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Lest We Forget Campaign Uncovers Wartime Treasures


Lest We Forget, a national campaign launched recently to preserve wartime memories, has already uncovered some hidden treasures from around the country. These include a letter written in 1865 from a soldier in the Waikato War to his wife, a memoir of a WWI soldier and leaflets dropped over France and Germany in 1941.

These documents will by deposited at the Alexander Turnbull Library today by the Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon Judith Tizard, and the Minister Responsible for the National Library, Hon Marian Hobbs.

Jock Phillips, Chief Historian from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage said, “We are delighted by the response so far. Some real gems have been sent in and I feel extremely positive that once the campaign really takes off, we can look forward to receiving much more. It’s also very timely, and a fitting tribute, that these documents will be placed in safekeeping just before Anzac Day.”

Lest We Forget is co-ordinated by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. It is aimed at encouraging all New Zealanders, young and old, to place relevant material in their local library or museum for safe keeping - letters, diaries, photographs, postcards, souvenirs - any material from New Zealanders’ war experiences which contribute to the story of our country’s wartime experiences.

War in the twentieth century was an unforgettable and powerful experience for many New Zealanders, and a defining stage in the evolution of New Zealand as a nation. As those New Zealanders who lived through a war experience are getting to the end of their lives, it is important that their experiences are not forgotten. Service men and women, those in the Home Guard, nurses, war refugees, war brides, members of patriotic organisations, conscientious objectors, children sent away from home, people ‘making do’ at home - they all have stories which are worth preserving.

Further information can be obtained from the website: www.mch.govt.nz/war-memory/

-ENDS -

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