It is especially heartening to see the keen interest shown by Kiwis in tracing their roots and/or preserving something of the local history of the place where they were born/grew up in or are currently living. It is now not uncommon to find many small websites acting as repositories for cemetery records (from smaller Maori and other privately owned cemeteries and church graveyards) – sometimes providing interesting background notes on the deceased. These are often the result of countless hours physically spent visiting grave and memorial sites and then transcribing information found on the gravestones and carefully collating these into small databases for inclusion on the website. With the passage of time we can expect to see more and more of these appearing online.
One thing that became apparent to me, when casting an eye over names on some of these sites was the number who do not feature on my database, even though of enlistment age. Many may not have seen active service for whatever reason (perhaps because they were not drawn in the conscription ballot, or were unable to serve for medical or family reasons, or because they were employed in designated ”essential industries).’ Some would have ended up serving in the Home Guard. A few would have been ‘conscientious objectors.’
Then of course it must be remembered that many would have served with the other arms of the forces (Navy and Airforce) or with the Merchant Navy. We should also not forget that this database for the most part does not include servicemen and women who had no association with the area either prior to or during overseas service. They may well have lived many years in an area in Northland, but only moved there post war.