Anzac Day: We should remember everyday

Last updated 05:00 23/04/2014
REMEMBERED: A memorial in Wellington's Karori Cemetery for Wilmot Powell, killed at Chunuk Bair.

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I live and breathe remembrance.

Being the family genealogist for nearly 40 years and employed at a war memorial museum, I photograph the last resting places in New Zealand of Anzacs and soldiers from all wars.

This includes memorials of those killed elsewhere and noted on family graves.

With many family memorials now deteriorating because of vandalism and age, I try to capture as many as I can when out and about.

Most of these are not in military sections of cemeteries and they tend to get overlooked, but they are often an important source of information for historians.

Where I can, I write small biographies from information found on the internet and then upload to share.

Some stories end up becoming blog posts, such as George McQuay's story of his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder, which wasn't recognised as an illness in his day.

Many of my photographs end up on various websites.

Flickr, Cenotaph Database and other war-history sites are fabulous for sharing family stories and passing on information.

I try to encourage others to research their family history or to remember someone who may not have any family left.

Find a lonely memorial in a cemetery near you this Anzac Day - or any other day - and take their cause to heart. "Adopt" them. Investigate their story.

You'll feel all the better for bringing someone's story back to life and remembering.

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