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A Soldier's View of Empire. The Reminiscences of James Bodell 1931-92. Edited Keith Sinclair. 1982 1st edition. The Bodley Head, London

The author was born near Nottingham to a poor family and had only 3 years schooling. When he was 16 he enlisted in the army and was posted to Ireland, Hong Kong. After laving the Army he ran an hotel in Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) until 1856 when he bought Hotels in Victoria where the great gold rushes were in progress. He made and lost a lot of money
In 1863 he volunteered to serve in the Waikato Militia during the Maori Wars and enrolled as a Sergeant but was demoted because of his excessive drinking. He saw little action and was discharged at Tauranga and given a Town Lot and 50 acres for a farm
He did well in Tauranga and later became Mayor

His reminiscences, published here, were written in 1881 but had been in the possession of his family since being handwritten. They give a clear view of life as a hotelier, soldier and NZ pioneer

Keith Sinclair’s introduction and notes set the scene for a very interesting book

Old photos include gold diggings at Maryborough c1881; the house of Tawhiao, Ngaruawahia c1864; very early views of Tauranga

216pp; b/w photos; hard covers, gilt lettering; very good condition
Dust jacket; very good condition; spine sunned

Not easy to find in NZ

Text Copyright 2009
Collectible Books, Napier

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  • Seller location: Napier, Hawke's Bay, NZ

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