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Victory at Villers-Bretonneux: Why a French Town Will Never Forget the ANZACS

By Peter Fitzsimons

PUBLISHED BY: PENGUIN AUSTRALIA, 2016

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Arriving at Villers-Bretonneux just in time, the Australians are able to hold off the Germans, launching a vicious counterattack that hurls the Germans back for the first time.

And then, on Anzac Day 1918, when the town falls after all to the British defenders, it is again the Australians who are called on to save the day, the town, and the entire battle.

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ANZAC Day Origins: Canon DJ Garland and Trans-Tasman Commemoration

By: John A Moses and George F Davis

PUBLISHED: AUSTRALIA: BARTON BOOKS, 2013

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The disastrous loss of human life on Turkey’s Gallipoli Peninsula between April and December 1915 prompted a wave of shock and grief in Australia and New Zealand. When the ANZAC casualty lists were published and digested, two questions were most pressing. How could so much personal grief be managed? What might the two nations do to commemorate their war dead? Throughout both Dominions politicians, leading citizens and churchmen were advancing schemes to help both nations move forward. Above the cacophony of discordant voices, an Anglican priest from Brisbane – Canon David John Garland (1864–1939) – attracted the attention of those seeking to redeem the loss of so many souls from the spectre of terrible waste. His previous experience as a secretary-organiser of the Bible-in-Schools League on both sides of the Tasman had made him a household name in Australia and New Zealand. By the end of his life, Canon Garland became known as the “architect” of Anzac Day and was widely esteemed for promoting a vision of commemoration that spanned the trans-Tasman experience of war, that honoured the war dead and brought comfort to those who mourned. Anzac Day Origins addresses the often vaguely understood beginnings of Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand, and adds significantly to the self-understanding of both nations.

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Edwin Mainman's Bronze Plaque

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Edwin Mainman's Bronze Plaque

This memorial plaque is popularly known as a "dead man's penny", issued post World War I to the next-of-kin of all British and Empire military killed while serving in the war.

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New Zealand Society at War 1914-1918

Edited by: Steven Loveridge

PUBLISHED BY: VICTORIA UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2016

Why did New Zealand churches, sporting clubs, trade unions, iwi and other social elements respond to the First World War as they did?  What might the experiences of politicians, newspaper editors, businessmen, professors and children add to our understanding of the war? What, ultimately, was the relationship between the war and the New Zealand society that entered and endured it?

Collecting the expertise of nineteen specialists, New Zealand Society at War 1914-1918 addresses the context and wider significance of how parts of the social fabric responded to the Great War. Together their investigations offer a pioneering survey of New Zealand society towards and through 1914-1918. 

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New Zealand's Western Front Campaign

BY: Ian McGibbon

PUBLISHED BY: DAVID BATEMAN, 2016

Between August 1914 and November 1918, 74,000 New Zealanders fought on the Western Front. It was to prove the most costly of all the campaigns in which New Zealand military personnel have taken part. 

This overview of New Zealanders’ experiences on the Western Front was written by leading military historian, Ian McGibbon, from Manatū Taonga - Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Although a number of books have appeared about particular battles that took place on the Western Front, this is the first major account of New Zealand's whole Western Front campaign since the publication of the official history in 1921. It provides a comprehensive, balanced and accessible account of the nature of the battles in which New Zealand took part, assesses the performance of New Zealand troops and provides the reader with a clear picture of what it was like to be a soldier in a campaign that demanded huge sacrifices.

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Allenby's Gunners: Artillery in the Sinai and Palestine Campaigns 1916-1918

BY: Alan H. Smith

PUBLISHED BY: BIG SKY PUBLISHING, 2016.

Alan Smith’s ‘Allenby’s Gunners’ tells the story of artillery in the highly successful World War I Sinai and Palestine campaigns. Following Gallipoli and the reconstitution of the AIF, a shortage of Australian gunners saw British Territorial artillery allotted to the Australian light Horse and New Zealand Mounted Rifle brigades. It was a relationship that would prove highly successful and ‘Allenby’s Gunners’ provides a detailed and colourful description of the artillery war, cavalry and infantry operations from the first battles of Romani and Rafa, through the tough actions at Gaza, the Palestine desert, Jordan Valley and Amman to the capture of Jerusalem. The story concludes with the superb victory at Megiddo and the taking of Damascus until the theatre armistice of October 1918.
Smith covers the trials and triumphs of the gunners as they honed their art in one of the most difficult battlefield environments of the war. The desert proved hostile and unrelenting, testing the gunners, their weapons and their animals in the harsh conditions. The gunners’ adversary, the wily and skillful Ottoman artillerymen, endured the same horrendous conditions and proved a tough and courageous foe.
The light horsemen and gunners also owed much to the intrepid airmen of the AFC and RFC whose tactical and offensive bombing and counter-battery work from mid-1917 would prove instrumental in securing victory. This is an aspect of the campaign that is seamlessly woven throughout as the action unfolds.
The Sinai and Palestine campaigns generally followed a pattern of heavy losses and setbacks for an initial period before Allied forces eventually prevailed. This is a highly descriptive volume that tells an oft-neglected story and fills a gap in the record of a campaign in which Australians played a significant role. 
 

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After the War: The RSA in New Zealand

BY: Stephen Clarke

PUBLISHED BY: Penguin Books, 2016.

Kiwi soldiers fought for us in two world wars and other conflicts since. They put up with constant danger, discomfort, boredom, fear and pain. But what happened to them when they returned home? Who made sure they got a fair deal? The RSA! This is the story of an iconic by little-understood institution, from its beginnings during World War One right through to the twenty-first century. Wounded soldiers returning from the Gallipoli campaign saw a need to welcome and provide care for returning soldiers, as well as to honour those who would never return. And so the RSA was formed in 1916. Welcome, support and remembrance have always been at its heart. This book tells the RSA story, of its service in the community and place in New Zealand society for 100 years, and how it is changing to go on into the future.

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Elegy: The First Day on the Somme

BY: Andrew Roberts

PUBLISHER: Head of Zeus

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In 1916, the German army still occupied Belgium and much of northeast France, and had dug themselves deep into four hundred miles of trenches stretching from the North Sea to Switzerland. The British and French armies knew that a huge effort was needed to break through the German lines. The place chosen for the great offensive was the rolling countryside of Picardy around the River Somme. The date: July 1st. The British troops rose from their front-line trenches at 7.30am on a beautiful summer’s day, after a week-long bombardment that was supposed to destroy the German barbed wire and trenches. Before the sun went down, 57,471 of them were casualties on the worst single day in the history of the British Army. Yet the story is not just a depressing one, as there were many inspiring stories of extraordinary courage too. (From Author's website)

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With Dr Martin at the Front

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With Dr Martin at the Front

Accounts from local surgeon Arthur Anderson Martin, including "Poor German Marksmanship", "The State of the Trenches", "Dreaded Gangrene" and "Hints to New Zealanders"

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Gallipoli Submarine (DVD)

Documentary run time: 62 minutes ; Originally produced 2008, Australia ; re-released 2015.

One submarine, two daring missions, almost a hundred years apart. The remarkable documentary of Australia's first submarine, AE2 and her crew, from her historic role at Gallipoli, to the ambitious plans to save her from physical and historical oblivion 92 years after being sunk in Turkish waters.

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Arthur Gannon's Peace Carriers - celebrating the end of the war

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Arthur Gannon's Peace Carriers - celebrating the end of the war

Arthur Gannon’s Peace Carriers wore one of the features of the recent Wellington Peace Celebrations procession. They made a fine display, comprising nine vehicles drawn by-twenty horses, all elaborately decorated, and from one of the lorries the above typical bulldog, robed in a Union Jack gazed intently down on the crowds. In addition to the above display Arthur Gannon who is a returned lieutenant of the Maori Pioneers N.Z.E.F., placed a number of Lorries and expresses at the free disposal of the Salvation Army, etc

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'Reminiscences' from Palmerston North Mayor James Nash

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'Reminiscences' from Palmerston North Mayor James Nash

James Alfred Nash (b. 1871) was Mayor of Palmerston North from 1908-1923 and three time MP for the city. He put together this collection of his memories around 1951, one year before his death. The Ian Matheson City Archives holds a complete copy of this work - this section talks about subjects relevant during the war years - the Patriotic Society, War Activities and the Influenza Epidemic.

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Position Slip

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Position Slip

Message slips such as this one were used on all sides to communicate vital information through dangerous territory. They were carried by human runners as well as animals - including dogs and pigeons.

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Major and Mrs Holt’s Definitive Battlefield Guide to the Somme. 100th Anniversary.

AUTHOR: TONIE AND VALMAI HOLT

PUBLISHER: PEN & SWORD MILITARY, 2016.  (7th GPS edition)

Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide to the Somme is one of the bestselling guide books to the battlefields of the Somme. This latest up-dated edition includes four recommended, timed itineraries representing one day's travelling. Every stop on route has an accompanying description and often a tale of heroic or tragic action. Memorials, private and official, sites of memorable conflict, the resting places of personalities of note are all drawn together with sympathetic and understanding commentary that gives the reader sensitivity towards the events of 1916.

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