February 17, 2020
Maori Battalion trove added to world archive
Recordings of 28th Māori Battalion members on World War Two battlefields are included on a collection which has been added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
The almost 1600 lacquer discs were made by the New Zealand Broadcasting Service Mobile Unit, which travelled with New Zealand forces in North Africa, Italy and the Pacific between 1940 and 1945.
The fragile discs were flown or shipped back to Aotearoa for broadcast on radio, and then placed in sound archives which are now part of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.
Ngā Taonga chief executive Honiana Love says the recordings of the Māori Battalion, including two concerts recorded in the Egyptian desert and on an Italian hillside, were especially enjoyed by war-time radio audiences.
Four other documentary collections, from Auckland Libraries, the Hocken Collections and the Alexander Turnbull Library, were also inscribed in the UNESCO register.
At noon today representatives of the archives will give a public talk in the National Library in Wellington about the items from their collections, why they were selected and why they are important to the history of New Zealand.
Copyright © 2020, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com