From mid-July to Armistice Day 2018 the Wairarapa Times-Age printed the life story of someone connected to the First World War each issue to mark the 100 years since the end of the war.
The Wairarapa Archive and the Wairarapa Times-Age have collaborated on a major project to commemorate the ending of the First World War. The Archive has written 100 stories about the many lives that were affected by the war. These stories ran in each of the 100 issues of the newspaper leading up to Armistice Day, and have been collected into book form.
However, this is not a catalogue of soldiers killed during the war. There are a number of such biographies, but the net is cast wider, to capture the many people whose lives were affected in different ways. There are a number of nurses featured, including those who volunteered at the locally-funded Aotea Hospital in Cairo; there are a number of people who perished in the 1918 influenza pandemic, including a doctor and a nurse; there is the story of a four-year-old who took his father's gun and was going to kill the German family living as neighbours; the would-be soldier whose determination to join the army led to him having a toe amputated; the tale of William Nimot, who supposedly deserted to the German Army, and the sad story of the young boy tragically killed during the Armistice Day parade in Masterton. A moving story tells of the life of 103-year-old Margaret Barns, whose father was killed in the war, and whose finance died in the Second World War. There is even a story on the Wairarapa-bred horse Bess, one of very few to return to New Zealand after the war.
Copies of the book are available from the Wairarapa Archive for $40. Contact [email protected]