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A collection of more than 225,000 New Zealand soldiers' World War I and II records has been put online for the first time.

World War II veteran Ron Mayhill, 87, who can navigate his way around email and Skype, said it would let him reflect on his friends killed in combat.

"Fraser Baron," Mr Mayhill said, remembering a name.

"He was a young fella. Only 23 when he died, but he had a couple of rows of ribbons and I looked up to him - I would like to know a little bit more about his life."

There were many friends lost in the war, and he thought of them sometimes, he said.

"I haven't forgotten the names. They're still there [in my memory]."

Mr Mayhill saw the war from when he was 18 years old to when he was 21.

It was a tremendously exciting time - "I was too young to really be scared", he said.

"But of course we saw the other side too. Sometimes it was guys I had trained with and knew for years. When they went, it was pretty hard," Mr Mayhill said.

Australian website ancestry.com.au has put the military records online and is allowing free access during Easter weekend.

New Zealand Bomber Command Association administrator Peter Wheeler said that it had previously been hard to find records of soldiers unless they had been killed in combat or decorated.

"For chaps who simply went, did the job and came home, it was always a bit difficult."

The Auckland War Memorial Museum has a similar online database with about 122,600 records, mainly from World War I, and includes photographs and information provided by family members.

Auckland Returned and Services Association manager Andy Francis said internet databases could be hard for older war veterans to master, but they would be a good way to get the younger generation involved.

"And the younger generation can check to see if their grandfathers did in fact fight as they stated," Mr Francis said.