New Zealanders in World War 2 – War at Home: General Histories

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The Home Front: life in New Zealand during World War Two
School resource kit of 13 items. It includes posters, rationing leaflets, and material on women in uniform, wartime workers, New Zealand declaration of war, home defence, American servicemen in NZ, Polish refugee children, recollections of those the soldiers left behind, patriotic work, and the homecoming of service personnel. It contains many contemporary photographs, cartoons, advertisements. Teacher’s notes include background information on government administration and women in the public service, notes on the content of each leaflet and notes on further resources.
Naumann, R. A. New Zealand response to challenge: the war at home
Designed as a resource book for secondary students. Includes information on evacuation drills, the Home Guard, the Emergency Precautions Service, women’s responses to the war, entertainment, patriotic work, the treatment of aliens, schools, Maori and the war, conscientious objectors, rationing of food and clothing, American Marines in New Zealand, manpowering, farming, land girls, the legacy of war and social change.
Parr, A. Home: civilian New Zealanders remember the Second World War, 2010
Includes chapters on memories of the first World War; enlistment and the departure of the troops; those unable to serve in the armed forces for health reasons or because they were in reserved occupations; threats of invasion; war work; rations and ‘making do’; social life; staying in touch with servicemen overseas; casualties and prisoners of war; conscientious objectors; the American invasion; the men return from war. Those interviewed include: Joyce Maclean (Hardham); Joyce Hay (West); Dot Kelly; June Fleming; Ross Cooper; Mae Carson; Sheila Smith (Greenwood); Nancy Gillespie (Sheat); Marjorie Browne (Clark); Nancy Earle; Riria Utiku (Walker); Geraldine Sharp (Brown); Derek Hume; Donald Clark; Thora Simpson (Farquharson); Edgar Harvey; Connie Katae (Hovell); Marian Beech (Harvey); Joyce Harrison; Margaret Prain (Clark); Jack Snellgrove.

Other sources

Baker, J. V. The New Zealand people at war: war economy
Official war history. Read an online edition of this book at NZETC New Zealand Official War Histories.
Glackin, R. In defence of our land: a tour of New Zealand’s historic harbour forts, 2009
Ch 4: World War II. Looks at harbour defences in each of main centres, in Marlborough Sounds and West Coast.
Last line of defence : New Zealanders remember the war at home, 2007
Introduction discusses home defence, Home Guard, women’s services and conscientious objectors. Oral histories of men and women who worked in the home forces in New Zealand during the war: Jane McIntyre (Bristow), WWSA; Harry Spencer, supply and transport sergeant at Trentham Camp; Mervyn Browne, conscientious objector in detention camps; George Judge, flight sergeant, RNZAF; Betty van Praag (Hoskin), WRNZNS; Ngaire Gibbons (Lawrence), WAAC; Hazel Rowe (Davis), WAAC; Katherine Dyall (Martin), WAAC; Gwen Stevens (Pollard), WAAF; George Clark, Home Guard; Peter Crispe, RNZAF; Derek Laver, RNZN; Maisie Takle (Younger), VAD and nurse aide with WAAF; Heather Crispe (Jerram), WRNZNS.
The Listener bedside book, no. 5: The war years 1939-45
A collection of articles from the Listener, including reports from the front, letters home from servicemen, stories about the Maori Battalion, the home guard and land girls, women and work, children and the war, fear of the Japanese after the fall of Singapore, coping with life at home under war conditions and rationing, the American invasion.
Smith, P. New Zealand at war
Based on a television programme which interviewed 168 civilians and service personnel, including conscientious objectors and prisoners of war. Heavily illustrated. Timeline, pp. 14-19. Includes biographical information on / reminiscences of Ruth Filler, Bully Martinson, Bruce and Rex Williamson, Cobber Kain, Keith Park, Colin Gray, Alan Deere, General Freyberg, Jack Hinton, Clive Hulme, Charles Upham, Howard Kippenberger, Keith Elliott, June Stewart, Moana-Nui-A-Kiwa Ngarimu, Hoane Manahi, John Nash, Lloyd Trigg, Bill Mackley, Henry Trent.
Taylor, N. The New Zealand people at war: the home front
2v. Official war history. Read an online edition of this book at NZETC New Zealand Official War Histories (volume 1) and NZETC New Zealand Official War Histories (volume 2). Comprehensive account of the impact of war in New Zealand. Includes material about the changing role of women, the lives of men who were unable to serve, the threat of invasion, the arrival of the Americans, rationing, manpower, the Home Guard etc.
Wood, F.L.W. The New Zealand people at war: political and external affairs
Official war history. Read an online edition of this book at NZETC New Zealand Official War Histories.

Web sites

World War II local defences trail
Written by the Sumner Redcliffs Historical Society and digitised on the Christchurch City Libraries website.
Godley Head Heritage Trust
Detailed information about the coastal defence sites on Godley Head.
The Second World War at Home
An overview on the homefront from New Zealand History Online.

For further information, you can check the libraries’ catalogue:

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