• Glyn Harper

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    Website http://glynharper.nz

    Glyn is Professor of War Studies at Massey University. He is Massey's Project Manager of 'The Centenary History of New Zealand and the First World War' programme. A former teacher, he joined the Australian Army in 1988 and after eight years transferred to the NZ Army where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was the army's official historian for the deployment to East Timor. Glyn is the author or co-author of more than 16 books on military including Dark Journey: Three Key New Zealand Battles of the Western Front; Images of War: A Photographic Record of New Zealanders at War 1914-1918; Letters from Gallipoli: New Zealand Soldiers Write Home; and most recently Johnny Enzed: The New Zealand Soldier in the First World . The Battles of Monte Cassino: The campaign and its controversies published (2013) will shortly be released in Poland. In 2017, Glyn’s latest book, Turning the Hinge of Fate: the Second Battle of El Alamein: October-November 1942 will be published by Indiana University Press and was released by Massey University Press in November 2017. His latest book, a volume of the Centenary History of NZ in the First World War, is For King and Other Countries (April 2019). Glyn also enjoys writing books for children. Le Quesnoy: The Story of the Town New Zealand Saved was released in March 2012 and was given as a gift for young Prince George by the city of Cambridge. Since then he has written three more books for children; Jim’s Letters won the Picture Book category in New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2015. Gladys goes to war was released in 2016. Glyn's latest books for children, Bobby the littlest war hero and My Grandfather's War were released in 2018. Glyn enjoys writing for children as he aims to help the younger generation learn more of their heritage. He has also received a QSM for services to historical research.


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    • Academic writing
    • CompetitionJudging
    • Long-term placement (schools, universities)
    • Manuscript assessment
    • Public speaking
    • Readings (children/schools)
    • Reviews


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    Massey University Palmerston North


    Turning the Hinge of Fate: the Second Battle of El Alamein: October-November 1942

    Indiana University Press - 2017

    Acts of Valour

    Auckland, HarperCollins, 2016. With Colin Richardson. A revised edition of 'In the Face of the enemy' (2007) to include the theft of the medals from the National Army Museum, the Manahi resolution and Willie Apiata's VC.

    Johnny Enzed: The New Zealand Soldier in the First World War

    Auckland, Exisle Press, 2015. A volume of the Centenary History of New Zealand and the First World War. The stories of the NZ experience in the FWW. From enlistment to their return to NZ. Told using the diaries and letters - many never before published.

    The Battles of Monte Cassino. The campaign and its controversies

    Auckland, Allen & Unwin, 2013. With John Tonkin-Covell. The Allied forces action in and around Monte Cassino in Italy remain some of the most controversial of the Second World War. To be released in Poland in 2017.

    Images of War. New Zealand and the First World War in photographs.

    Auckland, HarperCollins Publishers, 2013. A hard cover revised edition of Images of War, World War One, A photographic record of New Zealanders at war 1914-1918 (2008). Photos from the Archives at Waiouru and many never previously published.

    Best and Bravest. Kiwis Awarded the Victoria Cross - young adults

    With Colin Richardson, Auckland, HarperCollins Publishers, 2016. A revised edition (2006). Includes Willie Apiata and some beautiful illustrations by Colin Richardson.

    Books for children

    Gladys goes to War, Auckland, Puffin Books, 2016.

    Roly the Anzac Donkey, Auckland, Puffin Books, 2015. (Storylines Notable Book Award 2016)

    Jim’s Letters, Auckland, Puffin Books, 2014. Winner Picture Book Category New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2015.

    Le Quesnoy: The Story of the Town New Zealand Saved, Auckland, Puffin Books, 2012. (Storylines Notable Book Award 2013)

    My Grandfather’s War, Auckland, Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 2007, Reprinted 2007.
    A revised edition will be released by Exisle Press in 2017 for the USA, UK and Aust markets.

    James the Cat, Christchurch, Christchurch City Libraries, 2007.

    The Sky Soldiers, Auckland, Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 2005.

    The Donkey Man, Auckland, Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 2004.
    Reprinted 2004 and in 2009 as a Puffin Book.
    Reprinted in 2015 as Roly the Anzac Donkey.

    Mission to East Timor, Auckland, Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 2002. ( Storylines Zealand Notable Books 2003)

    Bobby the littlest war hero

    Puffin 2018, Illustrated by Jenny Cooper
    This is the story of Bobby – the littlest hero in a very big war.

    Bobby is a tiny canary. His best friend is Jack, a soldier in one of the tunnelling companies of the Royal Engineers. Together they go deep into the tunnels under no-man’s-land. Jack’s job is to dig, while Bobby’s job is to warn the men to get out quickly when there’s dangerous gas. Bobby’s warnings save the tunnellers’ lives again and again.
    But Jack worries that it’s a hard life for a little bird. Will Bobby ever be free to fly again?

    For King and Other Countries: The New Zealanders who fought in other services in the First World War

    Massey University Press, 2019.
    New Zealand’s military contribution to the First World War was a massive effort for a small country. The figure most often quoted is that from October 1914 through to October 1918, just over 100,000 New Zealanders embarked for military service overseas. But that number does not include the thousands who served under other imperial flags: with the Australian Imperial Force, British army units, the Indian army, the Canadian Expeditionary Force, the American Expeditionary Force, the South African Overseas Expeditionary Force, the French Foreign Legion, and even the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps. Nor does it include the women who served with other nations’ medical organisations or by entertaining troops. This meticulously researched book details a range of New Zealanders who fought for the British Empire under other flags. They have not previously been included in First World War statistics, and there may be as many as 12,000 of them, 1400 of whom died.

    My Grandfather'sWar

    EK Books 2018, illustrated by Jenny Cooper
    A poignant story about a Vietnam veteran and his relationship with his granddaughter. While the relationship is a positive one, the young girl senses her grandfather’s pain and is curious to find out the cause of it. As she innocently seeks answers, she unknowingly opens old wounds and discovers her grandfather’s sadness is a legacy of the Vietnam War and his experiences there.

    This is a sensitive exploration of the lingering cost of war and of the PTSD so many returned servicemen experience. Released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Khe Sanh (the Vietnam War’s longest battle), it also sheds light on a war that is not always remembered in the same way that the world wars and other conflicts are. Many who served experience a sense of betrayal at the treatment they received on their return, as the conflict came to be regarded as the ‘unpopular’ war, and this is covered in a child-friendly way in a note at the back of the book.

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