i) Details of my book include its introduction, followed by the early history of the McLeod family, their emigration in 1889 and establishment on a Southland farm. Some early New Zealand history follows up to WW1, the NZ army volunteers, their recruitment, training, and the voyage to England and then France.
ii) It leads to my great uncle’s postcards and letters sent back to his family in New Zealand. He also kept a diary that provided further insight at the front.
iii) A fictional account of the “Battle of Messines” follows with historical accounts of the aftermath of this disastrous war. Some brief analysis of its commanders and the countries involved, and further history on the McLeod family and the impact on New Zealand after the war.
iv) The story then advances to the 100-year commemoration of the “Battle of Messines” in 2017 and tour of the cemeteries and monuments in Belgium.
v) Finally, my own journey to this a commemoration that included a walk on “The Camino” in Spain as a mark of respect to honour my great uncle and our fallen soldiers.