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Cenotaph Stories

  • Vietnam through the lens of Lance Corporal Heremaia

    Nelson Bennett, Collection Technician Research Support

    Lance Corporal Te Hira Wati Heremaia served with both the New Zealand Special Air Service and as part of the New Zealand Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion. During his tours in Vietnam he took many photos, preserving his wartime experience. Our thanks to Te Hira’s granddaughter, Taylen Heremaia, who got in contact and made the generous offer to share her grandfather’s slides.

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  • Ngāti Raukawa Sacrifice and Suffering in 20th Century Wars

    Te Kenehi Teira and Heeni Collins
    Ngāti Raukawa

    Despite large loss of land and disregard from the Crown in the 19th century, 50 years later Ngāti Raukawa men were enlisting in large numbers to fight in World War One, and later World War Two. This article outlines the research conducted by Te Kenehi Teira and Heeni Collins as part of a report commissioned by Crown Forestry Rental Trust, Wellington (Wai 2200 Porirua ki Manawatu Inquiry).

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  • Always in my thoughts

    By Nelson Bennett
    Collection Technician Research Support

    "You are always in my thoughts" was how Richard Grace signed off one of his letters to his dear friend Alice. Their emotional letters exchanged during the First World War was featured in our recent Love & Loss exhibition, this article shares more about the experiences of Richard and his two brothers who served for New Zealand during WWI.

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  • Bobby Newson

    Madison Pine
    Collection Technician, Research Support

    Robert Newson, known as Bobby is a beloved member of the Tāmaki Paenga Hira whanau. We sat down with Bobby earlier this year, to chat about his experiences with the New Zealand Army. We share his story in commemoration of Armistice Day, where we come together to remember the service of New Zealanders in war and peacekeeping operations.

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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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  • 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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  • Harding Waipuke Leaf

    Harding Waipuke Leaf was born on 6 October 1890 in Whirinaki, Hokianga and was of Ngāpuhi and Te Hikutu descent. Leaf served in both the First and Second World Wars.

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  • Te Rangiataahua Kiniwe Royal

    Te Rangiataahua Kiniwe Royal (Ngāti Ruakawa, Ngāti Tamaterā) fought in both the First and Second World Wars. He was Major in command of the 28th Māori Battalion's B Company when he was injured near Gazala in Libya.

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  • Leading the 28 Māori Battalion: Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Baker

    Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Baker could be considered an ideal soldier - skilled in strategy, he was a courageous and a “worthy commander” who led his troops with courage and mana.

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