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anzac day 2024

thursday 25 april

lest we forget...

Many Australians and New Zealanders know that the Anzac soldiers fought valiantly together against the tenacious German forces. However, for many, this lesser-known episode of history that took place in 1941 Greece remains in the shadow of Gallipoli, unacknowledged and unremembered.


The Rabbit Hunter, a novel by Christopher Worth, seeks to commemorate the brave soldiers—those who fought and died in Greece—by eternalising their incredible story and bringing it to life through ink and paper. In this way, the everyday reader, history buffs, relatives of the fallen, and importantly the younger generation, can get a glimpse into the conditions in which our relatives and ancestors fought for our freedom. With great historical accuracy, these books hope to stand as a kind of memorial and history lesson especially for those who aren't familiar with the Anzac stories of Greece, bringing the reader closer to the first-hand experience of war and the lives of those who sacrificed themselves for their country and their loved ones back home. 

We invite you to join the character Neil Rankin, second lieutenant in 23 Battalion, as he and his fellow soldiers fight in the Battle of Greece and the Battle of Crete against the Axis forces and their indomitable Luftwaffe.


May these brave soldiers never be forgotten.

More information about their journey can be found below. 

A History to be Remembered

Following the outbreak of World War II, the Anzacs were deployed to Egypt in 1940 as part of the British Empire's Middle East campaign. The Anzacs, primarily comprising soldiers from Australia and New Zealand, were initially conscripted and trained at home before being sent to staging areas like Egypt where they underwent further training and preparation for their role in the upcoming conflict. After some months, they embarked on a perilous journey to Greece to support the Greek army against Axis forces in the Mediterranean theatre of war.

The campaign in Greece proved to be a challenging and ultimately costly endeavour for the Anzacs. They faced fierce opposition from Axis forces and encountered difficult terrain and adverse weather conditions. The troops deployed to Greece represented a diverse range of ages and backgrounds, with some soldiers being as young as 18 years old. The exact number of Anzac casualties during the Greek campaign varies depending on different sources and historical records. However, it is estimated that several thousand Australian and New Zealand soldiers lost their lives during the battles and subsequent events in Greece, and many more soldiers were wounded or taken prisoner.

Those who survived the battles in Greece faced the enduring effects of war, both physically and psychologically. Many soldiers returned home with physical injuries, while others grappled with the invisible wounds of war, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The experiences of the Anzacs in Greece left a lasting impact on their lives and the collective memory of the New Zealand and Australian nations.

Despite the challenges and losses suffered in Greece, the Anzacs' bravery and sacrifice are remembered and commemorated to this day. Their resilience in the face of adversity and their unwavering commitment to duty serve as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by all who have served in the defense of freedom and democracy.

The Journey From New Zealand to Greece

The journey from conscription to landing in Greece for the Anzacs during World War II was a significant and arduous undertaking. Conscription, or compulsory military service, was introduced in Australia and New Zealand during the war to bolster the Allied forces. Young men were called upon to serve their countries and fight against Axis powers like Germany, Italy, and Japan. Many valiantly volunteered.

Once conscripted, these soldiers underwent training and preparation for deployment. Some of the more notable military camps included Trentham, near Wellington; Papakura, in South Auckland; Waiouru, in the central North Island; and Burnham, near Christchurch. 

Troop transports, often converted civilian liners or cargo ships, carried soldiers from New Zealand to ports in Egypt, such as Alexandria or Port Said. This was a cramped and rocky journey, taking several weeks across the Southern Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea. Their training and acclimatisation in Egypt would last several months before they were called to Greece in anticipation of the German invasion that would happen early April, 1941.

From Egypt, the Anzacs embarked on a journey by sea to reach Greece. This journey was often perilous, with the threat of enemy submarines and air attacks looming. The soldiers endured cramped conditions aboard troopships and faced the constant uncertainty of battle.

Upon reaching Greece, the Anzacs joined Allied forces in the defence against Axis advances. They faced challenging terrain, adverse weather conditions, and fierce enemy resistance. Despite their courage and determination, the Allied troops, including the Anzacs, were ultimately overwhelmed by the Axis forces, leading to the evacuation and subsequent loss of Greece to the Axis powers.

The Anzacs' campaign in Greece during WW2 is a testament to their courage, determination, and selflessness in the face of adversity. Their sacrifices continue to be honoured and remembered as part of the broader Anzac legacy.

Remembering Their Sacrifice

As we commemorate Anzac Day, we pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of the Anzacs who served during World War I and World War II. One powerful way to honour their legacy is by delving into books that capture their experiences, hardships, and triumphs.

The Rabbit Hunter seeks to pay homage to the bravery and sacrifice of the young heroes of history. In a vivid tale that recounts the tragedy and resilience in a war not so long ago, this Anzac novel offers a window into the struggles and bravery of such times. With great historical accuracy, the gruelling episodes of Greece 1941 are eternalised in ink in a story told through the eyes of a young Southland man trained at Burnham. 

This Anzac Day read captures vividly the humour in the face of destruction, the heart-pounding gallantry in the trenches and on the fields, and the psychological impact these events had on the minds of young men at war. Explore the stories of heroism, sacrifice, and resilience that define the Anzac spirit and discover why their legacy continues to resonate with readers around the world. 


An unforgettable history told in a way that brings the reader right up close to the action, these books stand as a history lesson, living the tale and the experience of the Anzacs at war. To provide deeper insight into this significant, lesser-acknowledged chapter of history, Christopher Worth penned The Rabbit Hunter as a tribute so that our history and the sacrifices made may be fully understood and appreciated. 

In this way, The Rabbit Hunter is more than just an Anzac Day book, it is a commemoration to the sacrifice made so that the people of New Zealand and Australia, and the rest of the world, can continue to live freely. For books about the Anzacs and to celebrate the heroes of World War II, order The Rabbit Hunter today, Part I - The Battle of Greece, or Part II - The Battle of Crete, as part of your commemoration this year. These Anzac Day books have been praised for their historical accuracy and the realistic account given of young Kiwis and Aussies of the time. A memorable and meaningful gift especially to those whose relatives fought for their country in Greece.


Anzac Day hero carrying soldier - "Lest we forget"
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