A Bridge Over: The Story of John Masters, Veteran Fighter

A Bridge Over: The Story of John Masters, Veteran Fighter

£8.50

By Alan Marriott.

In 1965, John Milbanke Masters was awarded the Military Cross for action in Borneo, for which he was made a life member of the Gurkhas. In 2002 he was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Between these awards recognising gallantry and chivalry, John was the last New Zealand commander of 161 Battery in Vietnam. He brought the troops home in 1971 to mixed feelings across the country. Returning soldiers were denied entry to RSAs. Isolated, some punished themselves and withdrew from society, others developed unexpected illnesses and cancers. Reports sponsored by New Zealand governments denied that soldiers had been in contact with chemical herbicides such as Agent Orange. For nearly 40 years, Vietnam veterans struggled for recognition. Unknowingly, John had also brought home the map that eventually proved the extent to which New Zealand soldiers in Vietnam were in contact with chemical herbicides. John backed his fellow Vietnam veterans all the way through select committees to the New Zealand parliament and the eventual Crown apology in 2008. John’s intimate and enthralling story is an insight into the challenges of family and leadership both inside and outside soldiering, his fight for veterans and for justice, and his personal fight against the cancer that affected so many of his comrades.

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