Allan Marriott 1944-2016

Allan’s family are very sad to be letting you, his readers, know that their much admired and cherished husband, brother, uncle, great uncle, cousin and good friend died in Auckland on Christmas Day 2016 as a result of a brain tumour. He died gently in the arms of Gay, his deeply loved wife and life’s partner of 45 years, supported by his treasured family and friends.

He was a primary teacher, community development worker, adult educator, counsellor, athlete and rugby player, as well as a 5 times published author and most recently the Independent Chair of the Rural Canterbury Primary Health Organisation. He was still writing only days before he slipped away from us.

Ruth Todd of Bookenz, broadcast on the Plains FM access radio station in Christchurch, interviewed Jenny Haworth of Wily Publications, the publisher of his latest book The Witzke Woman, about his life as a writer. The interview was broadcast on 28 February 2017, the day before his 73rd birthday.

The broadcast can be listened to here.

100th Anniversary of Somme, Messines and Passchendaele

The 100th anniversary of battles at the Somme, Messines and Passchendaele will be acknowledged during 2016 and 2017. Mud Beneath My Boots covers these events in WWI. Although sold out in print form it will be available as an e-book for your Kindle or Apple device in 2015. If you leave an email address I can update you when ready.

There is a lot of interest building in these anniversaries and revisiting through “Mud Beneath My Boots” is a great experience that can be shared and discussed, especially if you are thinking about making the trip to Europe.

There’s lots more to read about “Mud Beneath My Boots” and my other books on this site. Check out the links under the “Books” menu item above.

An interview with Plains FM

An Interview for The Witzke Woman with Lynn Freeman on Radio NZ National

Here a short interview I did with Lynn Freeman. It was aired on the 31st August on Standing Room Only.

Meeting the Auckland Polish Association

While attending the commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, Gay and I travelled to Poland. I had already begun writing an early draft and this visit gave me an excellent opportunity to absorb more of what I eventually brought into this story.

This is a New Zealand/Polish story. Members of the Auckland Polish Association recently invited me to introduce the book to them. Three of the original Pahiatua Polish children were present for what was a wonderful experience and opportunity to meet with those who just might have met the real Juliana Witzke in 1944 – 45.

Much of this story is based in Palmerston North and an article and review will be written by Tina White in the Manawatu Standard for 16 August.

A live interview with Lynn Freeman took place on the afternoon of Sunday 31 August on Radio NZ National.

A Bridge Over: The Story of John Masters by Allan Marriott

When John Masters met Hariparsad Gurung

The first edition of this book in 2009 sold out in five weeks. The launch led to a group of veterans sourcing funds to track down Hariparsad Gurung, the Nepalese Gurkha soldier rescued by John in 1965 for which John received the Military Cross. The two men reunited in Christchurch in 2010 to overwhelming emotion.

An immediate second edition of the book contained a brief epilogue of the meeting, was used by Maori Television for a documentary on John’s life, and assisted the successful application for John to receive the inaugural Anzac Person of the Year Award in 2010.

Both men died within two years of being reunited. Their families continue to keep in contact. The front page below captured the moment when the two men met.

You can read the story online here:

John Masters The Press

Remembering a Trip to Passchendaele

Following the publication of “Mud Beneath…” in 2005, Gay and I were invited to Belgium in 2007 to the commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the October events at Passchendaele. I was asked to present copies of the book to the Passchendaele Memorial Museum, and to the Mayor of Zonnebeke at a formal Council function. This coincided with the twinning of Zonnebeke with the Waimakariri District Council, Canterbury.

Gay and I are considering the invitation to return for the 100th anniversary.