Historian and author Renée Hollis is searching New Zealand for untold stories from what she calls the Silent Army – the women left behind in NZ during World War II.
Hollis is working on a social history project focusing on these experiences, immersing herself in letters and diaries from women who helped keep the home fires burning or served overseas.
“I am looking for stories that have never been shared before that will give the reader a real insight into what women’s lives were like during World War II,’ she said.
“Sources could include those who can recall childhood memories of wartime, mothers raising children while their husbands were fighting overseas, volunteers, land girls, women who worked in the factories as well as the Red Cross, the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAACs), the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAFs), and the Women’s Royal Naval Service (Wrens).”
She is also very interested to hear about the experiences of New Zealand women who served overseas as nurses, pilots, ambulance drivers or entertainers.
Hollis says she understands how precious submitted items are and will take great care of them. She will return all items via courier and asks that correspondents be sure to include a return address.
Material can be emailed to Renée at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, letters, diaries and photographs can be posted to: Renée Hollis, PO Box 85 Nelson 7040. Letters and diaries must be submitted by June 19.