Everyone thought he was dead. You won’t believe what he was really doing: Partisan by James Caffin

There really are some stories that are stranger than fiction. The story of New Zealand soldier John Denvir is one of them. First published in 1945, and now republished by HarperCollins New Zealand, James Caffin's Partisan tells us about this man's incredible journey during World War II.
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Women of the Air Force Auxiliary, Harewood, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

Women of the Air Force Auxiliary, Harewood, Christchurch (1941). The first batch of 41 women volunteers in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force began work at Harewood aerodrome in 1941. Women had not figured prominently in air force activities prior to this date. They were needed because many men were away fighting in World War Two…
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The Sixteen Trees of the Somme

Wood has always held a mysterious fascination for me - mysterious inasmuch as I can never quite fathom what it is that I find so appealing. Is it the grain? The texture? Or the capacity (in skilled hands) for it to be made into something functional — sailing vessels, basic furniture and everyday utensils — and also its…
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The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir

It’s 1940 and the Chilbury village men, young and old alike, are called upon to fight to defend their heritage and their immediate future. The Vicar leaves a note on the church noticeboard stating that ‘As all our male voices have gone to war, the village choir is to close’. This high-handed attitude rattles on…
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The Battle for Crete

This May sees another 75th anniversary from the Second World War with great significance for New Zealand. From 20 May to 1 June 1941 Allied Forces, including the 2nd New Zealand Division, took part in the ultimately unsuccessful but fiercely fought battle for Crete. That April the Germans had invaded Yugoslavia and Greece and as they had quickly occupied…
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