The story of Woodville's Ted Agnew, both in wartime active service in World War II and as a horseman, has been published in a book titled Always With You.
Written by a friend of Ted's, Peter Johns (also from Woodville), a first-hand account of New Zealand's involvement in World War II North African and Italian campaigns is recorded.
Ted Agnew's daughter, Sue Spackman, wanted the book to be released around September 3 this year when Ted would have been 100 years old. He passed away on March 16, 2011.
The book was launched at the Woodville Bowling Club on September 5.
The title of the book Always With You comes from a toast that Ted regularly made: 'Never above you, never below you, always with you'.
"I used to pick Ted up to go to Anzac parades each year at 5.45am in the morning," said Peter Johns at the book launch. "Two glasses of whiskey and milk were waiting, then off we would go.
"Ted asked me if I would be prepared to write up his war experiences and I agreed. The deal was to spend Tuesday nights from 7pm-9pm, with Ted providing the wine and I would write up his memories.
"Very quickly it morphed into not only his war experiences, but his whole life history - that's essentially what the book is about. As far as his war memories were concerned, I felt it necessary to put in the book what was actually happening at that time in North Africa and Italy."
Inside the book there is a map of North Africa that tips out to double-width of the page - a pleasant surprise.
"A lot of the soldiers, including Ted, knew where they were, but the Third Brigade could be 50 miles from the rest of the division. Ted was in the 14th Light Ack Ack. It wasn't until later years that a lot of them found out what happened at different battles that took place, that are part of our folk-lore these days.
"A whole division was surrounded by Germans, they smashed through them at midnight in pich-black darkness, just going hell for leather - they were told not to stop until they ran out of petrol. It was an amazing escape. Otherwise the whole Division would have been Prisoners of War the next day.
"There are segments in the book explaining what the New Zealand Division was doing, where they were and what was happening at those times that Ted talked about," said Peter.
He gave praise to those who had assisted with the book, Paula McCool for editing various aspects of the book and Margaret Mary Oulaghan for typing up the original transcript from tapes.
"I'm pleased it's finally done, 10 years later," he said.