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Ninety-seven unclaimed Commemorative Scrolls from World War II (1939 – 1945) and the Korean War (1950 – 1953) are now available online.

Commemorative Scrolls were issued to the families of deceased military personnel who died on active service. This group of scrolls were, for reasons undetermined, unclaimed.

The scrolls, which are similar to certificates, contain the Royal Coat of Arms, the initials GVI RI (Georgius VI Rex Imperator - George VI King-Emperor) or EII R (Elizabeth II Regina - Queen Elizabeth II), and the following text:

  • World War II scrolls: "This scroll commemorates [rank, name, and service arm of deceased] held in honour as one who served King and Country in the world war of 1939-1945 and gave his life to save mankind from tyranny. May his sacrifice help to bring the peace and freedom for which he died."

  • Korean War scrolls: "This scroll keeps in honour [rank, name, and service arm of deceased] who gave his life in a distant land with others of his Country in the cause of freedom and peace UNITED NATIONS - KOREA 1950-1953"

It is interesting to see how different the sentiments are between the two conflicts, which were only five years apart.

The Commemorative Scrolls were ideal for digitisation because they were in good condition and required minimal preservation work to be carried out. While the items were also fully described, they were linked to a series relating to war medals that dates back to the Invasion of the Waikato in 1863. They have now been linked to their own series, which makes them more discoverable for researchers.

Our Digitisation Programme is continually adding thousands of images to Archway each week. Take a look at what other records have been digitised .