The Nominal Rolls

Dale, tena koe. Firstly, let me congratulate you for completing this monumental task. It will be a most valuable source for families as we remember these men and women.

Would love to talk with you in person about our project as your list will be most valuable in helping us.

My  father is Lt Col James C Henare 63390 28 Maori Battalion.

Erima Henare – Celebrated Ngati Hine leader and Te Reo Maori Advocate

(RIP, Erima .. Sadly, we were not to meet, as Erima passed away on the eve of writing this).

The Nominal Rolls

The nominal roles provide us with an index of soldiers, nurses and other individuals who embarked from New Zealand as part of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force during World War II and immediately post war with J-Force. The rolls cover embarkations from 1940 to 1948.

IMPORTANT: The names and indeed some of the other information contained on the Rolls must be taken at face value. Quite a number of these have been incorrectly recorded at time of enlistment, as has some of the other basic information. For example, a name on a Roll may show up differently on the Cenotaph Database, or in Birth and Death Records.

It is essential therefore that on finding a name and regimental number of interest on the spreadsheet that you also immediately scroll across to the ‘Details’ column to check for any notes which may assist you with your search, or which may correct these initial entries. 

The Rolls

In all there were 16 embarkations .

1st Nominal Roll 1: Embarkations March 1940
2nd Nominal Roll 2: Embarkations June 1940
3rd Roll: Embarkations June 1940 – March 1941
4th Roll: Embarkations April 1941 – June 1941
5th Roll: Embarkations July 1941 – September 1941
6th Roll: Embarkations October 1941 – December 1941
7th Roll: Embarkations January 1942 – March 1942
8th Roll: Embarkations April 1942 – June 1942
9th Roll: Embarkations July 1942 – December 1942
Embarkations: January 1943 – March 1943
Embarkations: April 1943 – June 1943
Embarkations: July 1943 – December 1943
Embarkations: January 1944 – March 1944
Embarkations: April 1944 – December 1944
Embarkations: January 1945 – December 1945
Embarkations: January 1946 – June 1948


Who are on the Rolls? 

Presentation of food by inhabitants of Kandavu, Fiji. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-00893-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. “Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

Presentation of food by inhabitants of Kandavu, Fiji. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-00893-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
“Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

*Soldiers and nurses who served in the European theatres of war, eg Great Britain, Germany and Italy; the Middle East, North Africa and the Pacific during World War II.

Note: Some personnel served in more than one theatre.

*Soldiers and nurses who served with J-Force.

Immediately prior to uploading the spreadsheet to the website, all entries on it were again checked to the original embarkation entries handwritten by me, to ensure that all had been carried over.

You will see that where an alias exists for a person which differs markedly from the name shown on the Nominal Roll, on the separate line created for that alias entry I have endeavoured to always refer back to the original Nominal Roll entry, even though it may not always be correct. For example you will see in the Alias Column – Column I,  the words .. ‘See Katene, Taka’ .. or such like.

Who are NOT on the Spreadsheet Database?

Bearing in mind that the database originally stemmed from the Nominal Rolls, none of the following appear here UNLESS they also either saw overseas service with the 2nd N.Z.E.F, or were called up to serve overseas.

* WW II and J-Force Airforce and Navy personnel (including Merchant Navy).

The following resources may be helpful: the Archives NZ site where you will find information on where records are held and the Cenotaph database, where although some of the entries are very detailed, others are missing some of the markers I chose for the 2nd N.Z.E.F. entries. Most records for these personnel are kept by the NZ Defence Force.

I have prepared a secondary spreadsheet * listing names of persons from these arms of the Forces, whom I noticed when reviewing the Cenotaph listings. It also includes some personnel picked up in the course of visits to the Maunu Cemetery, in Whangarei.

I am including this here in the hope that it may prove of assistance to you. Do note however that this falls far short of a complete listing. Descriptions are very loose, for example, someone who served with the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve would have been shown as serving with the Royal New Zealand Navy. Also I am providing just the bare minimum of detail here.

Those who died during the years 1940 to 1948 have been highlighted in yellow.

Your first port of call, after having referred to Column AC on the main roll, should be directly to the Cenotaph itself, where a lot more detail regarding service may be found. This site together with the 28th Maori Battalion website, is continually being updated.

Note that even on the Cenotaph itself, some of the information there is inadequate in establishing whether a name should be included on this list or not. Furthermore, no undertaking can be given that all who appear on this list served overseas, although I have done my best to verify this.

Note: Important:© Copyright D W Calder, Auckland, New Zealand,  2014. Not to be reproduced in any way without prior written consent from the author.

* Personnel who served in earlier or later wars or theatres of action, whether on active service or in a peacekeeping role.

* members of the NZ Military Forces, including those who provided training to overseas combatants

* members of any overseas armed forces

* members of the New Zealand Home Guard and the Red Cross

* those Army and Nursing personnel who may have served overseas and who appear on the Cenotaph roll, but for whom insufficient information is available regarding their service

* those, who as a general rule of thumb do not appear on the Nominal Rolls.


A brief summary of what is contained in all columns of the spreadsheet:

The Data and its sources: 

Column A ; A ‘Y’ highlighted in green means that at time of compilation this person also appeared on the Auckland War Museum Cenotaph Database. An ‘N’ means that they didn’t. As of 6th October 2017, it would appear that all on my database feature on that for the Cenotaph.

Column B ; This person is shown (either on the rolls or on the Cenotaph database) as having served with the Maori Battalion.

Column C ; This person’s name was found (or not found)  on the 28th Maori Battalion roll on the website. Y=found. N= not found. It should be noted that some of these servicemen listed on the rolls or Cenotaph database, will not be found on the main roll, but instead either on the 15th Reinforcements or J-Force listings. In the column, the former are annotated as the 15th, the latter as J.F.

It is important that you conduct your search using all name variations. My checks were based on known names but there is a possibility that someone is shown as not being on the Maori Battalion website, even though he may appear there under a different, but unknown name.

Column D ; This person appears on either the N.Z.A.N.S. or the W.A.A.C. rolls to be found on the New Zealand Military Nursing website.

Column E ; This person was captured as a Prisoner of War, (POW).

Columns F to H and J to Q ; have largely been drawn from the Nominal Rolls, with some embarkation data being drawn from Cenotaph entries, where names were not been picked up in the manual extraction of data during the first trawl through the rolls. If identified on the second roll trawl, the entries were left pretty much as is, on the spreadsheet. A clue to these ‘Cenotaph’ entries is where a number of columns for an entry have the words ‘Not stated’ in them.

Column I ; aliases and other nicknames or variations of names have been drawn from a variety of sources.

Note: Where a surname is widely at odds with the alias(es) entered, then a separate line of data has been entered in respect of the alias, as well. Example: Levine, Samuel: see Claney, Peter; Clancy, Peter. Where the surname or christian name (alias) has not been changed markedly, and is to be found very close to the original entry, then no separate entry has been made. Example: Leaf, Harding Waipuke; Leaf, Haringi.

Columns P to S ; stem mainly from the Auckland War Museum’s Cenotaph, with some info from the CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission), the Maori Battalion website and the Rolls themselves.

Columns T to X ; arise from some or all of the following sources: the New Zealand BMD Birth and Death Indexes, the Cenotaph database, the Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council Cemetery Databases. Many other entries come from the cemetery records of other district council databases and the 28th Maori Battalion roll.

Columns Y to AB ; stem mainly from the Cemetery Records listed above, although some additional useful information was found on the Maori Battalion website.

Column AC; ‘Details’ – from the sources listed above.

As regards this column I had the choice of confining the data to just the 256 maximum afforded by the width of the column or of including as much data as I felt might be helpful, even if it exceeded the 256 characters. So, when reading an entry which exceeds the column width, be aware that the unseen content can be viewed, even if that is not immediately apparent. Just look to the top of the page in the edit bar where the full entry is displayed, or alternatively place the cursor within the cell and just scroll on (right arrow) across the content so that you can read it all.

Where a husband or wife’s details show here, this simply shows that at some point in time (either pre, during or post war) the serviceman (woman) was married to that person. In some instances that person may appear in the next of kin column. Sometimes a spouse appears in the next of kin column but does not appear here.

Wounded soldiers hiding in a ditch, Crete, during World War II. Foley, Thomas Joseph, 1914-2008 :Photographs of the Battle of Crete. Ref: PAColl-6677-2. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. “Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

Wounded soldiers hiding in a ditch, Crete, during World War II. Foley, Thomas Joseph, 1914-2008 :Photographs of the Battle of Crete. Ref: PAColl-6677-2. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
“Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

Please note that with regards Column X – Age at death; this may have been entered from any one of the following: the Death Index, Maori Battalion website, Cenotaph database, CWG site, or a cemetery or memorial record. Note though that the age entered may sometimes differ with that shown on those records. Where there is such a conflict, then the age calculated from date of birth through to date of death has been entered in Column W; irrespective of from where the birth and death dates were derived. This explains why the age entered for some of those who died on active service, differs from the age recorded on the Cenotaph record.

Where a date of birth on the Birth Registry differs from the date of birth in the Death Registry, the date in the former has been accepted as the correct one.

It should also be noted that in a few instances I have entered information relevant to an individual whom I have personally known, which is based on what I know about that person.

28th Maori Battalion

All who served with the 28th Maori Batallion who also appear on the rolls and the Cenotaph database have been crosschecked to the servicemen’s rolls on the Maori Battalion website.

In a couple of instances servicemen were found who had served with the 28th Maori, 15th Reinforcements or J-Force who were not on the Cenotaph database.

Any relevant notes, comment or biographical content on that site are referred to in the ‘Details’ section of the spreadsheet – Column AC.

Some of the notes and comments on the Maori Battalion website have been submitted by whanau and friends, and so in most instances have not been independently verified.

A point I would make, is that as with the Cenotaph database, content is continually being added to the roll on the Maori Battalion website, so I would recommend you always check the website, just in case some additional information has come to hand since I have written this.

Many of the pages there also contain narrative and photos from family and local sources.

Do note that as regards these servicemen, there are sometimes photos found on the Cenotaph database and not on the Maori Battalion website, but also often vice versa; photos on the Maori Battalion website but not on the Cenotaph database. So, if you are seeking photos, always check both sites.

New Zealand Military Nursing Services

The website was established to recognise the nurses of our military force, past and present.

There is a lot there for anyone interested in the history of our military nurses. You may find the information about the military hospitals and the hospital ships of special interest.

Rolls for WWII and J-Force members of the N.Z.A.N.S. and W.A.A.C. are also maintained here (four rolls in all).

Embarkation Spreadsheets

SEPARATE spreadsheets, with just the essential information shown in them, are available for EACH of the embarkations. NOTE: some of these have multiple entries to include known aliases and married names, so as to assist with your research. Much more detailed information is to be found on the main spreadsheet.

Thank you so much for the link to your incredible data bases; such a valuable record.

Wouldn’t it be great to have this record for the whole of NZ. Come on NZ defence force!!!

Bill Ashdown. President Pt. Chevalier Memorial RSA.






2 Responses to The Nominal Rolls

  1. Dyarna Caine says:

    Hi There
    My Grand-Dad was in the Air Force in World War 2 i cant seem to find his name on any speed sheets?
    Just wondering if you may have any information his name was Noel James Rusk

    Thank you

  2. emytopi1 says:

    Hi there Dyarna ..

    The main spreadsheet (the one with the nearly 5,000 names on it), is just for Army and Nursing personnel. Unfortunately, the record keeping by the NZ Defence Dept during the war years was pretty abysmal as regards airforce and navy personnel.

    You will see that I have a small secondary list as regards airforce and navy staff, gleaned from the Auckland Museum Cenotaph records, but it is hardly a database. Unfortunately, your grand-dad does not show up there.

    Did he serve overseas? Any and all information you can give me would be helpful, to see whether I can add him to the secondary list.



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