Our New Zealand Home

The USMC in Wairarapa

Non-Fiction - Military
206 Pages
Reviewed on 08/22/2023
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Author Biography

Mark is an archivist and historian who works at the renowned Wairarapa Archive in Masterton, New Zealand.

Mark studied History and Defence Studies at Massey University and has since published five books and has written for numerous newspapers, magazines and journals in New Zealand and across the world.

He has just finished his seventh book on when the United States Marine Corps were camped in Wairarapa in 1943 which was released on February 17. He is currently working on a new two-volume work on local sporting history which is scheduled for release later this year

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite

If you enjoy WWII history or anything about the U.S. Marine Corps, Our New Zealand Home: The USMC in Wairarapa by Mark Sydney Pacey is for you. Pacey sets the stage by first discussing the political and strategic situations in Europe and the Pacific theaters in 1943 and how they resulted in the United States rather than Great Britain sending troops to bolster the defense of New Zealand against the threat of Japanese incursion. Well-researched and wonderfully detailed chapters follow in which we learn how the Marines arrived, what conditions they encountered in New Zealand, and how the local populace reacted to their presence among them for seven months. A foreword by a former director of Marine Corps History is included as well as extensive endnotes, a bibliography, photo credits, and an index.

In Our New Zealand Home, Mark Sydney Pacey gives us an utterly engaging narrative that is filled with illustrations, personal remembrances, and points of interest. I enjoyed the way Pacey presented the historical facts in an organized and comprehensive way and then personalized them by featuring recollections and remembrances about the daily lives and experiences of those who lived through them. This is the sort of history that lives and breathes as you read it. He also dispels myths that arose from the presence for seven months of two battalions of Marines in a small New Zealand town, and he describes some of the unfortunate realities that resulted as well. An informative and entertaining read. Highly recommended.