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Cenotaph Stories

  • 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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  • Tongan Defence Force

    Nelson Bennett
    Collection Technician - Research Support

    The Tongan Defence Force was a major part of Tonga's response to the Second World War, a conflict that would result in massive change in the Kingdom. The Tongans generously opened their lands to the Allies, and the Tongan Defence Force played an important role both overseas and at home.

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  • 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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  • Niuean Service Personnel

    List of identified Niuean Service personnel who have service with the New Zealand Armed Forces, during both the First World War, Second World War and later conflicts.

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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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  • Manava Toa: the Cook Islands in WW1

    Tūrou Tūrou `Oro Mai. Over 500 Cook Islanders fought for New Zealand in the WWI. They served with distinction but suffered great loss. Find out more about these courageous servicemen.

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  • Kāre e ngaropōina ia mātou a rātou e tuātau `uātu

    By William Kainana Cuthers
    Researcher and Academic Writer

    In celebration of Cook Islands Language Week William Cuthers Researcher and Academic Writer has written a piece celebrating the language of the Cook Islands and commemorating the service of the Cook Islands ancestors who served. He is introduced by Arerangi Tongia

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  • Our Coastwatchers

    Geraldine Warren and Madison Pine
    Collection Information and Access team

    Coastwatchers were the eyes and ears for New Zealand throughout the Moana Pacific, during the Second World War. This is the story of the Coastwatchers, and of John Jones who fought for official recognition of their service. *Please be aware this article does contain sensitive material relating to the Tarawa Massacre*

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