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Ian Trafford
Photo Credit: C Judith Mittermeier

Ian Trafford

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Ian Trafford can be found thinking in the vege patch, writing while slumped on the couch, or at the beaches and in the bush of his local Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand - taking time out, working with his camera or guiding hiking tourists.

During his childhood on a farm near Te Karaka, west of Gisborne, his father came home one day with his grandfather’s secret First World War diaries. Ian soon knew that some day the real, raw story of our Kiwi boys in this un-great war, and afterwards, needed to be told.

The time to write came decades later, once other work was done: teaching, guiding river rafters and sea kayakers, writing school reading books and a guidebook, full-time photography, and in times of desperation, pulling apples from the trees of orchardists or stuffing hops into a shredder.

The story from the diaries was written on the couch, with lots of emotion, as if his old grandad, Alick, was sitting there as well.

Books by Ian Trafford

Into the Unknown

World War I (and its aftermath) in the words of a young soldier fresh off a remote New Zealand farm, written with immediacy, emotion and clarity.

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More features

Into the Unknown: The people in this book (extract)

Alick’s spelling of some names may be incorrect, especially those of Belgians, French and Germans. Sometimes people are addressed by their nicknames or first names only. Where known, in this list I also include their official enlisting number.

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