Tuesday, July 12, 2016

10-year-anniversary edition of a bestselling book updated with the story of Willie Apiata and the bizarre theft of the VC medals

                     ACTS OF VALOUR

The history of the Victoria Cross and New Zealand

By Glyn Harper and Colin Richardson

Act of Valour brings back to life the mana of the award, and its place in New Zealand’s proud military history.’ Air Marshal (Rtd) Sir Bruce Ferguson, KNZM, OBE, AFC

For 160 years the highest Commonwealth military decoration for gallantry has been the Victoria Cross.

Since its instigation in 1856 more than 40 service personnel with New Zealand associations have been recommended for the honour and 23 New Zealand service men have become recipients of the Victoria Cross. In Acts of Valour leading military historians Glyn Harper and Colin Richardson tell the extraordinary stories of every serviceman nominated for the VC from the time of the New Zealand Wars to the Second World War and the modern battlefields of Afghanistan in the 21st century.

Informative, exciting and provocative, Acts of Valour presents a detailed insight into our military history — and the heroes who walked amongst us, from English-born 1860s Auckland militia officer Captain Charles Heaphy to Corporal Willie Apiata, the most recent recipient of the VC, in 2007.

Acts of Valour is the updated and revised edition of the critically acclaimed book, In the Face of the Enemy, first published ten years ago. 

 ‘We felt it was important to review and update the contents as some important developments and material have emerged since 2006,’ says Glyn Harper.  ‘This includes the story behind the awarding of the first Victoria Cross of New Zealand to Willie Apiata which is a crucial part of the New Zealand story. This new edition also includes the theft of the medals from Waiouru and the resolution of the Manahi case.’

Air Marshal (Rtd) Sir Bruce Ferguson has written a comprehensive foreword for this new edition.  Sir Bruce initiated the recommendation for the award of the VC to Willie Apiata and outlines in his foreword the reasons why the VC remains the most revered honour of all.

The authors’ examination of the events, politics and philosophies surround the VC are detailed, the individual stories powerful and unique, and the accounts of the battles that forged our history are compelling.

A new edition of the children’s edition, Best & Bravest has also been published.

‘The deeds of such people recorded in the cold light of history are still inspiring. And so is this book.’  The Christchurch Press, 2006

‘Every place of learning should have a copy of this book, for the deeds recounted are now part of the history of this country...this is a fabulous book.’ The Army News, 2006
ACTS OF VALOUR by Glyn Harper and Colin Richardson
NZ RRP $39.99  |  1 August publication date   |  HarperCollins New Zealand

BEST & BRAVEST by Glyn Harper and Colin Richardson
NZ RRP $19.99  |  1 August publication Date  |  HarperCollins New Zealand
Reading Age 12+


Glyn Harper is Professor of War Studies at Massey University. A former teacher, Glyn joined the Australian Army in 1988 and after eight years transferred to the New Zealand Army, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Glyn is currently Massey’s Project Manager for the Centenary History of New Zealand the First World War. He is the author of 13 books on military history including several bestsellers, and ten books for children.

Colin Richardson retired from the New Zealand Army with the rank of colonel, in 2016. He was previously the New Zealand Defence Attachè to Canada. On exchange in Australia, he taught Military History and Strategy at the Army Command and Staff College, and International Relations at the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies in Canberra.

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