Courage And Valour: The Inspiration

The project had stalled and was put on hold.  There looked to be little hope of getting it back on track. Then in late 2012 I discovered an absolutely superb podcast from the Imperial War Museum, called “Voices of the First World War”. In this they have taken a collection of old recordings with veterans of WWI and they have compiled them into wonderful documentaries on the various aspects of that war. You can find that here

The more I listened to that series the more I realised I could – and should – do a similar thing with my Italy veteran recordings. They could be edited into a chronology of the campaign, telling the story through the eyes of the veterans themselves. I was wholly inspired once more.

By that time I was very experienced in interviewing WWII veterans, and in editing stories together. I was also already a podcaster, having started my series The Wings Over New Zealand Show in which I interview and record stories with people from across the spectrum of New Zealand aviation.

I knew the technology behind putting audio shows out via the internet, and I felt this would be a wonderful way to get these stories out to people around the world, and particularly to younger listeners who need to hear about what their grandfather’s and great-grandfather’s generations actually did in Italy between 1943 and 1945.

So since then I have been recording more interviews, and editing the shows together. In March 2014 a huge step forward came when I secured the services of professional radio presenter Jason McQuarters to do the narration, for which I am very grateful (mainly because people won’t have to listen to me doing the narration). So finally the finishing touches could be made to the first couple of episodes.

A few friends then had preview listens and the feedback has been most complimentary and promising – and heartening indeed. So now at last the series can go online.

It’s now May 2014 and I’m in the process of getting the website up online that will support the series with information, photos and the likes, and of course the site will provide a home for the audio episodes, from where you can download and listen to them.

This is hugely exciting. Four years in the making and we’re nearly ready to launch. Over time I will continue to release episodes, hopefully month by month, till there are around 20 shows completing the series.

I really hope to continue recording more interviews with Italy veterans as the series progresses and anything that is too late to fit into the episodes but is worth broadcasting will go up in the “Extras” section. So if you happen to know any living Kiwi veterans who served in the Italian campaign that might be able to be interviewed – whether they were Army, Navy, Air Force, Merchant Navy, Fleet Air Arm or whatever – I’d love to hear about them please.

I will also add updates on the production through this blog; so when I have any news it will be posted here and on the Facebook page. You can follow my Facebook page that accompanies the Courage And Valour series at

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