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Valour Remembered Kawe Mate WW2 by Sonia Edwards QSM

Valour Remembered is an extraordinary book that honours the servicemen from the Eastern Bay of Plenty who died in the Pacific and the European conflict in Greece, North Africa and Italy during the Second World War. With few graves and tangihanga for those lost overseas in this conflict, mourning for these people was difficult. So Valour Remembered is intended to be a visual symbol of kawe mate, to invoke precious memories. As it says in the book, ‘It is an expression of grief and love for those who were lost.’

Valour Remembered includes comprehensive timelines of the conflict in North Africa and the Pacific and maps. But it is the personal profiles that are the focus of the book, and Sonia has obviously done considerable research to include information about each of the servicemen who are remembered. Each of their stories includes photographs and brings to life these men who made the ultimate sacrifice in the fight for freedom. Their stories of respectful and poignant.

The men are named on all the local memorials in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, with the Honour Rolls appearing in Halls, on Marae, in Churches and on Cenotaphs. The author’s aim was to ensure they had an identity for when the 2039 centenary occurs, but there are so many men to honour in this way. Sonia is hard at work currently on Volume Two. This is a massive undertaking but such an important work and a treasure to all of New Zealand.

Sonia was awarded a QSM for service to the community and for research.

Reviewer: Karen McMillan