Annie's War - A New Zealand woman and her family in England by Norris, Susanna Montgomerie Norris
Annie’s War is a remarkable book. There have been many published collections of soldiers’ diaries and letters from the First World War, but never a first-hand account of one New Zealand family’s life in England during these challenging and frightening years.
When her sons, Oswald and Seton, decided they wanted to serve as pilots, which meant enlisting in Britain, Annie Montgomerie decreed that the whole family would go too. So from 1916 to 1919 they lived in London, facing Zeppelin attacks, giving hospitality to young New Zealand friends who left to fight (and sometimes never came back), watching Oswald and Seton go off to war, and suffering in the influenza epidemic.
Through all this Annie kept a diary, in which she recorded her deep love and concern for her family, her hatred of the war, her forthright, amusing and proudly Kiwi views on the English and myriad fascinating details about wartime London life. Annie’s granddaughter, Susanna Montgomerie Norris, has transcribed and edited this extraordinary account, along with many letters and diary excerpts from her pilot father, Seton. Richly illustrated with contemporary photographs and other memorabilia, and superbly annotated by Anna Rogers, Annie’s War offers a unique and compelling view of a crucial time in world history.