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Struan's War

edited by John MacGibbon

Reviewed by Les Cleveland and William Main

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STRUAN'S WAR is a book about battlegrounds, recreation and sightseeing in North Africa and the Middle East, in the photographs and diaries of New Zealand Division gunner, the late Struan MacGibbon. Its 160 A4 pages include 168 finely reproduced photographs and the entire 65,000 of personal diaries kept by Struan during this period, against official orders. Plus an introduction that puts Struan's war experiences into a broader perspective, and a detailed map of the region.

(1) From Les Cleveland, writer, photographer and WWII veteran:

"Gunner Struan MacGibbon was an ordinary Kiwi soldier in North Africa. Except for one considerable talent. He had a sharp eye for a photograph and the skill to produce good negatives that printed well. His shots are brilliant, especially the street scenes in Cairo, Jerusalem, Nazareth and a Jewish settlement near Tel Aviv.

"The narrative explores recreational and information aspects of life in the NZ Division that now seem more interesting than official accounts of military operations. His descriptions of Middle East scenes are as sharp and precise as his photographs."

(2) From William Main, editor, NZ Journal of Photography:

"The photographs look absolutely ravishing - worthy of any award that might have come out of the Dunedin Photographic Society, a situation which surely must make Struan MacGibbon very happy in heaven! This book is a labour of love and a highly successful attempt to portray the man and his feelings with his own pictures and words. It also fills an important gap in our cultural heritage. As such I cannot recommend it too highly."

Payment by cheque (NZ only) or by credit card. For ordering details, including how to pay by credit card - and to look at examples of the book - visit its website at:

March 2001

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