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Cenotaph Stories

  • 'ATA-Girls': The Fab Five of New Zealand Aviation

    Dr Gabrielle Fortune

    They were called 'ATA-girls' (attagirls) female pilots who served with the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) during the Second World War. During the war 168 women served with the ATA, including five New Zealand Women who paid their own way to England for a chance to fly.

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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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  • Anzac Day 2021

    This year we highlight the contributions made by servicewomen in World War II and after. 2021 marks two significant anniversaries involving servicewomen: the establishment of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (formed 16 January 1941) and the landing in Japan of the main body of Jayforce (March 1946). The legacy left by these women paved the way for the thousands of women serving today.

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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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  • 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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  • A Menagerie of Mascots

    By Heather Downie
    Volunteer, Online Cenotaph and Pou Maumahara

    Our volunteer Heather, writes about a Menagerie of Mascots who fought alongside their friends and masters throughout the First and Second World Wars.

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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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  • A Year in Review: Online Cenotaph 2020

    Online Cenotaph Team

    2020 began with a team member moving to Wellington, included two lockdowns, five grant recipients, and forty one transcription projects. Here we have shared some of our accomplishments and highlights for 2020.

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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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  • Evacuation of Gallipoli

    By Glyn Harper
    Excerpt from Johnny Enzed: The New Zealand Solider in the First World War 1914-1918 (First World War Centenary History series)

    In this excerpt from Johnny Enzed: The New Zealand Soldier in First World War, Glyn Harper shares some of the experiences and emotions of New Zealand Soldiers in preparing to evacuate Gallipoli on the 15 December 1915.

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