Website for Wairarapa war archives

By don.farmer@age.co.nz

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ONLINE: Archivists Gareth Winter (left) and Neil Frances with images on the new W100 website. PHOTO/LYNDA FERINGA
ONLINE: Archivists Gareth Winter (left) and Neil Frances with images on the new W100 website. PHOTO/LYNDA FERINGA

Mounting interest in the history of World War I, now being commemorated 100 years after the conflict began, has led to the setting up of a designated website specifically for Wairarapa viewers.

Masterton District Council agreed to fund setting up costs for wairarapa100.co.nz, a site that has allowed Wairarapa Archive historians to seed stories and information on various aspects of the war and Wairarapa's role in it, online.

War historian Neil Frances said the website concentrates on Wairarapa stories and information across a wide spectrum, but it is also intended to serve as a means for people to feed information of their own into the system.

Mr Frances said the website will be useful as a genealogical reference point having a cenotaph database, Archives NZ material, Commonwealth War Graves documentation and a wealth of information on the Featherston Military Training Camp.

People who submit stories or research of their own would have it checked by trained archivists and Mr Frances said contributions, including period photographs, were most welcome.

He said although Masterton District Council was paying to set up the website, it was a resource for everyone in Wairarapa.

With more than four years of planned commemorations ahead, it was a resource that could be constantly added to.

Included on the web is a Wairarapa World War I Heritage Trail.

This covers from the summit of the Rimutaka Hill Road in the south to the Anzac Memorial Bridge, Kaiparoro in the north.

There are 23 stop-off points along the trail with GPS references available.

Along the way, such World War I icons as the Anzac Club, Featherston, Kaiwaiwai Hall, Kahutara Hall, Martinborough Memorial Gates, old camp buildings in Martinborough, military camp buildings relocated to Tauherenikau racecourse, sites in Tinui, the Maungaraki War Memorial and sites in Mauriceville can be visited.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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