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The untold story of the New Zealanders who fought the Great War under other flags
New Zealand’s military contribution to the First World War was a massive effort for a small country. The figure most often quoted is that from October 1914 through to October 1918, just over 100,000 New Zealanders embarked for military service overseas. But that number does not include the thousands who served under other imperial flags: with the Australian Imperial Force, British army units, the Indian army, the Canadian Expeditionary Force, the American Expeditionary Force, the South African Overseas Expeditionary Force, the French Foreign Legion, and even the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps. Nor does it include the women who served with other nations’ medical organisations or by entertaining troops. This meticulously researched book details a range of New Zealanders who fought for the British Empire under other flags. They have not previously been included in First World War statistics, and there may be as many as 12,000 of them, 1400 of whom died. From heroes and ratbags to singers and medical pioneers, in For King and Other Countries Glyn Harper tells their stories.
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‘For King and Other Countries has found a fresh angle our WW1 history — an engrossing catalogue of those who served under other flags. ... What’s so engaging about this book is the individual stories, the odd places they ended up and the occasional tragic ends they met. ... And the stories of the occasional conmen and scallywags who would jump from one army of the Empire to the other and of selfless nurses who just wanted to make a difference wherever they were needed round out this refreshingly entertaining volume of war stories.’ — New Zealand Listener
‘Adding to the many biographies and stories in this beautifully produced book are rare images. Much value is added in reading about the service of a particular New Zealander with an accompanying image to visualise them. It is not easy to write a collective biography of thousands, but Harper skilfully weaves the individual stories into thematic groupings, with weight and space given to the brave and heroic, as well as the larrikins and the villains. ... For King and Other Countries has reclaimed thousands of forgotten New Zealanders who have been, in many cases, absent from this country’s record of service.’ — Tim Cook, NZ Books Pukapuka Aotearoa