The National Army Museum welcomes Grant Hays to the team as our new Custodian. Grant’s role involves hosting visitors, providing information about the museum and the history of the New Zealand Army, conducting guided visits, together with the security of all artefacts on display.
Grant has a strong military background having spent 20 years in the Army serving with the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery (RNZA), as well as 2 years with 1RNZIR (Royal NZ Infantry Regiment) in Singapore as a Mortar Fire Controller. He also has 3 sons, 2 of which have served in the Army, and 1 who is still serving as a Fireman. One of Grant’s big claims-to-fame is that 2 of his sons featured in the TV series “The Pacific”.
Grant has an interest in genealogy and in between dealing with his other museum duties has begun the big task of creating a database of information relating to New Zealand Prisoners of War (POW). This began with the job of completing the mapping of POW names on the Museum’s POW wall to allow for identification and quick access to where names are located, important as the wall contains well over 600 names. The plan is to continue adding soldier information and cross referencing this information with artefacts within the collection where applicable.
Grant has been stumbling across many interesting stories about Kiwi POWs during his research including the story of Ormond Poppleton.