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FEATURED VETERAN

Sonny Sewell

Sonny was born in Rotorua on the 28th of May 1923. He was educated in Auckland.
He remembers growing up in the shadow of the First World War, during the time when military matters were far more top-of-mind and part of everyday life.

Bill Wakeling

Bill Wakeling was born on the 20th of August 1922 in Wanganui, where he grew up and spent the first eighteen years of his life. His father had a small block near town; a leased a further 60-acres further out; milking cows and rearing pigs. ‘We were milking 60 cows and raising 200 pigs.’

Les Williams

Les was born, grew up and did his schooling in Wellington. He remembers the hard years of the Depression. Leaving school at fifteen, he got a job as an apprentice mechanic and worked his way up to be fully qualified.
Les joined-up on the first day that war was declared, going into Trentham Camp for training with the First Echelon.

Frank May

Frank was born on the 6th of December 1916 in New Plymouth, living there until he transferred to Hawera, Taranaki in 1937, to work with Hannahs Shoe Company. He attended Central Primary School then New Plymouth Boys High School. Like many of Frank’s generation, he remembers the struggles for families growing-up in Depression years, and how many missed-out on high schooling because their parents couldn’t afford to send them. 

Haddon Donald

Haddon was born in the Wairarapa on March 20 1917 and did his high-schooling at Nelson College.
By 1937 Haddon figured the war’s coming was ‘obvious to everyone but our government’, so he joined the local territorials as much on the rationale that he better be as ‘trained and prepared as possible to survive’ as patriotism and a desire to stand up to Hitler.

The NGATOA PROJECT WAS CONCEIVED TO CAPTURE, PRESERVE, SHARE AND REMEMBER THE STORIES OF NEW ZEALANDERS WHO WENT TO WAR IN WORLD WAR II – 1939-45, AND HAS SUBSEQUENTLY EXPANDED TO COVER NEW ZEALAND’S INVOLVEMENT IN OPERATIONAL DEPLOYMENTS THROUGHOUT THE 20TH AND 21ST CENTURY.

The Nga Toa Charitable Trust was established to facilitate the capture and sharing of the experiences of New Zealand’s Returned Servicemen and women. The Nga Toa (Many Warriors) project aims to share these experiences with the wider public to promote remembrance and education of New Zealand’s Military Heritage.

The Nga Toa is an active archive currently containing interviews with 300 individuals. The website has been developed to begin providing access to these interviews, starting with New Zealanders who served in WW2.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

By Donating, you will be assisting with the publication of the raw interviews with veterans that will be then be uploaded to the website.

 

 

RECENTLY ADDED INTERVIEWS

Frank May

Frank May

Frank was born on the 6th of December 1916 in New Plymouth, living there until he transferred to Hawera, Taranaki in 1937, to work with Hannahs Shoe Company. He attended Central Primary School then New Plymouth Boys High School. Like many of Frank’s generation, he remembers the struggles for families growing-up in Depression years, and how many missed-out on high schooling because their parents couldn’t afford to send them. 

read more
Bill Wakeling

Bill Wakeling

Bill Wakeling was born on the 20th of August 1922 in Wanganui, where he grew up and spent the first eighteen years of his life. His father had a small block near town; a leased a further 60-acres further out; milking cows and rearing pigs. ‘We were milking 60 cows and raising 200 pigs.’

read more
Charlie Reed

Charlie Reed

Charlie Reed was in the Territorials before the Second World War. With the outbreak of war Charlie signed-on with the 2nd New Zealand Division as an artilleryman, leaving for war with the First Echelon.

read more

The ANZACs at Gallipoli APP

The ANZACs, or Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, were formed during the First World War as a response to the need for more troops. This app takes you through the events that led to the start of The Great War, and why the Allies launched an attack on the Ottoman Empire.

Our app provides a unique and interactive experience that allows you to explore the history of the ANZACs through the use of augmented reality. You can explore maps and models of the ANZACs’ experiences in Gallipoli and see the terrain they traversed.You’ll have the opportunity to listen to real life accounts of ANZAC soldiers, and learn of the harsh realities of war firsthand. See what it was like to dig trenches, take cover from enemy fire, and feel the adrenaline rush of battle.

Our app is designed for all ages, from students learning about this critical time in history to adults interested in exploring the past. It’s a great tool for teachers to use in the classroom or for families to explore together.

In addition to the immersive experience provided by the app, we also offer a wealth of information about the ANZACs and the events at Gallipoli through text, audio, and historical photos. You can dive deeper into the history and gain a greater understanding of the context in which these events took place.