Good bye Bill Massey No more Khaki

Reg Hird's Letters from the Great War. A collection of letters written by Sergeant Reginald Nelson Hird of Karamea, West Coast to his sweetheart Nellie Dean. Put together by grand-daughter Rachel Hird.

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Reginald Hird was a sergeant in the NZ Rifle Brigade.  He fought on the Western Front in France and Belgium in WW1.  His war story began mid 1917 in the Battle of Passchendaele and ended in the New Zealanders' extraordinary battle for the medieval French town of Le Quesnoy and the liberation of its people at the end of the war.

Originally from Nelson, Reg's family moved to Manaia, Taranaki in the 1880s where his father ran the drapery store.  As a young man Reg moved back to Nelson and at the time of the war was farming in Karamea in partnership with good friend Bob Tunnicliff. Reg and Bob, or 'Tunny'  trained together in Trentham and travelled to England together.  Reg wrote fifty two letters and postcards to his sweet heart Nellie Dean, also of Karamea.  The letters are often long, describing some of the battles in detail as well as giving impressions of camp life in England and NZ.  
The letters are complemented by excerpts from Nellie Dean's diaries.  During the war years she was a young teacher at Ferntown School and lived in Collingwood. Her diary entries add a rural New Zealand perspective of the war years and are a window into life at the time.

The book contains military photographs and postcards from Europe, some in colour, also photographs from Trentham, Taranaki, Nelson, Golden Bay and the West Coast.
This book is available through Paper Plus Bookstores and Unity Books in Wellington or directly through me at ph 02102445248 or 043889488 or via email

This book can be viewed on facebook at

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