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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Frederick Tucker

    By Georgina White
    Curator, Cenotaph Galleries

    Frederick Tucker enlisted with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force and joined the Wellington Mounted Rifles, saying goodbye to his 13 year old daughter Mollie. It is in the archived fragments – an unfinished diary, a two-page letter to Mollie, a brief note scrawled on a souvenir – that we glimpse something more of this man.

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  • Middle East Troopship Convoys 2NZEF 1939-1945

    Michael Ward
    Public Researcher

    When did 2NZEF troopships depart for the Middle East? What course did they follow? What were their ports of call? This information is presented here for the first time by researcher Michael Ward.

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  • Sani Lakatani

    Madison Pine
    Collection Technician, Research Support

    In June 2020, Madison sat down with the Malaya and Vietnam Veteran Sani Lakatani, to discuss his two major colourful careers with the New Zealand Army and in Niuean Politics.

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  • Tuakeo Terongo

    By Dan Millar and Madison Pine
    Collection Technicians, Research Support

    Amazingly the only known photograph of Cook Island soldier Private Tuakeo Terongo had re-emerged almost 100 years after his death.

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