21st Battalion Association Cataloguing project
The 21st Battalion 2NZEF was raised from recruits mainly in Auckland city and North Auckland with some from the Waikato and Hauraki districts and overall comprised of 700 – 900 men. During WW2 the battalion served in Mainland Greece and Crete before being evacuated back to Egypt. In the Western Desert the battalion suffered heavy losses at Sidi Rezegh and later fought at El Alamein and followed the advance of Rommel to Tunisia where they fought alongside the 28 Maori Battalion at Takrouna. Following fighting in North Africa they joined 8th Army, a field army formation of the British Army during the Second World War, and comprised of units coming from Australia, British India, Canada, Free French Forces, Greece, New Zealand, Poland, Rhodesia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. With the 8th Army, they fought in Italy taking part in engagements at Sangro, Orsogna and Cassino. They were later part of the force that occupied Trieste, remaining in Italy until October 1945.

After the war, the Association established their clubrooms in Akarana Ave, Auckland to offer support and comradeship to all Battalion members and to the families of those who lost their lives.

Gifted to the museum in 2005 after the Association had celebrated its 50th Anniversary and was then disestablished.

The museum, successfully applied for a Lotteries Environment and Heritage grant which then enabled me to plan, hire two contractual collection managers and project manage the full cataloguing of the 21st Battalion Association's club room artifacts that were to go in to the history collection.

Outcome of the project:
646+ objects catalogued to core standard (blogpost on this coming soon) and accessible offsite, onsite and online to all communities - researchers, historians, students and members of the public

Preservation and conservation access has been made easier and condition checks on all objects

Objects and records easily available to Auckland War Memorial Museums exhibition and public programmes for future planning

Importantly, the collection may be the impetus to tease out further stories about the men of the 21st Battalion who contributed to the war effort and formed the friendships that were the foundation of the Association.
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