Thursday May 3, 2018
Curiosity leads to display of Anzac soldiers’ stories When Hataitai resident Louise Brockway and her husband Andrew moved into 31 Hohira Road – the fourth owners of the house - Louise became very interested in a former owner who had been killed in World War One. Wanting to know more about this man
and the history of her house, Louise set to work to find out about Frederick A. Nees who had died aged 26 of wounds sustained in battle. She began her research work in February this year and has not only researched Frederick Nees but has gathered the
Louise Brockway with Massey postgraduate journalism student Louis Davis, 22, who was the same age as the soldier in the story they are reading. PHOTO: Supplied
stories of 140 other WW1 soldiers who had lived in the Hataitai area before the war. For Anzac Day 2018, Louise and a group of volunteers arranged the stories by street names around the walls of the Hataitai Bowling Club. Each story had the soldier’s rank, age, where he had fought, interesting information about the battle zone and whether he returned to New Zealand. She also matched photographs to each story. Residents were able to read and to look at books which Louise had sourced about WW1 and read stories posted outside on the Bowling Club wall and in the shopping area.
Louise began her research using various on-line sites such as Papers Past and Online Cenotaph. “I was a total amateur when I first started this work. I found the names exciting but it was also quite upsetting seeing the casualty list,” says Louise. “You think of your own son and nobody would like a son to die in this way. Some families lost two sons, others lost their only child.” Yvonne Lawrie, a long-time resident of Hataitai, was one of the local residents who attended the display on Anzac Day. Her three uncles, Albert, Charles and Horace fought in WW1 and arrived back safely in New Zealand after the war.
Cook Strait News 03-05-18