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Indeterminate Sentence: Compelling New Zealand Story of World War Two Conscientious Objector
By Allan Handyside

• 122pp, 240 x 170mm, soft cover.
• Includes: copies of official government correspondence, cartoons, photos, maps and index.
• ISBN 9780958268219
• Philip Garside Publishing Ltd, NZ
• Published December 2005

This book captures a piece of New Zealand history that is not well known. The small group of people described in it had a strong influence on the thinking of others as New Zealanders later grappled with the issues raised by the Vietnam War in the late 1960s and the nuclear ships issue more recently.

Allan Handyside spent nearly four years in Rangipo Prison, in the central North Island, from 1942–46, for refusing to join the armed forces in World War II. He had already been in Mt Crawford prison, Wi Tako Prison near Trentham and Strathmore Detention Camp near Taupo.

Handyside recalls, that in contrast to other camps, Rangipo prison officers never had a friendly word for the prisoners, never treated them as human beings. Discipline was harsh, with solitary confinement on a bread and water diet a common punishment.

Yet there was also humour and comradeship among the prisoners. Some were encouraged to plan and attempt escapes to help them stay sane. Authorities never discovered the secret mailrun between Hautu Detention Camp and Rangipo Prison that enabled those at Rangipo to get news of the outside world.

This book helps us to understand how a minority group of pacifists maintained their integrity, and emerged from the wartime experience to return to their normal lives, where they continued to promote beliefs that are as relevant today.

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  • Seller location: Wellington City, Wellington, NZ

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