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War and Pieces by Miles Spence
War and Pieces is an autobiographical third-person account of one man's experiences in the Navy during the Second World War. John Pilgrim enlists for the Navy because "If the world was about to end he wanted to go out with his guns blazing". His training, first at Devonport naval base, later near Wellington, is interspersed with stories of mateship, chasing "sheilas", getting drunk for the first time, discovering jazz, sketching, and generally grabbing fun where he can, because in wartime, who knows if it will be the last time. Pilgrim is posted to New Georgia in the Pacific via New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands. There he comes under attack from the Japanese and mosquitos, meets jazz-savvy American servicemen and becomes known among them for his sketching. After contracting malaria and being sent on recovery leave back to New Zealand, Pilgrim buys a clarinet and teaches himself to play. Shipped off again to Sydney and then New Guinea, he is seconded to the British Pacific Fleet, supplying back-up for the American Fifth Fleet who are battling it out at Okinawa. On the surrender of Japan, Pilgrim returns to New Zealand via Sydney, where he manages to have his war sketches exhibited. Rehabilitation back to civvy street is hard and not always happy. War and Pieces dramatically captures the life and times of New Zealand and those who served during World War II.
Paperback, 2004 , 262 pages, new Please click here to ask a question
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  • Seller location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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