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Cenotaph Stories

  • Chaplain Hekataha Uea and Niue's contribution to WWI

    Georgina White
    Curator, Cenotaph Galleries

    Chaplain Uea was age 40, the oldest of the 150 Niuean men who, keen to help ‘the Kingdom of King George’, joined the New Zealand Maori Contingent. Uea was a natural leader. He was their Sergeant Major and something of a father figure to the Niuean men. Importantly, he was one of the few who could speak English.

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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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  • 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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  • Corporal William George Lowther: ‘the least visited Kiwi on the peninsula’

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

    Being commemorated at The Farm Cemetery, the most difficult of plots to access, Corporal W Lowther, of Auckland Bnis probably the least visited Kiwi on the peninsula. Chris Pugsley in conversation with his old friends Bill and Serpil Sellars.

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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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  • 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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  • Treaty of Versailles

    Peace Treaty with a Terrible Reputation
    Glyn Harper Professor of War Studies Massey University

    One Hundred and one years ago, on the 28th June 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed. Here, Professor Glyn Harper, of Massey University examines some of the consequences of the 1919 Treaty and challenges the arguments that it was a direct cause of the Second World War. 

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  • Private Te Kuru and the Pioneers

    Private Te Kuru served in the "Pioneers", an important battalion which prepared battlefields for infantry and artillery. Piki carried out this dangerous work at the Western Front in the latter part of the First World War. Explore more of Piki's story.

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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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