This collection of experiences is aimed fairly and squarely at Baby Boomers and, just as importantly, their offspring.
The collection hopes to fill a void for many, especially those men and women whose close relatives (often father or mother, or both) played their part in the Second World War but, for any number of reasons, seldom if ever discussed their wartime exploits.
It is possible that such bereft BBs will find within these pages, or those of subsequent Collections, accounts from persons who filled similar roles during the war.
In this way, the reader – whether a Baby Boomer or a young person of the 21st century – may gain an insight into, an inkling and a better appreciation of, the part played by their forebear or forebears. And, of particular interest in this day and age, what drove those young people to put their lives on the line for king, country, peace, and freedom.
These days we too often hear, "Dad never spoke of his time at war. I wish I had persuaded him to talk. But it's too late now – he's passed on and that part of our family history has gone with him".
That is the raison d'etre of the Kiwis At War anthologies.
This 1939-40 & Earlier edition of KIWIS AT WAR is the first in a planned series, to conclude with 1945-46.
When these insights into the various aspects of global warfare were penned, the participants had no idea of their fate or that of the free world. Outwardly, they exuded confidence. Inwardly, many wrote with tongue placed firmly in cheek.
In those early days of conflict, stemming the Nazi tide was the priority, first and foremost. Any thoughts of Victory were but occasional, far-off dreams...
"When New Zealanders were shipped halfway round the world they were ordinary young men from offices, shops, farms and factories neither better nor worse than generations before or since. What happened to them might be of interest to those born since or elsewhere" - this extract from a Note to Ray Grover's splendid Great War epic, "March to the Sound of Guns", remains valid 20 years later, where:
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