As soon as World War Two started, Red Cross societies worldwide increased their efforts to be useful to soldiers and casualties of every persuasion. The effort was worthy of praise everywhere, but the very successful efforts to send parcels all the way from distant New Zealand to Allied prisoners in European camps adds a fascinating note.
Over 8000 New Zealanders were captured by the Axis forces in Greece, Crete and North Africa, almost all in 1942. All of them received regular, life-giving Red Cross parcels of various descriptions that helped them survive their arduous years behind barbed wire.
Jack’s War is a multi-touch book of illustrated creative non-fiction by Steve Bolton. It depicts a fictional New Zealander, Jack Avery, and is set in wartime and prisoner-of-war scenarios that were common to hundreds of New Zealand soldiers to bring this story to life.
The Jack’s War version of Parcels From Home looks and reads like a graphic novel, but the experience is expanded with sound effects, pop-ups adding historical depth, and an extensive glossary explaining terms, places, military events and more.
Jack’s War is also the companion volume to Parcels From Home: The POW Parcel Scheme and the New Zealand Red Cross in World War II by Mark Webster and Paul Luker. Parcels From Home is the result of research across hundreds of sources and hundreds of hours in archives and museums across New Zealand, and at the New Zealand and Australian Red Cross Headquarters (Wellington, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia, by permission) and draws on the collections, historical acumen and design expertise of co-author Paul Luker to tell a compelling tale of the very successful efforts to send parcels all the way from distant New Zealand to Allied prisoners in European camps across a world torn by global war.
A longer ‘Trainspotter Edition’ will be available from November 2015 (100th anniversary of the NZ Red Cross), the Trainspotter Edition expands on Parcels From Home, has extra detail in each chapter, extra images and numerous reproductions of Red Cross archive documents, extra sound-file content (veterans’ voices) plus a completely new chapter on efforts to get Red Cross parcels to the prisoners of the Japanese.