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Johnny Enzed: The New Zealand Soldier in the First World War 1914–1918

USD $39.99 Tax Included

The New Zealand soldiers who left these shores to fight in the First World War represented one of the greatest collective endeavours in the nation’s history. Over 100,000 men and women would embark for overseas service and almost 60,000 of them became casualties. For a small nation like New Zealand this was a tragedy on an unimagined scale.

Using their personal testimony, this book reveals what these men experienced – the truth of their lives in battle, at rest, at their best and their worst. Through a comprehensive and sympathetic scrutiny of New Zealand soldiers’ correspondence, diaries and memoirs, a compelling picture of the New Zealand soldier’s war from general to private is revealed. This is not a campaign history of dry facts and detail. Rather, it examines minutely the everyday experience of trench life in all its shapes and forms.

Written in an accessible style aimed at the interested general reader, the book is the product of a substantial amount of research. The text is complemented by a range of maps, illustrations, graphs and diagrams.

SPECIFICATIONS: Hardback (cased with jacket) | 240 x 160 mm / 9 ½ x 6 ¼ Inches | Black & White (150 photographs, 9 maps, plus diagrams) | 720 Pages |

Glyn Harper is Professor of War Studies at Massey University and is General Editor of the Centenary History series. A former teacher, he joined the Australian Army in 1988 and after eight years transferred to the New Zealand Army, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He is now one of NZ’s best-known military historians and the author of nineteen books, including six books for children. Many of these books are on aspects of the First World War and have achieved best-seller status.

The New Zealand soldiers who left these shores to fight in the First World War represented one of the greatest collective endeavours in the nation’s history. Over 100,000 men and women would embark for overseas service and almost 60,000 of them became casualties. For a small nation like New Zealand this was a tragedy on an unimagined scale.

Using their personal testimony, this book reveals what these men experienced – the truth of their lives in battle, at rest, at their best and their worst. Through a comprehensive and sympathetic scrutiny of New Zealand soldiers’ correspondence, diaries and memoirs, a compelling picture of the New Zealand soldier’s war from general to private is revealed. This is not a campaign history of dry facts and detail. Rather, it examines minutely the everyday experience of trench life in all its shapes and forms. Diverse topics such as barbed wire, the use of the bayonet, gas attacks, rats, horses, food, communal singing, infectious diseases and much more feature in this riveting account of the New Zealand soldier in the First World War. It is the story of ordinary men thrust into the most extraordinary circumstances imaginable.

Written in an accessible style aimed at the interested general reader, the book is the product of a substantial amount of research. The text is complemented by a range of maps, illustrations, graphs and diagrams.

Weekend Herald New Zealand, August 2015
“Military historian Glyn Harper… talks to Andrew Stone about life at the front, and back home.” 

“I think what they did fighting in this war, sticking it out till the end, is a considerable achievement,” says Glyn Harper. We need to acknowledge that.”


Scoop Independent News NZ, August 2015
Testimonies from more than 2000 letters, diaries and journal entries of New Zealand soldiers who served in the Great War (1914-1918) provide vivid, moving and horrifying written accounts in a new book by Massey University Professor of War Studies Glyn Harper.” – Click here to read the full article!


Radio New Zealand National, August 2015
Professor Harper said he had tried to tell the story of the New Zealand soldier in their own words as much as possible.It has taken him four years to compile and he is very grateful that the standard of literacy of the men at the time was so high. ‘They were remarkable letter writers and diary keepers so I was spoilt for choice.’ Professor Harper said some of the diaries and letters were remarkably candid in what they portrayed.” – Click here to read more and listen to an interview with Professor Glyn Harper

Additional information

Book Type

eBook ePub, eBook Mobi, Hardback + eBook ePub, Hardback

Stand To (British Western Front Association), October 2016
“This is a vast and detailed account which does justice to the contribution of the New Zealand forces during the Great War. The detailed sources drive the narrative, but there is enough supplementary information to make the action clear to the non-military reader.”


Australian Defence Magazine, October 2015
“highly readable and full of fascinating anecdotes…captures the spirit of the men”


Otago Daily Times, September 2015
The key question is how good is Johnny Enzed? Very. The high quality paper does justice to the numerous maps and photographs… if you want to read just one book on our army’s World War 1 experiences, this one’s got your number on it.”


Army News NZ, August 2015
Some years ago, one of Glyn Harper’s books was acclaimed by the then Prime Minister Helen Clark as being the “book of the year”. I wouldn’t be surprised if this, his latest book, ‘Johnny Enzed’ is not given the same accolade. It’s just so good… Johnny Enzed leaves very few ‘stones unturned’ … be warned, it is such an exciting and well written book, well support by photographs that have remained ‘hidden’ for one hundred years, that once the reader gets through the first few pages, there will be a desire to keep on reading – and learning about those magnificent warriors of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. This is a “10 out of 10” publication!”  — Col Ray Seymour is the Honorary Colonel, First Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, and Patron of the New Zealand Military Historical Society (Inc)


Books + Publishing, August 2015
‘Using soldiers’ letters Glyn Harper paints a comprehensive and sympathetic view of the everyday experience of war’

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