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“One last regretful look”, Michael Jackson remembers Les Cleveland

“One last regretful look” Poet and anthropologist Michael Jackson remembers Les Cleveland (1921-2014) That Les Cleveland should die without a funeral may be read as a sign of how he chose to live – a man of few words, modest,…
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Where the heart is, Les Cleveland

Home: Civilian New Zealanders Remember the Second World War Alison Parr Penguin, $50.00, ISBN 9780143203541   Paradoxically, New Zealand was at its best during WWII. Driven by the integrative imagery of the “War Effort”, most of us felt we were…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Slow learners, Les Cleveland

Behind Enemy Lines Enemy Lines: Kiwi Freedom Fighters in WWII Matthew Wright (ed) Random House, $39.99, ISBN 9781869790691   A doggerel satire circulating among New Zealand troops in the desert campaigns of 1941-2 complained that General Rommel’s Afrika Korps “chased…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Teacup warriors, Les Cleveland

Fernleaf Cairo: New Zealanders at Maadi Camp Alex Hedley (with Megan Hutching) HarperCollins, $36.39, ISBN 9781869507718 Grey Ghosts: New Zealand Vietnam Vets Talk About their War Deborah Challinor HarperCollins, $36.99, ISBN 9781869507718 Things Have Been Pretty Lively: The Great War…
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Posted in Autobiography, Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review, War

St Barbara might help, Les Cleveland

The Gunners: A History of New Zealand Artillery Alan Henderson, David Green and Peter Cooke Penguin Books, $65.00, ISBN 9780790011417 Specialists and artillery buffs will find much in this 528-page detailed treatment of weaponry, military organisation, administrative entanglements, the problems…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

In the jaws of Moloch, Les Cleveland

On My Way to the Somme Andrew Macdonald HarperCollins, $35.00, ISBN 11869505549 Galatas 1941 Lynn McConnell Reed, $39.99, ISBN 0790010496 In the Face of the Enemy Glyn Harper and Colin Richardson HarperCollins, $35.99, ISBN 1869505220 The Big Show Alison Parr…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Delicate flowers of the wasteland, Les Cleveland

Love in Time of War: Letter Writing in the Second World War Deborah Montgomerie Auckland University Press, $35.00, ISBN 1869403363 Freyberg’s War: The Man, the Legend, the Reality Matthew Wright Penguin Books, $35.00, ISBN 0143019856 Western Front: The New Zealand…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Angels in the meat-grinder, Les Cleveland

While You’re Away: New Zealand Nurses at War 1899-1948 Anna Rogers Auckland University Press, $39.95, ISBN 1869403010 Nursing might be one of the few remaining professions not entirely driven by greed or self-interest. Anna Rogers assembles a chronicle of service…
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Posted in Health, History, Non-fiction, Review, War

War tourism, Les Cleveland

One Flag, One Queen, One Tongue: New Zealand, the British and the South African War ed John Crawford and Ian McGibbon Auckland University Press, $39.99, ISBN 1869402936 Landscapes of Conflict: A Field Guide to the New Zealand Wars Nigel Prickett…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Words like ferns: the neglected Harold Gretton, Les Cleveland

Wartime is not usually thought of as a kind of literary 
scholarship for authors, but a few talented New Zealand soldiers in World War 2 did manage to write stories and poems of some quality while serving in combat 
situations.…
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