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Lost Book "The Furlough Men"

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kellygirl Report 26 May 2013 10:49

I am looking for a copy of "The Furlough Men" which details men, who after the second world war were treated as deserters. They had served their country, gone home, then the government decided, "Hey let's send them back" . This was mainly in New Zealand. Elderly soldiers talk of the ship "Waikato" pulling into the wharf, not letting any of the men off the ship, and sailing back to the middle east, where many of those who had survived the war, were killed!. It was all kept quite hushed up after the war, but this book details what happened and some of my father's regiment are named. Any help or knowledge of this happening would be great.


Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 26 May 2013 11:04

I found mention on this site

and here

"In 1943, 6000 men from 2NZEF were brought home on leave. This 'furlough' was intended to be for three months, but problems delayed their return to war. As well as difficulties with transport, there were also political tensions. About 40,000 eligible men were working in essential jobs and 13,000 of these were single. From the week of the furlough draft's arrival in New Zealand, there was pressure to release the returned men, and send to war those who had not yet done their bit. Vehement protests were led by the RSA, who felt this was a good chance for 'getting at the shirkers'.

Eventually, many of the returned men were allowed to end their time in uniform and stay home. The lucky ones included married soldiers with children, all men over 41, and Maori. In addition, more than 2500 of the draft were found medically unfit for further service. But just over 1600 faced a return to the front. More than 500 of these refused the order and were found guilty of desertion, a verdict that was later quashed. As with other controversial issues, much of what people learned at the time was hearsay. Full information about the 'mutiny' never reached the public because censorship kept the details under wraps."

Can't find the book yet though.

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 26 May 2013 11:10

This from the National Library of NZ

Bitter battle fought at home

By: Sullivan, Jim,

Relates the history of 'the furlough men', and the controversy which resulted when 6000 soldiers returned to NZ for 3 months furlough after serving in Greece, Crete and North Africa during World War II.

Includes illustration.

Audience: General.

Source: Sunday Star Times, 12 Jul 1998; p.A11; issn:1172-9740

See original record
This is an Index New Zealand item
This article can be found in the source journal or serial shown above. Take the reference to your local public library, and they can help you access the original item.


kellygirl Report 26 May 2013 11:23

Thank you very much for your wonderful finds on this subject. It fills in a lot of gaps and hearsay about this story, is wonderful!!

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 26 May 2013 11:41

Hope you manage to find the book Heather, perhaps the Nat' Library can help,

This also might be of interest

Sorry , it's stretching the page !