Southerners at War
Stories from around the region as we mark Anzac Day 2013.
As Anzac Day services came to a close, a 95-year-old veteran praised the youngest generation.
Emotional time for residents
With a steadying arm, J Force veteran Cyril Knight helped his mate and fellow J Force serviceman Reg Good lay a poppy in memory of the fallen at a moving Anzac Day service at the Rowena Jackson Retirement Village.
Sitting in the cockpit diving at high speed toward the ground, WWII pilot Stan Smith looked to the pilot alongside him.
Southlanders braved what was in parts the worst Anzac Day weather in years to remember and honour the fallen.
Vera Wilkie has lived through two world wars, lost family in combat and raised a family on rations.
From Kabul, ex-Southlander Lieutenant Colonel Donald Jones tells The Southland Times about his experiences in Afghanistan.
The Balclutha Cenotaph reaches a significant milestone today.
Invercargill man and RSA member Andy Cook recalls Black Monday.
'We can't let the RSA die just because we are gone'
The RSA is three years shy of its 100th birthday. It has a long history, but does it have a future?
Live cover of Anzac Day services in the south.
"April 23, 1917 - Fatigue in the trenches. I am hit in the foot by a piece of shrapnel. Pain but no wound."
For Anzac Day, Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt donned his father's service medals for the first time.
You will be anxious to know how things are going with us since last I wrote.
Elsie Vallily might not remember everything about her World War II service, but she still recalls her identification number: ''20176333, Sir!''
In the global conflict that was World War II, the 1941 battle for Crete was a significant scuffle . . . but one that deservedly lingers large in New Zealand's history.
Commemorations mark 70th anniversary
The atomic bomb drops on Hiroshima and Nagasaki undoubtedly led to the end of the Pacific War during World War II.
At a time when World War II veterans are less able to take an active part in the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association, or RSA, the baton is being taken up by younger members and associate members.
Smoke-filled rooms with blokes standing shoulder-to-shoulder sharing a drink and a yarn - that is how some servicemen remember RSAs when they got home.
Southerners gathered in their thousands around the region to mark Anzac Day 2012.
Thousands attend Anzac services
Southerners have turned out in their thousands to commemorate the fallen at Anzac Day services throughout the region.
In our Anzac Day series, Alana Dixon has been visiting southern war memorials to discover what stories they hold.
War memorials of the south
Seven men from the Lilley family at Clifton went away to fight in the Great War. Not all of them made it back.
On page five of the Southland Times on Wednesday, November 12, 1924, in between columns dedicated to a "divorce sensation" in Sydney, a story about Invercargill's water supply, and whether Italian dictator Mussolini was "losing his grip", was an article about a ceremony held at Wyndham the day before.
The south is dotted with war memorials, stark reminders of the tragedies that successive wars have brought.
Once, a memorial adorned with a soldier stood at the intersection of Hunt Rd and Katea Rd. On the hill overlooking it was a schoolhouse, and on the corner opposite was the Katea Hall.
The order to attack came through on December 1, 1917. Two days later, the men of the 1st Battalion of Otago and the 1st Battalion of Canterbury found themselves leading the assault on Polderhoek Chateau, a run-down Belgian estate turned German stronghold and headquarters.
War memorials around the world are there to remind future generations to remember their predecessors' sacrifices, and none illustrates this point more poignantly than the Southland boy who, at the age of 11, led the charge to restore the Kauana memorial to its former glory.
War has cut short the lives of many exemplary Kiwis, and one of the promising Southlanders it stole during World War II was Riversdale man Michael Cameron Tither.
East Timor, 1999: Rob Mills
© Fairfax NZ NewsIsolated, unarmed and vulnerable to ambush and hostile action by militia opposed to independence; subjected to intimidation, death threats and hostile propaganda: it was all in a day's work for Rob Mills.
New Zealand Police have served overseas in the following trouble spots:
East Timor, 2001: Dave McKenzie
JARED MORGAN - © Fairfax NZ NewsSergeant Dave McKenzie's deployment with the United Nations in East Timor straddled an event that shattered the West's perception of peace and security in our time – September 11, 2001.
Solomon Islands, 2010: Andrew Karsten
JARED MORGAN - © Fairfax NZ NewsAfter two tours to East Timor and one to Solomon Islands, Constable Andrew Karsten has seen the countries struggle to cement democracy in first a khaki then a blue uniform.
New Zealand's changing involvement in world conflict is forging a new Anzac tradition where khaki is joined by a blue uniform.
Solomon Islands, 2008: Wing-wah Ng
JARED MORGAN - © Fairfax NZ NewsIn Solomon Islands, blood and brotherhood run thicker than water.
Namibia, 1989-90: Mike Bowman
JARED MORGAN - © Fairfax NZ NewsNamibia had endured a 105-year battle for independence when Invercargill Constable Mike Bowman was given the nod to join a United Nations mission to secure the nation's autonomy.
Cyprus, 1964: Don Wisely
JARED MORGAN - © Fairfax NZ NewsA jealous husband, a flirtatious wife, and the attentions of another man. As Don Wisely tells it, the matter was settled with explosives.
Bosnia, 1995: Malcolm Darlison (NZ Army, UNPROFOR)
JARED MORGAN - © Fairfax NZ News"You Serb spy."
Since the global war on terrorism began in their country, women remained the forgotten casualties of Afghanistan.
The opportunity to spend nine months in war-torn Afghanistan as the country took baby-steps toward democracy five years ago proved hard to resist for Invercargill police dog section supervisor Sergeant Wally Kopae. He shared his experiences with reporter JARED MORGAN.
BY JARED MORGAN - © Fairfax NZ NewsInvercargill man Jake Grootveld has a unique take on war and conflict.
BY SONIA GERKEN - © Fairfax NZ NewsAs young men they marched off to war and now, as they age, another generation of young people has picked up the mantle of remembrance.
BY JOHN EDENS - © Fairfax NZ NewsAlmost 70 years on, World War II veteran Peter Wildey, 96, can vividly recall the Battle of Crete in 1941.
BY CRIS JOHNSTON - © Fairfax NZ NewsAnzac Day commemorations were an emotional experience for Wanaka's oldest returned serviceman Ken Paterson, who fought back tears as young children laid poppies on the memorial.
They call themselves 'The Forgotten Army'. Southern veterans who fought in southeast Asia in the political conflict, military tension and proxy wars after World War II remain unrecognised.
BY JARED MORGAN - © Fairfax NZ NewsDistance in the Malayan jungle was measured in yards, not miles, Bluff veteran Fred Ryan says.
Jared Morgan talks to veterans of Malaya and Borneo.
BY JARED MORGAN - © Fairfax NZ NewsGraeme Henderson had support on the Malayan peninsula: his wife Joan.
BY JARED MORGAN - © Fairfax NZ NewsDetecting the enemy in impenetrable jungle was based on gut instinct, Invercargill man Des Weavers says.
BY JARED MORGAN - © Fairfax NZ NewsWhere soldiers go, women always follow.