Women’s Service WRNZNS To RNZN 1942-2017
There is a wealth of history to be recorded of women’s service in the New Zealand navy. I have neglected my romance writing to enable us to capture some of that history in a book of memories.
From July 1942 until today in 2017 thousands of woman have taken the pledge to serve King (Queen) and country. With contributions from some of these women, the Royal New Zealand Naval Women’s Association is publishing a book entitled “75 Years Of Memories – Women in the Royal New Zealand Navy”. This book will help commemorate 75 years since women were first recruited into the New Zealand Navy. Currently with publishers it will be released later this year.
It was with some trepidation and no experience in non fiction writing, I assembled diverse memories from women serving in the Navy into something resembling a manuscript.
I made two decisions very early on. Contributions must be presented exactly as received. It was not my place to ‘edit or correct’ other ladies memories. I also decided the length of service time, or rank, of contributors were irrelevant.
I switched the memories this way and that. Do I keep them in chronological or decade order? Or would a book be more interesting with contributions randomly assembled with no consideration of the years of the women’s service? Some memories were very short, while others were 4 or 5 pages long. I even had very similar entries as women serving in the same unit at the same time had recorded comparable memories. What impact would all these factors have on the overall presentation?
It took some time but finally I was happy with the layout of the written memories. Phew! I was over the worst. Wrong! The next hurdle was even more difficult.