New Zealand Defence Force Media Release


No Better Death: The Great War diaries and letters of William G. Malone, edited by New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Historian John Crawford, will be launched on 22 August during The Experience of a Lifetime First World War conference at Massey University (22-24 August).

Lieutenant-Colonel (LTCOL) Malone’s war diaries, starting on 6 August 1914 and finishing the day before his untimely death during the Battle for Chunuk Bair on 8 August 1915, sharply contrast with his deeply personal letters to his wife and family. Lieutenant General Tim Keating says together they provide an unprecedented account of the life of one of New Zealand’s greatest soldiers.

“Malone’s writings show the mind and the heart of the man who, to one extent, was very stiff and upright, but was also a loving husband and father who would share his innermost thoughts through a pen.

I am convinced that those reading Malone’s account of the heroism and endurance displayed by our forces at Gallipoli will be filled with pride and reminded of the debt we owe those who have freely given up their lives in defence of our homeland,” says LTGEN Tim Keating, Chief of Defence Force.

The story of Malone’s older sons who also served in the First World War forms part of the narrative – a family story which continues right up to 2012, when Malone’s great-great-grandson Lance Corporal Rory Malone was killed on active service in Afghanistan.

First published in 2005, No Better Death: The Great War diaries and letters of William G. Malone is made possible by the assistance of the descendants of LTCOL Malone and the Alexander Turnbull Library, who holds the original archive. The original manuscripts are currently being tweeted one hundred years later on the day they were written as part of WW100’s Life 100 Years Ago online project (Twitter handles: @LTCOLMalone and @Life100YearsAgo).

No Better Death: The Great War diaries and letters of William G. Malone

Edited by John Crawford with Peter Cook in association with the New Zealand Defence Force to commemorate the centenary of the First World War

Published by Exisle Publishing, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-77559-128-3


About the Editor

John Crawford is the New Zealand Defence Force Historian and has written on many aspects of the history of the New Zealand Armed Forces and defence policy. In 2007 he edited, with Ian McGibbon, New Zealand’s Great War, and in 2008 he edited The Devil’s Own War: the First World War Diary of Brigadier-General Herbert Hart. He has also written To Fight for the Empire: An Illustrated History of New Zealand and the South African War, 1899-1902, and is currently writing a volume for the forthcoming first World War Centenary History series. He lives in Wellington.

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