Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Second World War veterans valuable to history


Second World War veterans valuable to history

An author who interviewed about 100 First World War veterans says New Zealanders should value the memories of living veterans before it’s too late.

“There are only about 12,000 Second World War veterans still alive, and they are about 90,” says Jane Tolerton, author of the new World War One Oral History Archive book An Awfully Big Adventure.

“New Zealand will put a big emphasis on the centenary of the First World War in the coming four years, and when the commemorations are over in 2018, most of them may be gone.

“It is 25 years since the World War One Oral History Archive’s work and about 25 years between the wars. So we’re at the same point now with the Second World War veterans.”

Jane Tolerton says the emphasis on remembering those who died in the First World War, rather than those who survived it, may have got in the way of veterans speaking out about their experiences and attitudes. “They were renowned for not talking about the war – but they said people didn’t ask them about it.
“When the bones of the Unknown Warrior were brought back from the Western Front in 2004, Wellingtonians stood in the street in their thousands, some moved to tears. Many of those people had fathers, grandfathers or great grandfathers who were veterans they had never asked about the war. The last veteran had died only the previous year.

“As an oral historian who met a lot of veterans and the daughter of a living Second World War veteran, I know it is harder to talk to family members than to a professional, but if there are significant stories veterans want to tell, now might be the right time to ask. The First World War veterans who did finally speak, got a kick out of putting their experiences on record. They came forward and they said their piece, and they told us they enjoyed doing it. They often apologised for not being better interviewees, even when we thought they were great.

“Second World War veterans can still tell historians the answers to the questions they’ll be trying to answer during the centenary commemorations in 25 years’ time,” says Jane Tolerton. “I’ve recently heard from a man whose mother told him about an incident during her war service when she was on her deathbed. He was so shocked by her revelation he could not find words to ask her what had happened.”

Jane Tolerton also interviewed veterans who responded to her appeals for information on wartime safe sex campaigner Ettie Rout for her award-winning biography published in 1992.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: From Here And There

Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story
by Helene Wong.
This is the fascinating story of Helene Wong, born in 1949 in Taihape to Chinese parents: her mother, born soon after her parents migrated here, and her father, born in China but sent to relatives in Taihape at seven to get an education in English. More>>

Chiku: Hamilton Zoo's Baby Chimpanzee Named

Hamilton Zoo has named its three-month-old baby chimpanzee after a month-long public naming competition through the popular zoo’s website. The name chosen is Chiku, a Swahili name for girls meaning "talker" or "one who chatters". More>>

Game Over: Trans-Tasman Netball League To Discontinue

Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have confirmed that the existing ANZ Championship format will discontinue after the current 2016 season, with both organisations to form national netball leagues in their respective countries. More>>

NZSO Review: Stephen Hough Is Perfection-Plus

He took risks, and leant into the music when required. But you also felt that every moment of his playing made sense in the wider picture of the piece. Playing alongside him, the NZSO were wonderful as ever, and their guest conductor, Gustavo Gimeno, coaxed from them a slightly darker, edgier sound than I’m used to hearing. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: King Lear At Circa

In order to celebrate it's 40th birthday, it is perhaps fitting that Circa Theatre should pick a production of 'King Lear,' since it's also somewhat fortuitously Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. If some of the more cerebral poetry is lost in Michael Hurst's streamlined, full throttle production, it's more than made up for by plenty of lascivious violence designed to entertain the groundlings. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Tauranga Books Festival

Escape to Tauranga for Queen’s Birthday weekend and an ideas and books-focused festival that includes performance, discussion, story-telling, workshops and an Italian-theme morning tea. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news