Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira has a dual role – as a guardian for objects great and small, and as a memorial to those who served in armed conflict. The stories on this page bring those two roles together, using objects in the Museum's collection to tell just a few of the tales of heroism from those who served and those who supported them. 

A case in point


The 21st Battalion collection is a very significant collection, both symbolically and in sheer size, consisting of nearly 700 objects. This series of blogs by Museum staff looks at the collection from every angle, from the acquisition to the photographing to the grant that made it all possible.

The heroic battle for Britain

The heroic battle for Britain

The Battle of Britain was a bitter, four-month-long air battle fought for the sovereignty of Great Britain. Royal Air Force (RAF) aircrew who took part were awarded the Battle of Britain bar, and the battle is commemorated on 15 September. You can read more about the Battle of Britain and the New Zealanders who fought in it on Online Cenotaph.

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Campaign medal featuring the Battle of Britain bar; AWMM 1996x2.80.2

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Cenotaph Stories

Explore a selection of stories from our Online Cenotaph, from a POW-turned-art dealer to stories from Vietnam to our efforts to include non-Army records.

Recognising WWI Gilbert Islanders – i-Kiribati service personnel

Recognising WWI Gilbert Islanders – i-Kiribati service personnel

Do you know of anyone from the Gilbert Islands (now known as Kiribati) who enlisted in the New Zealand Army during WWI? Our Online Cenotaph team have identified 25 i-Kiribati  servicemen but would love to hear from you if you know of any others not represented on this list.

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Kāre e ngaropōina ia mātou a rātou e tuātau `uātu

Kāre e ngaropōina ia mātou a rātou e tuātau `uātu

“Our reo contributes to our identity as Cook Islanders. We are a small nation with a rich and beautiful history that stretches back to primordial beings that have now become part of myth and legend.”

William Kainana Cuthers, Researcher and Academic Writer, wrote an article to commemorate and highlight the legacy of Cook Islands service persons, like his grandfather and namesake William Kiri Cuthers, a Coastwatcher during the Second World War. 

Introduction written by Arerangi Tongia.

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