Author(s): John H. Gray
The New Zealand Division earned a high reputation as an Allied strike formation on the Western Front in 1916-1918. It fought at First Somme, and the Battles of Messines, Broodseinde, and First Passchendaele. It responded effectively in plugging a gap in the British line at Second Somme during the sudden German advance in March 1918. It held its new line, and then was in the vanguard of the Advance to Victory through the Hindenburg Line, before its celebrated Relief of Le Quesnoy, at wars end. It pioneered the fielding by the New Zealand Army of an infantry division; another of which was also to earn renown in World War II.The book is in full colour throughout and covers the whole chronological course of the Division's operational progress, from May 1916 to November 1918. It is the only one to do so other than the voluminous Popular History based on Official Records by Colonel Hugh Stewart, published in 1921. Incorporated in the narrative are clear, detailed route instructions and accommodation suggestions which will ensure effective planning by those who choose to visit all or part of the Division's operational itinerary. Farm buildings were largely rebuilt on previous sites, and so most former battlefields are little changed in that respect from 1916-1918. The reader is guided to localities from which it is possible to visualise troop movements in the past. For the first time the two facets of detailed history and visitors guide have been combined in a single, manageable format. The Division's places of memory are described and illustrated. These are places of pilgrimage for the descendants of the 13,467 New Zealand soldiers who died on the Western Front.