Historian and author Renée Hollis is scouring the country for war stories, and is keen to hear any that Northlanders might have to tell.

After the success of her book Keepers of History: New Zealand Centenarians Tell Their Stories, she is now working on a social history project focusing on the experiences of New Zealanders during World War II, immersing herself in letters and diaries from New Zealanders who served overseas or helped keep the home fires burning.

"I am looking for untold stories that give the reader a real insight into what life was really like during World War II," she said.

Sources could include those who served in all theatres, including J Force, nurses, whether they were Tui, who worked in military hospitals in war zones or at rehabilitation facilities in New Zealand, prisoners of war, or conscientious objectors who were imprisoned in New Zealand.


She is also anxious to collect stories from the Home Guard throughout New Zealand, the Women's War Service Auxiliary (Red Cross), the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAACs), the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAFs), the Women's Royal Naval Service (Wrens), and of men who did not serve due to the essential nature of their work in New Zealand

Letters and diaries must be submitted by August 30, while accompanying information needs to include the name, rank/title (if appropriate) of all persons involved, locations and dates. General submission enquiries can be emailed to voicesofWWIINZ@gmail.com, while original or photocopied documents and original photographs can be posted to Renée Hollis, Exisle Publishing, 226 High Street, Dunedin 9016.

Photographs in digital format can be emailed to voicesofWWIINZ@gmail.com

Anyone who would like documents returned must provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope or courier bag.

Everyone who submits material will need to warrant that it is original and they have the legal right to give Ms Hollis permission to publish it (submission does not guarantee publication.

Ms Hollis undertook to take "reasonable care" of all material received, but would not be held responsible for any accidental loss or damage caused. It was the sender's responsibility to make any insurance arrangements as they saw fit.

Copyright of original diaries and letters would remain with their authors.

Anyone wanting more information was welcome to email Ms Hollis at voicesofWWIINZ@gmail.com