Heavy and Continuous Sacrifice: New Zealand, her Allies and the Second World War edited by Peter Cooke and John Crawford

This recently published collection of essays explores different aspects of New Zealand’s Second World War, including New Zealand airmen serving in Malaya and Singapore.

Heavy and Continuous Sacrifice: New Zealand, her Allies and the Second World War edited by Peter Cooke and John Crawford. The cover image is ‘Stretcher bearers, 1945’ by artist Herbert James Bowkett Coe, in the National War Art Collection at Archives New Zealand.

The war on which we are entering may be a long one, demanding from us heavy and continuous sacrifice.’ – Prime Minister Michael Savage, 6 September 1939

Heavy and Continuous Sacrifice: New Zealand, her Allies and the Second World War is a collection of essays drawn from papers presented at the ‘Heavy and Continuous Sacrifice’ conference in February 2020. Over three days, 34 speakers from as far afield as Canada, Singapore, UK, Australia, and across Aotearoa presented their research findings, placing New Zealand’s experience in the wider context of the war. You can read more about the conference and the museum’s involvement here.

This was the sixth conference organised by the New Zealand Military History Committee, following a quarter century of symposia on New Zealand’s varied and fascinating military history – previous themes and resulting publications examined the South African War, both World Wars, the Cold War, and the New Zealand Wars. In keeping with tradition, the NZ Military History Committee has published the 2020 proceedings, with support from the New Zealand Defence Force.

488 Squadron Pilots return to Kallang after operations over Singapore, late 1941. Collection of the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, HIST 897

The book contains 23 essays on topics ranging from the ‘culture of war’ in the 2nd NZEF, the experience of air and naval forces, conscription, and perceptions of other militaries and civilian populations, to critical studies of New Zealand’s military leadership, enemy forces, intelligence capabilities, medical challenges, and sexual violence in armies of occupation. The impacts of displacement and the war at home are also explored through material and social histories about German-Jewish refugees and the families of veterans. Supplementary materials include an introduction by the editors Peter Cooke and John Crawford, full colour illustrations, and an index.

Featured authors are renowned New Zealand and international historians and experts, including Jonathan Fennell, Chris Pugsley, Peter Lieb, Robert Engen, Claire Cookson-Hills, and John Crawford. Two chapters were written by members of our museum’s Research Team: these are “Facing the Rising Sun: Experiences of New Zealand Airmen During the Campaign in Malaya and Singapore, 1941-1942” by Research Curator Simon Moody and Archive Technician Louisa Hormann’s “‘Strangers at the Wharf’: Material Histories of German-Jewish Refugees in New Zealand, 1933-1941”.

As part of our research collection, this book may be viewed by appointment in our Reading Room. It is also available in our Museum Store, here.