I am a 82 year old male, retired broadcaster. For the last twelve years I have been checking out all of the letters, postcards and diaries which are held by the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington and to some extent those held in the Auckland War Museum. As with many of these writings, particularily postcards, the identity of the writer is often very difficult as they often simply write "Dear Molly....."and finish with '...love from your brother Sam" and similar words. By carefully reading the content, the date and where the card came from, I can often put a name to the author. This new information is then added to the Library's database.
The main reason for me doing this labour-of-love is to make it easier for people out there who may suddenly wonder if there is any writing by, or mention of, a long since passed-away soldier as the centenary of Gallipoli approaches.
My success rate so far has been about 25% of previously unidentified names.
I spend several hours per week at the Turnbull as well as the National Archives. The Archives holds about 75% of all WW1 NZ soldier's files and as I request to sight each file, it is digitized which enables anyone to view it. As it costs NZ$25.00 to order a file without actually visiting the Archives in Wellington, I am happy to order same on any members’ behalf at no cost, if I receive a request.
With the permission of the Turnbull Library and the Auckland War Museum, I am hoping to soon include my Microsoft Excel database of my work on this page.
I am attaching my own very small database of manuscripts, postcards, letters etc which are my property and nothing to do with the Turnbull Library or Auckland War Museum.
Please contact me if you have any questions.