Headquarters: a brief outline of the activities of headquarters of the third division and the 8th and 14th Brigades during their service in the Pacific
The story of the 2nd NZEF, both in the Mediterranean and Pacific theatres, is destined to be told in a variety of ways First there will be the 'Official History of the War'—a compendious work the preparation and publication of which will involve much careful study and painstaking research. It will not be possible to complete it until some years after the war is ended. To bridge the inevitable gap between the making of history and the official recording of it, the New Zealand Army Board has already published some booklets of a series of short interim histories of which Return to the Attack and From Guadalcanal to Nissan are two examples. There is also in preparation a third series of histories. These are unofficial regimental histories and are concerned with the daily life and experiences of a single unit or group of associated units rather than with the exploits of one or other of our expeditionary forces. The book for which this foreword is intended is one of this third group of regimental histories.
Each one of them has been written primarily for the men who served in the unit whose history is therein briefly recorded. They lay no claim to great literary merit. Most of them are the work of men who had never before regarded themselves as authors and in whose hands the sword was a much more accustomed weapon than the pen. Limitations of space due to shortage of paper and of funds have curtailed these histories to an extent far beyond that which I would have wished and have resulted in the omission of many names and many exploits which might well have been recorded. This has placed an additional burden page breakand responsibility on the historians and has prevented them from doing full justice to their subject and to themselves. In spite of all this I know that these regimental histories will be our most treasured records of the war. They breathe the very spirit of the regiment and have a personal and family interest, for in a very special sense, comprehensible only to the old campaigner, the regiment is a family and the members of it a great band of brothers. What brotherhood is greater than the brotherhood of Arms!
To the unnamed and unsung authors of these regimental histories and to the contributors of the articles therein, we owe a profound debt of gratitude. Their unaccustomed and unsought tasks have been undertaken only because of their affection for the units to which they were so proud to belong. Well and nobly have they completed their work, Their only remuneration will be the grateful thanks of their fellow soldiers; but if I have judged these men aright, they will seek no other reward.