On Friday the 11th April, my Mum and I went to the launch of the children's book 'Jim's Letters'. The story is written by Glyn Harper a Professor of War Studies at Massey University, with illustrations by Christchurch based artist Jenny Cooper. The pair also worked on the bestselling children's book 'Le Quesnoy', the story of the New Zealand liberation of the French town held by German forces in WWI. 'Jim's Letters' is a story told through letters between a young man named Jim who was sent to war to fight in the Gallipoli campaign, and his younger brother Tom who writes to him from the family farm in Ranfurly, Central Otago. The letters in the book were based on real letters exchanged between soldiers and their families during the war. The launch included a compelling reading of the book by three students from Ashurst School, and a very moving rendition of the last post by Lt. Tim Cook. Harper and Cooper also spoke, describing what inspired their contribution to 'Jim's Letters'. For example Cooper photographed a family in Wellington, who dressed up in WWI attire and posed for photos which she then used to base her paintings on for the book. She did this in order to create an accurate depiction of WWI soldier. An example being their WWI uniform. Being inaccurate, was a mistake she said she made when illustrating 'Le Quesnoy'.
Something Jim said in a letter to Tim, caught my Mum's eye: "Could you ask Mum to send me some more socks?". She recalled a letter my great-great-grandfather wrote to his wife. This is what he said, "Have just received your letter of 14 July also, two parcels from you one with pair of socks, coffee and the other a tin of biscuits. I was very glad to get the socks as I was badly in need of them. Socks don't last long on this job and as ones whole wardrobe has to be carried there is never room for more than about one spare pair."
I haven't done much with regard to my project this past month, however I have just issued and starting reading a book from the library called 'A Surgeon in Khaki'. 'A Surgeon in Khaki', was surgeon Arthur Anderson Martin's personal recordings of life as a doctor in WWI. My next step is to make contact and hopefully interview Army doctors, nurses and medics in order to understand how army medicine works today.
On ANZAC day, it was an honour to be part of my school's delegation which marched in the ANZAC parade. It was a very moving service, which many people turned up to despite the weather. A soldier in the New Zealand Army talked about his travels to Northern France and his honour of burying two New Zealand soldiers, whose bodies were discovered 95 years after they died. He also mentioned many places that us Young Ambassadors will be visiting in July including the Tyne Cot cemetery and the Menin Gate.
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Last modified on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 21:19