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L/ Cpl David Russell GC

David Russell was born in Dreghorn, Ayrshire, Scotland, on 30 March 1911, the fourth of six children born to James and Jessie Russell. His mother died  when he was just six years old. When William his eldest brother emigrated to Australia, David followed him and he worked on his brother’s farm north of Perth for several years, before travelling around Australia. Around 1936–37 David moved to New Zealand and in 1938 he joined the staff of Napier Hospital as an orderly. He was soon  engaged to his girlfriend Nancy Oliver, from Napier. Eleven days after the war began Russell joined the NZ Army. He deployed as a private soldier with an Anti-Tank Company, leaving with the 2nd Echelon on 2 May...

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Lieutenant Colonel “Tom” Barnes, SOE Sapper.

Lieutenant Colonel C. E. “Tom” Barnes on right.  Tom led one of the demolition teams on Op Harling in Greece, he was one of two Kiwis seconded to SOE for the mission. Originally named Cecil by his parents he was born 30 January 1907. Prior to the war Tom spent time in Australia as a civil engineer working in Tasmania and in little explored parts of New Guinea. When war broke out he came back to NZ and enlisted in the New Zealand Engineers and was soon posted to Egypt. After a year there doing various engineering tasks he was bored and trying to get posted to the Division when he was recruited for a special mission in Greece with...

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NZ's Hut Network.

Dundas Hut in the Tararua Ranges, built 1961. If you've ever spent time in NZs national parks chances are you have stayed in a hut originally built by and for government deer cullers. The network of huts these men built has enabled hundreds of thousands of outdoors folks to enjoy the BushLife in a way not possible in the rest of the world. There is no feeling like that, when you finally see the hut after a tough day on the hills. The next time you stay in a hut spare a thought for what it would have taken to build it way out in the back country and those that built it. How many lives must they have saved...

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Fathers Day Photo Competition.

For Fathers Day this year we ran a photo competition. The quality of the entries was very high and it was tough to pick a winner. Congratulations to Melissa with her picture of her partner and their kids on a hunting trip, they won $50 to spend on the website. We enjoyed hosting the competition and will be running another, next year we will be much better organised so start taking pictures you can use to enter, we should have some more prizes as well. Comment below which is your favourite picture. It was tough but we had to pick a winner and in the end this was our favourite.      

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Kiwi Hunting Legend Percy Lyes

New Zealand hunting legend Percy Lyes starting learning bushcraft in the forests near Hokitika during the depression. He started trapping rabbits and possums for the pot before getting his first rifle, a Winchester single shot .22 which he used to good effect, even managing to score the odd small deer. During WW2 Percy enlisted in the Army but was discharged, before he could deploy, so he could help his elderly father on the farm, as farming was considered essential to the war effort. By the end of the war deer skins were in hot demand so Percy and his brother David did the obvious thing and started hunting professionally. When Percy upgraded his trusty .303 with a German Ajax scope,...

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