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In recognition of this significant day, Associate Curator, History Gail Romano offers a glimpse into some interesting New Zealanders who fought in the air.
Whangarei pilot and Battle of Britain airman Derek Ward designed his own coat-of arms for the side of his Hurricane fighter. The shield displayed four images of ‘bad luck’: a broken mirror, three on a match, the number ‘13’ and someone about to walk under a ladder. Below it, a banner proclaimed 'SO WHAT THE HELL'.
The role of wartime fighter pilot drew the enthusiastic and the colourful. But these pilots were also cool headed under pressure, focused and quick responders, especially during the Battle of Britain.
To recognise this important day, we bring you a story from our Online Cenotaph.
Malayan Veteran, Peter Gallacher discusses his passion for photography and the importance of acknowledging his comrades.
Peter has kindly provided Online Cenotaph with more than 500 photographs of his time spent in Malaya and full proofsheets are included in this article.
In recognition of Merchant Navy Day (Friday, 3 September), our Online Cenotaph team brings you the intriguing story of Dean Lupo Anaki.
As a young boy in Niue, Dean Lupo Anaki dreamt of sailing the seas. As a teenager, he booked a passage to New Zealand and soon joined the Merchant marines as an Ordinary seaman.
Dean recounts his journey in the marines and why he thinks every seaman is also a painter.
To commemorate Merchant Navy Day (Friday, 3 September), we bring you this powerful article from our Online Cenotaph team.
On 21 December 1940, some 500 merchant seamen and passengers were left stranded on an island in the north-east of Papua New Guinea, their ships intercepted and sunk by German raiders.
In honour of this year’s Vietnam Veterans' Day (Wednesday, 18 August), we bring you the fascinating story of Murray Watene (Ngāti Kahungunu).
Murray grew up in Waimarama and joined the New Zealand Police in 1959, before going on to serve in Malaya, Vietnam and Antarctica throughout the '60s and '70s. The avid poet sat down with Madison Pine and Victoria Passau from our Online Cenotaph team to share his memories and experiences from his life, as well as some of his poems.
Rarotongan-born Private Tuaine Utanga took a guitar with him on active service. Private Utanga invited his fellow soldiers to sign their names on the guitar's case, which in the end held the signatures of more than 200 of Utanga's fellow New Zealand soldiers. The guitar was an object of much interest to many Museum staff, but neither the guitar, its case nor the associated diary are held in the Museum's collection. So where were they?
The 21st Battalion Association 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.
When Auckland War Memorial Museum was given the gift of memorabilia by the 21st Battalion Association after the veteran’s club in Auckland closed its doors in 2005, the team could not have known how the final stages of cataloguing would be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Read about how the 21st Battalion's gift embodies the sense of community spirit we've craved over lockdown.
Head of Collection Care Vasiti Palavi describes what a gift like the one the 21st Battalion donated to the Museum means for the collection, what a massive undertaking it is to make it accessible to audiences, and staff select some of their favourite objects.
When a collection the size of the 21st Battalion's gift is acquired by the museum, the work of cataloguing and storing each piece begins before it even gets through the door. Read the step-by-step of how a Collection Manager and their team process each item to ensure it will be safe for generations to come.
Collection Photographer Richard Ng reflects on the work involved in photographing this huge collection, and the importance of getting each image absolutely right, down to each nick and scratch, every dog-eared corner and patched hole.
Read about how Online Cenotaph is shifting its collection policy to focus on non-Army records as well as more recent conflicts.
Read about how sound history researcher, Sarah Johnston is working to identify the voices within World War II radio broadcasts.
Nina May Palmer’s medals and badges tell us her story of nursing throughout the First World War.
The story of the four Sing brothers of Grey Lynn, Auckland, enlisted to war in 1914.
In WWI, Gladys Sandford found her own way to Egypt to help drive wounded men to safety as an ambulance driver.
Read about how an ex-POW became an art gallery custodian with a cat named Mrs McSweeney.
Bret Bestic tells of his time serving in Vietnam and how people responded on his return.
The lost airmen of 41 Squadron are found and recognised for their service in Vietnam.
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.
Campaign medal featuring the Battle of Britain bar; AWMM 1996x2.80.2
In 2020 we are learning anew what distance and separation means. What can we learn from those separated from each other in crises past?
Dr Aroha Harris ponders iwi Māori capacity to mobilise in response to major crises throughout the 20th and 21st Century.
Christopher Pugsley, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) reflects on the upcoming Anzac Day in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
How does commemoration transform in the digital sphere?
An interview with Eileen Noon about her beloved husband Sam Noon, a Malaya and Thailand Veteran with a significant connection to Auckland Museum's Anzac Day ceremonies.
This year is the first time Poppy Day has been postponed since 1922. Read about it's history here.
This year is the 100th centenary of the Anzac Day Act. Dive into the surprisingly difficult journey to making Anzac Day an official day of remembrance.
Discover the new, often humorous, language that was used to describe the miserable, dangerous and peculiar world that WW1 soldiers found themselves in.
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.
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.