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Photos Sought in Lead Up to Great War Centenary

Photos Sought in Lead Up to Great War Centenary
 
In the lead up to the centenary of World War One in 2014, New Zealanders are being urged to dig out photos of family members who served.
 
"We are asking people to send us portraits of family who served in the Great War as a tribute to their sacrifices," says Brisbane-based Kiwi Matt Pomeroy, who is one of two men aiming to publish the images next year in a non-profit project.
 
"It will be a legacy for future generations to be able to look upon some 100,000 faces, and for these people to not be forgotten. Although it was mainly men who volunteered, many people today don't realise that more than 500 nurses served.
 
"We are searching museums, libraries, historical societies and private collections. But if we want this to be a complete photographic record, we need ordinary Kiwis to have a hunt through their old photo albums."
 
The images will be published and the duo hopes to make them available online too. They are also asking people to spread the word - the photo hunt could become a class or school project, or a way for clubs or societies to commemorate the Great War.
 
Mr Pomeroy has a personal connection with this massive project. "I first got into military history when I was researching my family tree, and I discovered my great-grandfather, Sam Pomeroy, had died at Passchendaele in 1917. It's both poignant and fascinating to think that as we approach the anniversary of the Great War, none of these women and men are left."
 
Mr Pomeroy and his friend Phil Beattie, who is a serving member of the New Zealand Air Force, have been writing about military history for many years. They have already collected the portraits of 4,100 service personnel in a volume called Onward: Portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, which is available at libraries.
 
They prefer portraits of people in uniform and during 1914-18 if possible. Scanned images, ideally with first and last name, service number and source, can be emailed to onwardnzef.book@gmail.com or posted on their Facebook page Onward Project.
 
The project is recognised by and linked to the WW100 commemorations, New Zealand's official centenary activities.
 
ENDS

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