story of May Palmer a truly remarkable nurse.

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  • Harold Winstone Butterworth

    By Georgina White
    Curator, Cenotaph Galleries

    'It is great sport up on a bumpy day & as you first overcome one bump & then another you have a great feeling of joy over your imitation of the bird & the freeness of the air.' Harold Butterworth, a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps describes his experiences flying during the First World War.

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  • Honouring outstanding gallantry

    Victoria Passau
    Collection Manager, Online Cenotaph

    On Sunday 16 May 2021 a private ceremony was held in the World War II Hall of Memories. The ceremony marked the end of a 50-year campaign, by Norman Fry and Brian Monks, to gain recognition for their comrades.

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  • 'ATA-Girls': The Fab Five of New Zealand Aviation

    Dr Gabrielle Fortune
    Historian

    They were called 'ATA-girls' (attagirls) female pilots who served with the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) during the Second World War. During the war 168 women served with the ATA, including five New Zealand Women who paid their own way to England for a chance to fly.

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  • Bo Goldie - Called home to rest among his people

    Evelyn Kawiti (Ngatiporou)
    Visitor Host, Visitor Services

    Evelyn Kawiti remembers her cousin Bo Goldsmith (1950-2021) as a kind and generous man with a big heart.

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  • Aghan Brothers

    Georgina White
    Curator, Cenotaph Galleries

    At the outbreak of the First World War, there were approximately 2500 people of Chinese descent living in New Zealand. Nearly 40 Chinese service personnel have been identified, this is the story of the Aghan brothers; Alfred and David who moved from Australia to serve for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

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  • Anzac Day 2021

    This year we highlight the contributions made by servicewomen in World War II and after. 2021 marks two significant anniversaries involving servicewomen: the establishment of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (formed 16 January 1941) and the landing in Japan of the main body of Jayforce (March 1946). The legacy left by these women paved the way for the thousands of women serving today.

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