Skip to main content



War oral history programme

Information about the now completed From Memory oral history project, including advice on how to interview war veterans Read the full article

Page 12 - Notes and questions, merchant seafarers

Advice and suggested questions for seafarers from the Second World


It was one of the largest amphibious landings in history. On 6 June 1944 a huge Allied military machine embarked on the invasion of German-occupied France. Thousands of New Zealand sailors and airmen were on active duty that day. Read the full article

Page 6 - New Zealanders at sea

By 1944 more than 4700 New Zealanders were based in the United Kingdom and were serving in Royal Navy ships.

The Merchant Navy

3 September is Merchant Navy Day, which was first officially commemorated in New Zealand in 2010. The date marks the sinking of the first Allied merchant ship in 1939, just hours after the Second World War began. This is the story of the 'fourth service' at war. Read the full article

Page 5 - No grave but the sea

For the Merchant Navy the cost of victory was high: between 1939 and 1945 almost 5000 Allied and neutral merchant vessels (over 21 million tons' worth) were sunk, and around

Page 6 - Roll of Honour, 1939-45

This roll lists the names of seafarers who died while serving on New Zealand merchant ships and New Zealanders known to have been lost while sailing under the flags of other

A number of New Zealand merchant seamen served off the D-Day beaches on hospital ships and other support vessels. This image, taken off Omaha Beach, shows a landing craft alongside the British hospital ship Llandovery Castle, on which New Zealander Cliff Turner served as a baker.