Your Towns and Cities in the Great War series
Published by Pen and Sword. Available in paperback or kindle.
This is the first book written about Britain’s premier army base in the First World War. Murray Rowlands, a native of Christchurch, and author of Innocents Into War and The Andropov Tapes, explores the history of Aldershot as the connective hub between England and New Zealand during the First World War.
‘Possibly the most significant link between New Zealand and Aldershot’, says Rowlands, ‘was the presence of Sir Harold Gillies at the Cambridge Military Hospital, pioneering plastic surgery in 1916. Gillies was given a ward at one of Aldershot’s two hospitals and virtually started from scratch, developing a whole science around the reconstruction of men’s faces. Significantly, after the Battle of the Somme, some of his patients were New Zealanders. The hospital with all its memories is now being pulled down so it is vital that this part of its heritage is remembered.’
Near Aldershot is the village of Ewshot which became a major camp for the New Zealand army and
served as the base of the New Zealand artillery after Gallipoli in 1916. It also offered a hospital for New Zealand soldiers and was at the centre of military rugby matches.
Aldershot in the Great War includes the first published record of troops in Aldershot at the outset of the
First World War, the first published list of officers and men from the area killed in the war, and traces the growth of manufacture in the region from ballooning to major military aircraft.