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The Echoes that Remain A History of the New Zealand Field Engineers During the Great War at Gallipoli, France and the Hampshire Town of Christchurch

The Echoes that Remain A History of the New Zealand Field Engineers During the Great War at Gallipoli, France and the Hampshire Town of Christchurch

Author: Clement Wareham
$95.00(NZD)  inc GST
In the Hampshire town of Christchurch, the visit to the local area by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1907 was often spoken of in pleasant terms, though this soon changed when on 28th June, 1914 the young Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip fired those fatal shots that killed Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife Sophie. The subsequent events catapulted European opponents into a war that had been brewing for over a decade and it committed the far flung dominions of the British Empire into that war. The Echoes that Remain tells the story of the NZEF and in particularly the New Zealand Engineers who lived amongst the people of Christchurch, Boscombe and Bournemouth during the Great War. This time has generally been forgotten or is hazily recalled beside the New Zealand war graves in local cemeteries that are remembered on Anzac Day. There is an unspoken assumption that the young men from New Zealand simply arrived in France and went into the trenches of the Western Front. Nothing could be further from the truth as the vast war infrastructure of camps and hospitals administered by the NZEF in England testify. At these camps, the recruits from New Zealand received important training from veterans before they were even considered to join a reinforcement draft to the Western Front. If they were lucky enough, it was to one of the New Zealand hospitals in England that they would be sent to when sick or wounded. The original history of the New Zealand Engineers was published in 1927, being compiled using selected contributions from officers and men. In doing so, the experiences of men such as Bert Tuck and Francis Farrer were never mentioned, as the war had claimed them and dead men tell no tales. Others, such as Francis Skelsey, never spoke of their war time experiences and in doing so denied their families an insight into who they were and the hardships that they had overcome. They were survivors and for them that was sufficient. It tended to ignore the original field company's efforts on Gallipoli, the training received in Egypt and England and the demands placed on them as the nature of the fighting changed. This history attempts to tell a fuller story about these men who first served, particularly their time on Gallipoli with the Australians and the harsh conditions they endured that ended their innocence about warfare. The New Zealand Engineers took these experiences with them to France and later included them in their training regimes at the training depot at Christchurch in England. While training in England, the engineers where never isolated from the townspeople in the Christchurch and Bournemouth area. They arranged various social activities, integrated into the community, shared the privation of war with the civilians, married and made widows. This is as much a history of those townspeople as it is of the soldiers.
Stock Information

General Fields

  • : 9781897887967
  • : Natula Publications
  • : Natula Publications
  • : January 2013
  • : 24.00 cmmm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Clement Wareham
  • : 410