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Cenotaph Stories

  • Staying connected

    Charlotte Macdonald
    History, Victoria University of Wellington

    In 2020 we are learning anew what distance and separation means. Charlotte Macdonald shows us that while distance in war time or distance to stop the spread of disease are two different reasons for separation but in both we turn to all the tools we have to stay connected, to save life as well as lives.

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  • Māori Mobilisation: Wartime, Peacetime, Covid-19-time

    Dr Aroha Harris
    University of Auckland, History Department

    Historically, major crises – whether war or disease – that took and disrupted far too many lives also generated unreservedly Māori responses, often paying attention to whānau and community health and wellbeing. Dr Aroha Harris ponders iwi Māori capacity to mobilise throughout the 20th and 21st Century.

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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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  • The Zero: Two men and a plane

    By Gail Romano
    Associate Curator History

    On 15 September 1945 the Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero, flown by Wing Commander Kofoed, landed at Piva airfield in Bougainville. This aircraft is now on display in Auckland War Memorial Museum and the story of its journey here has been widely repeated. However, the story hinges on two men of different nationalities who were each instrumental in the Zero’s acquisition.

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  • Wiremu Paora

    Lance Corporal Wiremu Paora (Ngāti Whātua) served in the First World War as part of the Pioneer Māori Battalion. He was injured in the battle of the Somme.

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  • Language from the First World War

    Glyn Harper
    Professor of War Studies at Massey University

    As we're all confined to quarters, spare a thought for those who spent months and years in the squalid environs of the First World War. Just as words like 'lockdown' and 'bubble' have come to define our COVID-19 lives, war spawned a new, often times humorous, language to describe the miserable, dangerous and peculiar world that soldiers found themselves in.

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  • A Gallipoli conversation after Anzac Day 2020

    Dr Christopher Pugsley
    LIEUTENANT COLONEL (RETIRED), ONZM, DPHIL, FRHISTS

    Bill and Serpil Sellars are old friends of Chris Pugsley who live in Eceabat (Maidos)– the small village and ferry terminal on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Bill emailed Chris on 25 April 2020. This is part of the discussion that followed and the story that unfolded.

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  • The Pacific War - 75 years on

    By Dan Millar and Madison Pine
    Collection Technicians Research Support

    In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day, we have put together some of the stories of the men and women of all of New Zealand's forces who served during the Pacific War.

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  • McNeil Brothers on Gallipoli

    Gail Romano
    Associate Curator, Human History

    In commemoration of the 105th anniversary of Chunuk Bair, Associate Curator Gail Romano reflects on the lasting legacies of the McNeil Brothers, and how often the way into the lives of those who are lost to the past is through the material objects they have left behind.

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  • A Morning on Chunuk Bair

    Dr Christopher Pugsley
    LIEUTENANT COLONEL (RETIRED), ONZM, DPHIL, FRHISTS

    On the 8th August 2015, Dr Christopher Pugsley, watched as the sun rose over the Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial and wrote about the legacy of these events one hundred years on. On the 105th anniversary of Chunuk Bair we re-share his touching tribute to all those who were lost on this day.

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