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Some of my spare time is devoted to researching the campaigns of Rommel's Panzerarmee Afrika and the ANZAC divisions in World War II, especially the combat in Crete, North Africa and Italy. In addition to reading, I also play military-themed PC games like Battlefield, Medal of Honor, and Call of Duty. Europe is full of military museums and old battlefields, so there are plenty of opportunities for relevant field trips.

Going home to New Zealand is increasingly appealing. It is a long way away (at least 24 hours by air) and quite different from England in many ways: climatically (it is warmer and much sunnier), spatially (there is vastly more per person) and in terms of social attitudes (the dominant ideas are egalitarian, although inequalities are actually similar to other English-speaking countries).

Perhaps the most unusual thing I do in my spare time is collect (and sometimes make) model soldiers. I have been doing this since the age of 7 (thanks to my cousin Simon). These activities are closely related to my interest in military history.


Captain Charles Upham, VC and Bar, 2nd NZ Div., Western Desert, 1941/42 (centre)