Gang members among Kiwis restoring old war graves

Gang members are joining thousands of volunteers around the country to help restore war graves. Many are so badly neglected they're unreadable, but that's about to change.

Simon Strombom is the leader of a new army. Its mission is to give every single serviceman's headstone around the country a little extra care.

It's a transformation that costs just a dollar or two and pays respect to the men and women who fought overseas.

"I think we have a duty as New Zealanders to acknowledge what these New Zealanders did for the country," Mr Strombom says.

"I've cleaned graves that you cannot read in the 30s and 40s and we bring their stories back to life."

One grave marks the final resting place of Porirua soldier Fredrick Goldsmith. He was given a military medal for gallantry in the field.

But for many of the others the stories are still a mystery that historians are now working on uncovering.

It's a restoration by volunteers that's a small gesture to honour their service and ensure they're never forgotten.



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