War oral history programme

Page 1 – Introduction

Gathering history - From Memory

Strangely enough – it might sound funny in this day and age – but we felt it was our duty. The five of us used to go and have a drink at the City Hotel and we decided, 'Yes, we'll all join up.' That's how it happened.

Joseph Bacos, 20 Armoured Regiment, in Megan Hutching (ed.), A fair sort of battering: New Zealanders remember the Italian campaign, 2004

From Memory recorded the voices of New Zealanders who served their country in time of war: soldiers, sailors, airmen, nurses and the thousands of other personnel at home and overseas. These ordinary New Zealanders told extraordinary stories – the human and personal stories of war.

Faces of war veterans

New Zealand veterans of the Second World
War. L to R: George Wirepa, RAF; Terence
Scott, RN; Jean Chalmers, WWSA; Noel
Rosoman, 2 NZEF(IP).

The programme was run by New Zealand's Ministry for Culture and Heritage, which deposited its interviews in the From Memory collection of the Alexander Turnbull Library's Oral History and Sounnd collection. The collection contains interviews with veterans who served in the Second World War and the Korean War. Men and women who served in the post-war occupation of Japan have also been recorded. Vietnam veterans are part of another oral history project

Do your own war oral history interviews

You, too, can gather New Zealanders' war stories.

This site contains all the information you need to conduct your own war oral history interviews. It should be read in conjunction with our Guide to recording oral history. In this feature you will find background notes and suggested questions that will be useful for interviewing Second World War veterans.

How to cite this page

'From Memory', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/hands/from-memory/from-memory, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 8-Nov-2021