“Many of the names on the database are not on war memorials. But they have been immortalised, thanks to Dale”.
– Craig Cooper, Editor, Northern Advocate.
This website’s official launch was timed to coincide with the 2015 Battle of Gallipoli Centennial.
The Freedom’s Call 2nd N.Z.E.F. database spreadsheet was compiled by Dale Calder, over the ten year period between 2006 and 2016. As further information comes to hand so it will be updated. That said it is now all but complete.
What you can expect to find here:
* At your fingertips, a massive, comprehensive spreadsheet of 2nd N.Z.E.F. soldiers and war nurses listed in the Nominal Rolls, deployed overseas during World War II and with J-Force; having identity in some way with Northland, New Zealand.
‘Northland’ refers “to that area, extending from the North Cape down to Port Albert and across to Wellsford and Great Barrier Island“.
* Interesting and useful supporting information, with links to relevant websites, where a wealth of further information is available.
Lay genealogists and Whakapapa researchers or anyone with an interest in the military history of Northland will find this an indispensable research tool.
I set myself the following parameters. The servicemen and women had to meet any one or more of the following criteria as regards the region. They
– enlisted there
– lived there when enlisting
– had next of kin residing there
+this including some whose association may have been tenuous to say the least, who may just have been passing through when deciding to enlist.
I am confident that I have met that brief.
As time has progressed and more information has come to light online, I have added some other entries where I have ascertained that the person:
– was born there
– died post war there
– was laid to rest in this area of Northland
– was memorialised there
– was otherwise known to have lived, worked, trained or studied there before enlisting.
That said, there will be many others meeting these last five criteria who have not been listed. Those I have managed to include should be regarded as ‘bonus entries.’
There will likely be many who moved into the region after the war who had no identity with it, at time of embarkation. A case can be argued for their inclusion , but no practical method exists to find out just who these people are. Some names might be picked up from obituary notices or gravestones, but where to start? Naturally, if I am alerted to someone in this category, then I will ensure that they are included on the database. You will see I have included the names of a few people I personally knew, who lived in the area for some years post-war.
With all that said, I have painstakingly sifted through copious records to ensure a very complete and largely accurate account is provided, so as to meet my original self imposed brief.
The 2nd N.Z.E.F. Freedom’s Call downloadable spreadsheet containing 6,813 lines of data, pertaining to over 5,800 servicemen and women is your primary resource.
Before undertaking any research, I strongly recommend you download the Quickstart guide. It is just 7 pages long, but you will find it of great assistance.
At the foot of the roll are a further 4 entries – one for a civilian NZ Coastwatcher executed by the Japanese and posthumously awarded the honorary rank of Corporal, one not on the roll but killed in the course of training for overseas service and two whose gravestones showed they served in the N.Z.E.F. but whom I could not find on the rolls. One whose family had stated (per the Cenotaph record) he had served with the N.Z.E.F. has not been entered, as he was not on the rolls. He apparently served in the army and also in the navy. He is to be found on the Other Forces spreadsheet .
The ‘Lest We Forget‘ roll is also downloadable. This lists 588 personnel taken from the roll who were killed or who otherwise died in the course of service. This includes the two personnel killed, mentioned in the last paragraph. Note: There are are some names of personnel, who are listed on the main roll, also listed on the CWGC site who died post WWII in New Zealand and who did not serve with J-Force. I noted one who’d died in 1946. They are NOT included on this roll.
Individual rolls are also available for each embarkation. The lists on these rolls do NOT contain all the information to be found on the main spreadsheet. You should also note that to assist with your research these lists also include married names and other known aliases as they are separately listed on the main spreadsheet, such information of course not being on the nominal rolls.
Do not be fazed by the various coloured cells and some of the coloured text .. this is more to assist me with my ongoing research than for your purposes. You are strongly advised though before clicking through to the spreadsheet to have a good read through the Quickstart guide you’ve downloaded.
Furthermore, the Freedom’s Call website in itself (around 30 pages of information) is a tremendous resource and well worth your time perusing. It has been set up as a tool to help you get the most out of your research.
Specifically what you will find:
Information comprises the following extracted from the Nominal Rolls spanning the period March 1940 to June 1948.
Surname; Christian name; Regimental Number; Formation/ Unit/Corp attached to at time of embarkation; embarkation dates; marital status; enlistment district; occupation; last address and next of kin.
Where an entry is also to be found on the Auckland War Museum Cenotaph database, then that entry has been duly noted to that effect.
Other information has also been obtained to assist the researcher in zeroing in on the right person and stems from several sources including:
– Auckland War Museum Cenotaph database,
– New Zealand Births, Deaths & Marriages (BDM) Index,
– Northland, Auckland and Hamilton Council Online Cemetery Records (and a few others),
– New Zealand Army Nursing Service Rolls,
– 28th Maori Battalion Roll
– Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website
– Other online databases for private cemeteries.
This information comprises the following:
Category A: Those who died on active service – where they died, the name of the cemetery, the CWGC grave or memorial reference; their date of death and age at death and where found their date of birth; nicknames, aliases or other adaptations of the name appearing on the Nominal Roll and in some instances very brief notes.
Category B: Those who survived the war – date of birth and death and age at death (where known), whether buried or cremated, either date of cremation or of burial/sprinkling of ashes, cemetery and plot number; funeral director if known and here too you’ll find some very brief notes, where accompanying information has been found which can assist with correct ID.
In the columns U and V (for the showing of date of birth or date of death) .. if this has been grayed out irrespective of whether it shows dashes —-, an asterisk or a note, you can take it that I will be undertaking no further line of enquiry as regards that particular entry. That does NOT MEAN that you should not pursue researching this yourself.
Irrespective if whether Category A or Category B, if it shows up that they served with the Maori Battalion or the New Zealand Army Nursing Service, or that they were a Prisoner of War (POW), then this has been noted.
Further information on who is and who is not to be found on the spreadsheet can be found here.
Disclaimer: While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, in some instances I have had to exercise my own judgment on the basis of probability, when deciding for instance whether a date of birth or death should be entered. Such instances have been relatively rare and sometimes have led to ‘possibilities’ being recorded in the ‘Details’ column rather than an entry in the date of birth or death column.
I would also point out that it has not been uncommon to find errors in the many sources I have drawn on, so I cannot categorically state that the data when extracted from these sources is always correct.
The overwhelming majority of entries will have data that can be substantively relied upon.
Two complete trawls of the rolls were undertaken. The first some years ago, focusing on an area within about a 50 km radius of Whangarei, the second opening up to bring in the whole of the area from North Cape down to around Wellsford.
For the moment you will be able to identify these more recent names by way of the entries highlighted in RED, both on the main spreadsheet and the separate spreadsheets for each roll.
There are also a few entries highlighted in GREEN, being some names added as a result of crosschecking of graves at the Maunu Cemetery, Whangarei and three names pulled off the internment.net site – credit: Alan Wagener. These were crosschecked to the entries on the nominal rolls. Their sole criterium for inclusion was that the persons found were interred in Northland. They may or may not have lived or died there. If time permits there will be more extracts undertaken from the Maunu gravestones when I next visit the cemetery.
A Plug For the Auckland War Museum Cenotaph Database
If an entry shows a record also exists in the Cenotaph database, then you will do yourself a grave mis-service, if you do not check it out. A lot more information is to be found there than I could ever include here. Believe me you will be so enriched by the experience!
A couple of years ago there were more personnel showing on the spreadsheet who were NOT on the database, than there were who were there. That has all now changed and a new trawl suggests that most if not all 2nd NZEF personnel are now up there. A remarkable achievement, so kudos to the Auckland Museum staff who made this happen.
Important: * © Copyright D W Calder, Auckland, New Zealand, 2014. Not to be reproduced in any way without prior written consent from the author.
Have you enjoyed the information available to you through this website? Then perhaps you may consider helping those whose lives have been greatly impacted by war in this country.
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The National Office is responsible for helping local RSAs with the great work they do, from classic kiwi hospitality, to support for our past and present servicemen and women including the NZ Police, and their dependents. This can be anything from financial assistance and advocacy to creating support networks with other RSA members who have had similar experiences.
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Dale W Calder
18th March 2015