This evening I met a man named John MacNamara. His uncle Private Donald Wallace MacNamara, was killed in the Battle of the Somme, only 6 days before my great-great-grandfather James Livingston. Pte MacNamara has a burial at the Caterpillar a Valley Cemetary, where Livingston has his memorial. John read in the Manawatu Standard article about the Young Ambassadors Tour, that we will be visiting the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery during the trip. He contacted me through my school, and asked whether I would lay a photo and a poppy on his uncles headstone, on his family's behalf when we are there. This is an incredible opportunity to fulfill part of my role as a Young Ambassador, to reach out to the community, and an great honour to be selected for such a duty.
My project has picked up this past month. I am still reading 'A Surgeon in Khaki' in my spare time, which I hope to have finished by the time we depart for France. I have decided I will do two profiles of Army doctors, of which I will compare. I have chosen the author of 'A Surgeon in Khaki', Arthur Anderson Martin, to profile for my WWI Army doctor. I have recently made contact with Colonel Grant Motley (the Board of Trustees Chairman for my school), who is going to give me the contact details of a New Zealand Army Medical Officer. I hope to interview them for my Modern Day Army Doctor profile.
Not only did my great-great-grandfather fight in WWI, I have recently discovered that my great-great-great uncle Arthur McCoy fought too. He died from his wounds while fighting in Gallipoli, on the 10th May 1915.
I look forward to meeting everyone on the 12th June, in Wellington!