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Private John "Barney" Hines, the souvenir king.

Private John "Barney" Hines surrounded by German equipment he had looted during the Battle of Polygon Wood in September 1917. Also known as "Wild eyes" he "was a man whose skills in fighting were needed and whose knack for souveniring was admired, but he had few gifts that a peaceful society valued." historian Peter Stanley. The photograph of Hines at the Battle of Polygon Wood was published in late 1917 under the title Wild Eye, the souvenir king and became one of the best-known Australian photographs of the war. Many soldiers identified with Hines and were amused by his collection of souvenirs. The photograph was used as propaganda, and a false story developed that the German Kaiser Wilhelm II had...

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Skipper Yerex ran his deer destruction operations like a military campaign.

George Franklyn "Skipper" Yerex was a key figure during the "Deer Wars" he was born in Wellington in 1893. George enlisted in the Territorial Force in 1910 and served in Egypt and Palestine during WW1, initially as second in command of the New Zealand Machine Gun Corps, and then as officer commanding the 16th Company of the Imperial Camel Corps. He was promoted to captain in 1917. After the war, he worked as a paid ranger for the Auckland Acclimatisation Society in 1926 and he joined the Department of Internal Affairs in 1927. In 1930 the department became responsible for the destruction of deer on a national scale, and Yerex, who had already surveyed the spread and impact of deer,...

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Ross Webber.

Ross Webber spent 46 years living the BushLife alone on remote Puangiangi Island in the Marlborough Sounds. In 1957 the then 27-year-old bought the narrow, hilly island which is 45 minutes by boat from French Pass, the nearest settlement. “My dream was to have a small farm on the mainland, not an island,” “But this was all I could afford. No-one wanted islands in those days.” He cleared the scrub, built up a 250 head sheep farm and eventually his built shed into a two-bedroom house. The early days could be lonely. “Sometimes I would go for quite long spells without seeing anyone,” he said, and the weather could get very wild. At that point Ross had his boat, and...

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The King of No Man's Land

Sgt Richard Travis VC, the King of No Man's Land. Less than a month after the outbreak of the First World War, Richard Travis joined the 7th (Southland) Mounted Rifles. Travis was not scheduled to proceed with the rest of his unit to Gallipoli. So he went AWOL and stowed away on the squadron's transport and joined them on the Gallipoli Peninsula. In late 1916 Travis, by then a sergeant, was put in charge of a Sniper and Observation unit. The exploits of "Travis's Gang" became legendary. On September 15, 1916, Travis eliminated German snipers who had slowed the battalion's advance in the Somme. His actions were recognised with a Distinguished Conduct Medal. He cared little for the spit-and-polish demanded...

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A Pākehā goes AWOL to join the Māori Battalion.

A Pākehā goes AWOL to join the Māori Battalion.  “I don't know how many people know that we had a full Pakeha fighting with us in Italy. He was Lance Corporal C.J. McCalman - Mac as he was called by all, joined us during the Sangro action. He actually belonged to 27 Battalion but was frustrated by the fact that they actually saw very little real action, so Mac went AWOL and joined 28th Battalion and saw action with "B" company at Sangro and Orsognia. To avoid his being charged as AWOL or a deserter, Monty Wikiriwhi applied to have Mac transferred to the Battalion and this was duly done. Mac soon became very adept at Homai and other hand...

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