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Cenotaph Stories

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Three Generations of Service

    Nelson Bennett
    Collection Technician - Research Support

    This article is about the McFarlanes, a family that, like so many others, was marked by the horrors of war through the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their story gives us insight into the struggles of so many New Zealand families in this period.

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  • Pamela Todd in Singapore

    Victoria Passau, Online Cenotaph & Enquiry Service Manager

    The New Zealand Army had a long-term presence in South East Asia. Including the 1st Battalion (1RNZIR) base in Singapore post-Vietnam up until 1974. Online Cenotaph has very few records for this period of service and so we jumped at the chance to interview nurse Pamela (Pam) Todd who had served in South East Asia in 1972.

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