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Cenotaph Stories

  • 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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  • Stage Door Canteen encounter changes a young navigator’s direction

    By Michael Smythe
    New Zealand Design Historian

    Known fondly as the Godfather of New Zealand Industrial Design, Gifford Jackson has left a significant legacy to the Industrial Design scene. Michael Smythe New Zealand Design Historian shares part of Gifford Jackson's story and how a chance encounter at a stage door changed New Zealand's Design History.

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  • Harding Waipuke Leaf

    Harding Waipuke Leaf was born on 6 October 1890 in Whirinaki, Hokianga and was of Ngāpuhi and Te Hikutu descent. Leaf served in both the First and Second World Wars.

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  • Te Rangiataahua Kiniwe Royal

    Te Rangiataahua Kiniwe Royal (Ngāti Ruakawa, Ngāti Tamaterā) fought in both the First and Second World Wars. He was Major in command of the 28th Māori Battalion's B Company when he was injured near Gazala in Libya.

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  • Leading the 28 Māori Battalion: Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Baker

    Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Baker could be considered an ideal soldier - skilled in strategy, he was a courageous and a “worthy commander” who led his troops with courage and mana.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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