Auckland Libraries: New Zealanders at war

New Zealanders at war; Stories from the Military Collections

Mon 20, Tue 21, Wed 22, Thu 23, Fri 24 April 11am to 1pm Free

National Webinar Series hosted by Auckland Libraries, in association with Ancestry. New Zealand’s leading historians, military, and family history experts give free live presentations online to the public during Anzac Day week 2020. #WeRemember

Red poppies in a field.
Join us each day at 11am from Monday 20 April to Friday 24 April 2020. 

Free access to Ancestry’s military collections  

Ancestry has the world’s largest collection of online military records. Free access to the military records will be available during the week of ANZAC Day, from Tuesday 21 April until Sunday 26 April inclusive; please visit 

Five daily webinars

The 19th century conflicts in New Zealand 
11am, Monday 20 April 

  • Introduction: Individual stories from the Ancestry military collections with Jason Reeve
  • The New Zealand Wars; an historical overview with Dr Vincent O’Malley 
  • Soldiers of Empire; the British troops in New Zealand in the 1860s with Prof Charlotte Macdonald  
  • Pakeha military settlers with Michelle Patient  
NZ’s first overseas deployment – the South African War 1899-1902  
11am, Tuesday 21 April
  • Introduction: Individual stories from the Ancestry military collections with Jason Reeve
  • Battles of the New Zealand Contingents on the Veldt with Prof Glyn Harper   
  • The British troops in South Africa, who settled in NZ with Michelle Patient  
The Great War of 1914-1918; remarkable stories of tragedy and survival  
11am, Wednesday 22 April
  • Introduction: Individual stories from the Ancestry military collections with Jason Reeve
  • From Gallipoli to the Somme; stories revealed in objects with Gail Romano  
  • Anzacs and the Easter Rising with Rory Sweetman
  • The tragedy of the Hamblyn brothers with Michelle Patient  
Kiwis in World War Two; tales of courage 
11am, Thursday 23 April  
  • Introduction: Individual stories from the Ancestry military collections with Jason Reeve
  • Kiwi pilots in the Battle of Britain with Adam Claasen
  • New Zealanders in the naval battles of 1945 with Michael Wynd 
  • Lost at sea; the mystery of Percy Taylor with Fiona Brooker 
  • NZ troops in Italy; in search of the NZ Division in Trieste with Christine Clement 
  • The legacy of WW2 in personal family stories with Michelle Patient  
The Memory of War; commemorating NZ’s conflicts and soldiers, from the 19th Century to Malaya and Vietnam
11am, Friday 24 April
  • Introduction: Individual stories from the Ancestry military collections with Jason Reeve
  • Commemorating ANZAC Day over 100 years; and the Rehabilitation of NZ war veterans since WW1 with Dr Stephen Clarke
  • The New Zealand Wars; memory over time with Prof Michael Belgrave 
  • NZ troops in Malaya and Borneo; from Emergency to Confrontation with Dr Chris Pugsley  
  • New Zealand's Vietnam War; a history of controversy with Dr Ian McGibbon 
Book now to receive a link to the webinar prior to the event. You must include an email address when booking to receive the webinar link.

Book now

Webinar speakers

In order of presentation over the five day series.

Vincent O’MalleyVincent O'Malley

Historian and author of multiple publications on the history of Māori and Pākehā relations in 19th Century New Zealand including The New Zealand Wars/Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa. He holds a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington. 

Charlotte Macdonald Charlotte Macdonald

Professor of History, Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka. 

Principal Investigator of the Soldiers of Empire project, supported by the Marsden Fund, which led to the creation of a comprehensive database of the 12,000 British soldiers and sailors who served in the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s. 

Michelle PatientMichelle Patient 

Australian genealogist, consultant to Ancestry ProGenealogists.

DNA consultant to SBS TV series Every Family has a Secret. 

Co-founder of 

Jason Reeve Jason Reeve
Content Acquisition Manager at Ancestry. 

Many of Ancestry’s records provide valuable insight into our military ancestors, with details of age, location and occupation at the time of listing. 

Some records describe the places where they served, as well as the honours and awards they received, along with any disciplinary action, and details of next of kin.

Glyn HarperGlyn Harper

Professor of War Studies at Massey University; historian specializing in the military history of NZ in the 20th century, and the author of more than twenty books, including The Battle for North Africa. El Alamein and the Turning Point for World War II

He reached the rank of lieutenant colonel in the NZ Army. 

Gail Romano Gail Romano

Associate Curator of History at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Tāmaki Paenga Hira; where she works with the Museum's huge collection of objects related to New Zealand's war and social histories; in particular, the First World War experiences in the Pacific, Gallipoli, and Sinai-Palestine, and the Vietnam War. 

Rory SweetmanRory Sweetman 

This Irish-born Kiwi historian holds degrees from Dublin and Cambridge universities and has written extensively on the links between Ireland and New Zealand. 

His latest book is Defending Trinity College Dublin, Easter 1916: ANZACs and the Rising

Michael WyndMichael Wynd

Historian and researcher at the National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy. 

His research interests include Naval history, colonial warfare, the revolution in military affairs, and the history of the First World War. 

He is currently working on a book about the history of demobilisation 1918-1919.  

Fiona BrookerFiona Brooker 

Professional Genealogist at Memories in Time; Co-founder of 

Fiona also teaches family history and digital scrapbooking. 

Christine ClementChristine Clement

Genealogist and local historian. 

Author of 18 books on specialist family history subjects, as well as numerous articles in genealogical magazines and consultant to Ancestry. 

Stephen ClarkeStephen Clarke 

Historian and Managing Director of Making History; author of After the War: The RSA in New Zealand

His research specialty is the impact of war on veterans and their rehabilitation into society, as well as war commemoration, including the history of ANZAC Day in New Zealand and Australia. 

He holds a PhD from the University of New South Wales.

Adam ClaasenAdam Claasen 

Historian at Massey University’s Albany campus in Auckland. 

He is the author of Fearless: the extraordinary untold story of New Zealand’s Great War airmen, an exploration of the role played by our air and ground crew in the world’s first air war. 

Michael Belgrave Michael Belgrave

Professor of history at Massey University; former research manager of the Waitangi Tribunal.

He is the author of Dancing with the King, an exploration of diplomacy and peace-making in the decades between the Waikato War and the opening of the King Country.  

Chris Pugsley Chris Pugsley

Military historian; former senior lecturer in War Studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

A specialist in New Zealand, Imperial and Commonwealth military history in the 19th and 20th Centuries; author of numerous books including From Emergency to Confrontation: The New Zealand Armed Forces in Malaya and Borneo 1949-1966

He reached the rank of lieutenant colonel in the NZ Army, and holds a PhD from the University of Waikato.

Ian McGibbonIan McGibbon 

Military historian; former General Editor (War History) at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 

A widely acclaimed author, he has had a hand in over 15 books including New Zealand's Vietnam War, A history of combat, commitment and controversy

He visited Vietnam in 2007 as part of the research his book. He holds a LitD from Victoria University of Wellington. 

Register now to attend

Book now to receive a link to this week long webinar prior to the event. You must include an email address when booking to receive the webinar link.

Book now

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