Best Mates: Three Lads Who Went to War Together
The three young soldiers in the story are best friends from school, and they leave New Zealand together to go and fight at Gallipoli. Landing first in Egypt, they travel by ship to Anzac Cove and dig into trenches to fight the Turkish troops holding the peninsula. Conditions are tough and Joe gets sick, but his mates help him off on the hospital ship. Then Harry is fatally wounded and his burial has to take place on the cliff-top, away from the snipers. The three friends are reunited many years later, when two men fly to Gallipoli and lay poppies on Harry's grave. Taking her inspiration from Anzac Day, the New Zealand story Philippa Werry captures the essence of the Anzac spirit with her moving tale about mateship. The illustrated factual text on pages 30-31 spread provides extra information about the events pictured in the story.
Philippa Werry is a children's writer and author of Anzac Day, the New Zealand story: What it is and why it matters, published by New Holland. Philippa has written extensively for the School Journal and Connected, and her book Enemy at the Gate about the polio epidemic in the 1930s was shortlisted for the NZ Post Book Awards (2009). She lives in Wellington and participates in the Book Council Writers in Schools programme. Bob Kerr is a painter and award-winning illustrator, known for his depiction of Terry and the Gunrunners in the 1970s series written by Stephen Ballantyne. His book After the War published by Mallinson Rendell in 2000 was a finalist in the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards and winner of the Russell Clark Award for 2001. Bob lives in Wellington and works from a studio in Cuba Street where young soldiers were photographed before they left to go to war.