Few of us could have overlooked the fact that it’s a hundred years since Gallipoli.
Auckland octogenarian Doreen Langsford has more reasons than most to remember – her father William Howe fought at Chunuk Bair and then the Somme and Passchendaele.
Willie kept a diary for every year he was away from home – four of them altogether – but after a century only one diary survives.
Doreen has spent much of her life transcribing the handwritten notes from a fragile pocketbook smaller than a cigarette packet, but never expected it to see the light of day.
But when she heard about our mentoring and self-publishing programme, she wondered whether her dream to honour her father’s memory could become a reality. Her family rallied around. For the price of a pretty tired second hand import vehicle, or a two week cruise, the Langsfords instead invested in typesetting, editing and book design.
It was a decision that paid off. This Anzac weekend, the diary of Onesimus William Howe features on TVNZ Sunday.
It’s a stunning piece of New Zealand history, and we are proud to have helped make it part of the public record. Howe died in the 1970s, but in literary terms, he’s achieved immortality.
Read an extract from Ghosts of Anzac here.