A Literary Trust Fund was established in late 2005 by the Museum’s Trust Board, as a result of a gift from an anonymous donor for the research of “an aspect of New Zealand’s international relations and their military implications, during the Second World War.” Mr Gerald Hensley was the recipient of the initial award and this has resulted in the publishing of his book “Beyond the Battlefield – New Zealand and its Allies 1939-1945″.
This project has become the beginning of the Museum’s support towards fostering and promoting historical research and publications of merit relating to New Zealand’s strategic, political and military commitment to conflict and conflict resolution.
The Literary Fund was also involved in the publication of “With Honour – Our Army, Our Nation, Our History” by Richard Wolfe and “Images of War – World War I” by Glyn Harper.
“Beyond the Battlefield, NZ and its Allies 1939-1945″ by Gerald Hensley was launched in Parliament on 3rd September 2009 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of war.
The book examines a key part of New Zealand’s history during which time, under the immense pressure of fighting a war on both sides of the world, the country moved from being a quiet and faraway outpost in the Commonwealth to a strong, independent nation playing an influential role in the shaping of the United Nations. New Zealand’s sometimes rocky relationships with its wartime allies Great Britain, Australia and the United States during a period of great world turmoil are all exposed and explained in an engaging and thoughtful look into the human side of diplomacy – highlighting the irritants, the cross comments, the subterfuge and intrigue that are the real drivers of history.
Gerald Hensley was trained as an historian before he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He served there for 20 years and was then appointed Permanent Head of the Prime Minister’s Department. In that role he worked for Sir Robert Muldoon and David Lange before becoming Co-ordinator for Domestic and External Security and later Secretary of Defence.
To Order the Book: “Beyond the Battlefield – New Zealand and its Allies 1939-1945″ by Gerald Hensley download this form.