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Cenotaph Stories

  • 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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  • 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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  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Park – Officially One of The Few!

    Dilip Sarkar (MBE FRHistS)

    Historian Dilip Sarkar has spent his career researching the Battle of Britain. In this piece he shares with us the new stories he has uncovered about the service of Auckland’s Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Park and his involvement in the defence of Britain.

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  • Stories from Singapore: the RNZAF in World War II

    Matthew Nickless
    Collection Technician - Research Support

    Despite the proximity of Singapore and the Pacific to New Zealand, most New Zealand forces were concentrated in North Africa in 1942. Matthew Nickless looks at two RNZAF servicemen who served close to home, and their experiences during the Fall of Singapore.

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

    Dr Gabrielle Fortune
    Historian

    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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  • A Kiwi in Canada

    Nelson Bennett
    Collection Technician - Research Support

    Lawrence Don Bennett was one of 7000 kiwis who shipped off to Canada to take part in the Air Training Scheme. The program was massive, and it affected so many New Zealand service people, but is often overlooked in the history of the Second World War.

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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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  • Remembering the Barbers: From the War to Wilson Street

    Matthew Nickless
    Collection Technician - Research Support

    The Barber family had four sons who served in the First World War. Matthew Nickless’ grandmother still remembers her grandfather and his brothers, and he uses those memories and family stories to trace the path of the family through the war and into peace.

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  • Achille Carlier, Mayor of Le Quesnoy during the First World War

    Dr Nathalie Philippe, Senior Lecturer University of Waikato, French

    When New Zealanders troops liberated the fortified town of Le Quesnoy on 4 November 1918, the elected mayor of Le Quesnoy was nowhere to be seen. The inhabitants of Le Quesnoy would have to wait for the Armistice to be able to see their mayor once again. So what had happened to Achille Carlier during the war?

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