The Western Front, by Ian McGibbon

Each year, New Zealander’s make a pilgrimage to battlefields in Europe. So much so that the New Zealand Embassy in France is often inundated with people asking for information on how to find battlefield memorials for fallen New Zealand soldiers resting in foreign soil.

The author, Ian McGibbon, leaves no stone unturned with this thorough compilation of war memorials. It is truly a work of passion and every detail one would need to visit is included. More than just a set of directions to each and every Western Front memorial, McGibbon includes the motivation to do so as well.

Each major battle that led to the necessity of creating a memorial is articulated in splendid detail, providing insight into the men who gave their lives for our freedom and the very ones you can pay your respects to should you visit the site where they parted this mortal coil.

McGibbon began his career as a Defence Historian at the Ministry of Defence and has produced copious volumes of war history. Simply, he knows his stuff and in this, the 100th year since the infamous Gallipoli landings, he shares his knowledge of the events and subsequent memorials.

Major battles, such as the Somme and Passchendaele are expertly analysed and details given of how much was…well given. McGibbon also describes the actions of soldiers which then led to battlefield citations. Extra details that all add to and help create an understanding of the greatness of their deeds.

This book must be your companion if you are considering touring the monuments and memorials to the gallant men that gave us so much so we could live the lives we have to day. Forget about the internet or other rubbish like that, you wont find this information there and you definitely wont be inspired to travel to see for yourself the places created to honour our fallen, as much as you will be with this book in your day pack.

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TITLE: The Western Front: A Guide to New Zealand Battlefields and Memorials
AUTHOR(S): Ian McGibbon
PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House
RRP: $25.00
ISBN: 9780143572015

Drew Thompson Drew operates a successful hobby farm for pampered cattle in rural South Auckland. He once dabbled in education, where he discovered any book was a good book. As with most ex-teachers, he realised he was better off spending his time and patience on his own awesome children.

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