A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 Biographies and Appendices.
By Errol W. Martyn
Published by VOLPLANE PRESS
640 pages, softcover
Reviewed by Bill Hopper
Perfect companion for preceding volumes
Did you know that Victoria Cross winner Flying Officer Lloyd Allan Trigg, worked as a machinery salesman and serviceman in Northland for the Christchurch firm Booth MacDonald & Co before service in World War II and that Sergeant James Allen Ward, VC, was a teacher at Cliff School, Wanganui?
If not, you can find these facts and many more embedded in the biographical detail of the two courageous airmen who lost their lives flying with Bomber Command together with some 4900 other New Zealand military air fatalities in the third volume of Errol Martyn’s trilogy For Your Tomorrow.
This massive (640 page) and unique publication is the perfect companion for Martyn’s first two volumes recording the fates of those New Zealanders who died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied air forces since 1915. Volume Three: Biographies & Appendices presents a human side to the cold matter of fact entries in the previous publications chronicling the where, why and how of air and ground crew deaths.
His note that, “Air Force record keepers were, seemingly, masters of inconsistency and ambiguity,” reinforces the colossal research effort that has been undertaken to produce not just one volume but three. Starting in the early 1990s Errol Martyn’s dedicated quest for, in many cases, long buried information has revealed truly personal pen pictures of those airmen who sacrificed their lives on the altar of freedom and justice.
As he says, “The traditional war memorial usually does little more than acknowledge the event…”, but this work records such diverse material as name, rank and number, birth place, education, civilian occupation, military service and postings, number of operational sorties, type of aircraft, next of kin, place of burial or commemoration plus much more.
Errol Martyn has sifted through thousands of RNZAF service records, log books, diaries, letters, civil records and has located detail from many other sources. He has corrected “… tens of thousands of errors, and omissions and disentangled countless contradictions that abound in surviving records…”.
As a source of reference, the trilogy For Your Tomorrow stands supreme – but in essence it is lasting memorial for all who have proudly served in war and peace under PER ARDUA AD ASTRA.