11 November 2018 will mark one hundred years since the official end of the First World War. Over 18,000 New Zealand combatants were killed in the conflict, and many more were wounded or fell ill. Their experiences were so harrowing that most survivors, even years after returning to civilian life, would never speak of what they had endured during the ‘war to end all wars’.
Serving alongside them in that hellish world were the men and women of the New Zealand medical corps. A century on, Anna Roger has written a comprehensive history of this ‘other army’, which was charged, not with ending lives, but with saving them. The result is a rich tribute to the courage and compassion of those who worked “in appalling, perilous conditions and for inhumanely long hours” to alleviate the suffering of others.