Historical Queries

The RNZA Association does not hold any form of service records, nor are we in a position to carry out research on your behalf.

If you have a query with regard to a particular serviceman, these suggestions will give you a lead:

  • If you have some basic information about the soldier you can request a copy of their Personal File. This is the official Army record for that soldier. The record includes detail of their Army life from the time they enlisted through to their discharge, including training, courses attended, embarkation for overseas service, if they were wounded, taken prisoner or killed, hospitalization and promotion (or demotion).

If you are unsure of the detail of person of interest then:

  • Start with Nominal Records of Embarkation Rolls. These rolls give details such as name, rank, regimental number, next of kin, last known address, previous occupation, date of embarkation and troopship name. Most main city libraries hold copies of these rolls as does the Kippenberger Library in the National Army Museum at Waiouru.
  • You could also check out the Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Data Base.
  • Also the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site gives details of all Commonwealth soldiers with a known grave and a list of memorial sites if a soldier has no known grave. The site details name, rank, regimental number, army unit, next of kin and details of their grave/memorial location.

Unit Official Histories are valuable for where army units served and the battles they fought in:

  • World Wars One & Two unit histories are on-line here
  • The Korean War history is New Zealand and the Korean War, McGibbon, Oxford University Press, 1996,ISBN 0 19 558253 5 (Vol 1 Politics & Diplomacy) and ISBN 0 19 558343 4 (Vol 2 Combat Operations)
  • Vietnam is covered by New Zealand’s Vietnam War, McGibbon, EKISLE, 2010, ISBN 978-0-908988-96-9.
  • These volumes are available in most city libraries.

Other helpful references are:

  • The Gunners: A History of New Zealand Artillery, Henderson, Greene & Cooke, Raupo, 2008, ISBN 978 07900 11417, and
  • For day to day detail on unit operations check out the Unit War Diaries deposited in the National Archives in Wellington. You will have to physically visit the archives to view these diaries.
  • For the New Zealand Wars check out:
  • The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography includes many biographies of military people under the advanced search armed forces site.