Troopships feature prominently in New Zealand's military history, transporting our troops to and from war zones in other continents. Today, photographs and ship-board magazines are poignant reminders of the hazardous voyages they undertook, notable for the shipboard humour that cloaked the grim purpose of the outward voyages, and the community spirit they fostered amongst the troops during the long voyages.
There are two basic types of magazine - those which appeared once or more during a voyage and were produced by the personnel on the ship, and those which were published in a single edition after the homeward voyage as a souvenir for the passengers. The latter (e.g. Monarch memories) tend to be more polished productions, but the former have more immediacy and copies may well contain (as both our copies of Aquitatler do) the original signatures of many of the troops. There is also, as you would expect, a distinct difference in tone and content between the products of the outward journey - going to war - and the homeward, with the promise of seeing again places and people left behind years ago.
So, look out for the magazines with the autographs of soldiers who were on the ships - all the names that we can read are listed in the descriptions and are indexed on this site - use the search box in the panel to the left to find particular names.
Search the "Troopships" Collection
Deutschlands Kriegsflotte: 30 Ansichten nach Momentaufnahmen in Photographiedruck, darstellend die Haupttypen unserer Kriegsschiffe, Manöverbilder und Szenen aus dem Mannschaftsleben
Monarch Memories, H.M.T. Dominion Monarch, 1945 - 1946. [A souvenir magazine of the voyage which brought the Māori Battalion back to New Zealand]
New Zealand's Black Watch: 'the gallant forty-twa': the journal of the Forty-Second New Zealand Rfts. on H.M.N.Z.T.109. "T.S.S. Tofua"
The Pakeha. The journal of the seventeenth reinforcements of the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces - aboard HMNZ Transport 65 (SS 'Pakeha')