Author(s): Trish McCormack (Andrew Gibson co-editor)
When Jack Pryce sailed to war in 1915 with the Otago Infantry Battalion he was restless, wanting to "make good" of his life. Experiencing the carnage of Gallipoli and Passchendaele and other epic battles on the Western Front, he rose through the ranks to gain his commission. From the hell of the trenches to the exhilaration of being a "vagabond" adrift in the world, this is the story of a young man experiencing life at its most deadly while never losing his humanity or zest for living. Written on troopships and in training camps, bivvies, trenches and dugouts, his letters have been cherished by his family ever since. None have been published before.
Featured in latest NZ Book Council Book Scene newsletter There is a Facebook page for the book Jack's Journey - a WW1 Soldier's Story Trish and Andrew were interviewed by Lynn Freeman for Standing Room Only for broadcast on Sunday 22 October though this date is not yet confirmed
"Jack's letters to family members not only highlight his humanity, compassion and self-awareness, but also offer a valuable insight into the experience of New Zealand soldiers in the war to end all wars.";Ian McGibbon;"A poignant story ... This extensive collection gives a clear understanding of the psyche of one young man's voyage into maturity under very tough conditions.";Rae McGregor
Trish McCormack, an archivist and journalist, has an MA in History from Otago University. She has published three novels, one of which was long-listed for the 2016 Ngaio Marsh Award. Andrew Gibson has done extensive research into the First World War. His detective work on the former battlefields of the Western Front brings Jack's story right up to date. Jack Pryce was their great-uncle.
Editor's Note Introduction 1 With the 'Fighting Fourths' at Trentham 2 From Wellington to Cairo 3 Keeping a 'whole skin' at Gallipoli 4 'A Picnic after the Peninsula' in Egypt 5 'Swinging the Lead' at Sling 6 Life and Death on the Western Front 7 War's End and Aftermath 8 The First Search 9 The Second Search 10 A Note on the Sources 11 Letter to Jack Appendix I Chronology of Jack Pryce on active service Appendix II Maps List of Plates