It began with a letter, written by a grieving soldier in Gallipoli to the family of his fallen mate.
Private Francis Jolly had kept close by Lance Corporal Edward Wilson throughout the last 24 hours of his life, cut short amid the bloody assault on Chunuk Bair.
Shortly before their Canterbury Battalion joined the infamous advance on August 5, 1915, Wilson had received a message from his family.
In it was a message, scribbled across a copy of the daily Lyttelton Times, from his young son Jimmy: "Tell Daddy to come home at once."
Jolly - who had risked his life to help Wilson after he was felled while returning fire on an exposed ridge at daybreak - wrote to his cobber's family of his grief over young Jimmy's plea.
"My God-father, that rings in my ears today."
The words had also haunted their sergeant-major, who was reported to say: "I can't get it out of my head ... this is no place for married men, for they always seemed to cop it."
Wilson's death, brought by a bullet to the head, was all the more tragic as he'd voluntarily left the comparative safety of a quartermaster sergeant's posting to fight alongside the troops on the battlefield.
Jolly would survive the Gallipoli campaign and later battles along the Western Front, but when he died in 1963, aged 74, his family had been given scant insight to his years at war.
A century after his letter was received by Wilson's widow, Auckland composer Patricia Bolton was searching for something to set a piece of music to.
In war historian Glyn Harper's 2011 book, Letters from Gallipoli, she found it.
"I think the thing that really grabbed me about the letter," Ms Bolton told the Weekend Herald, "was there were a lot of different perspectives in there - and the death would have affected them all."
But she soon discovered another link more profound than she could have ever imagined.
When she sought permission from Jolly's daughter-in-law, Beryl Jolly, to use the letter, the Taupo woman had no idea it had ever existed.
Stranger still, she'd been living next door to Wilson's grandson, Lindsay Wilson, for 16 years.
"Gobsmacked ... is the word," said Mrs Jolly, over lunch this week with Lindsay and Val Wilson and Lindsay's cousin, Lorraine Wilson.
"I was actually halfway through telling Val about the letter, then I thought, my God - you're a Wilson."
The fact Frank Jolly never spoke of the war meant Mrs Jolly could never have realised the families' century-old bond. It was never discussed by him, not even to my late husband Alan ... they just didn't - full-stop."
Lindsay Wilson, meanwhile, had read the letter but remained oblivious to the neighbourly association.
On Thursday afternoon, the four sat in silence in Mrs Jolly's dining room as Ms Bolton played them, for the first time, the solemn piece. Titled Jimmy Says, the composition was drawn entirely from the words of Frank Jolly's letter, ending with the sobering words of Wilson's son.
"It's been amazing to have been an instrument to connect these two families after 100 years," Ms Bolton said.
"I feel Frank has come back and connected these families once more."
In yesterday's special publication
Letters from Hell
, the wrong picture was used for Lieutenant James Paumea (Jim) Ferris of the Maori Contingent. Lieutenant Ferris (above), of Ngati Porou, saw action at Gallipoli and on the Western Front.