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Posted on Dec 6, 2006 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Interview: Patrick Bronte &

Jim H. Moreno

ACG: What are some of your fondest memories of past interviews?

PB: The cups of tea and biskets that so many from this generous generation offers.

ACG: Have you had someone you wanted to interview pass away before you were able?

PB: This has happened many times. That is why I am always working with a sense of urgency; you just don’t know what tomorrow will bring. It can be very hard sometimes because you can hear such personal experiences but don’t have long to get to know some guys.


ACG: When did World War II Magazine approach you about publishing your work?


PB: It was last November 2005, my friend Steve Statharos, an attorney from New York City, reached out to WWII magazine and told them about what I was doing and asked them to consider printing my interviews. The response we got was great, the editor of WWII, Chris Anderson, was really excited to have a source of material in New Zealand so that our side of the war could be told. We published our first interview in the November 2006 issue and have another slated to print in the early half of 2007 and look forward to doing more beyond that.

Other than this, finding veterans has always been about networking in the community, through friends and veteran organizations. And once you interview a veteran, you’ll get a call from a veteran friend of theirs, word of mouth is the best advertising.

ACG: How and when did you get the idea for a website?

PB: I got the idea at the beginning of 2006 from Steve, who is also a military enthusiast. The website takes second place to the interviews which is why there aren’t as many articles up there as I would like. Hopefully, small video clips will be up in the New Year.

ACG: Do you know how many veterans live in New Zealand? How are you reaching out to them to let them know about what you are doing?

PB: I have no idea how many veterans are left in New Zealand, but me and Steve have been working hard to find them. For the last few weeks we have been reaching out to every newspaper, national, regional and local in New Zealand. We got responses from about a dozen papers, a few have run letters to the editor where we have made an appeal for people to put us in touch with veterans and for people on the South Island to conduct and submit interviews to us. Due to my condition and the costs involved, I can’t make it to the South Island. Other papers are in the process of interviewing me for articles where we will sound off a similar message. Hopefully the broad reach of these papers will uncover some more veterans for me to interview. It would really be great to see some interviews come in from the South Island though so that the South Island can be represented on the website.


ACG: What military historical person do you wish you could go back in time and interview, and what questions would you ask?

PB: Field Marshall Rommel. Apparently, he thought quite highly of the New Zealanders in North Africa. The general statement runs along the lines that he felt the Kiwis were the best troops he came across. This can change a fair bit depending on who is telling the story. A common one is that he said if he had an army of New Zealanders he could have easily won the North African campaign. Another version is that he thought the Kiwis were the best amateur soldiers he faced. So because of this, I’d like to ask him what he really did think of the kiwis he faced off against.

ACG: Do you have friends and peers that now have an interest in military history due to your work?

PB: Yes. Through their interest in what I’m doing, the material I have collected has often been the subject of many discussions.

ACG: What advice could you give to someone else who wanted to record the histories of war veterans?

PB: Get out there and do it! Eventually there will be no second chances.


ACG again thanks Patrick for the interview, and for overcoming his tremendous disability and honoring the veterans of New Zealand. If you would also like to thank Patrick, please visit the Support NGA TOA page on his website!

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  1. How does a student get ahold of a veteran in order to interview
    him/her? I really need to interview one or else… teacher
    will fail me…..

  2. Hi Patrick, My dad is 92, lives on Gold Coast, born `17. Taumarunui. Service #3055.He was with the 21st Bttn Army band, and saw service and was wounded on Crete, at Galatos. He has a wonderful memory, and no-one has asked him, except me, he has been reluctant to speak until the last few years, and now the stories are comming out. This am. I was reading to him, he is blind, from the website about the battle of Pink Hill, he was enthralled, as he was wounded, he never really found out what happened after he was taken to hospital. He tells a good story about the hospital. Dad was flown out of Crete on the 1st June, and spent the war as a POW. He would love to contribute, soooo— who can do the job for you, who lives on the Gold Coast ??? He will not leave Aussie.
    His name is Francis Howard Morgan, he can be rung on: 00 61755109729 Hope this helps,
    Regards, Howard.

    • Hello Howard,

      Frank worked for my father, Wynn Fraser in Whangarei. The last time I saw Frank was about 6 years ago in Runaway Bay. I was talking to Sherrill Whiteman who is also wondering about him, and I have just received a query from Jim Trapski who also knew him through WF & Co.
      I remember that he did occasionally mention the war, but not in any detail. I remember he had quite a bad injury to his leg.
      We would love to know how he is as we all have fond memories of Frank.
      Sherrill did look in the Auckland phone book as we thought that either you or your brother lived here, but it appears that you have moved.
      Hope to hear from you with news of Frank.

      Kind regards

      Jenny Cathcart (nee Fraser)

  3. Hi Patrick, you interviewed my father, Lloyd cross, but I never received a DVD, is it please at all possible I could have a copy, kind regards pippa