Howard Kippenberger

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Howard Kippenberger

Denis McLean

Publisher:Random House New Zealand Ltd

Sir Howard Kippenberger is widely acknowledged as the ideal of a New Zealand citizen-soldier and our foremost soldier-scholar; a country lawyer and provincial intellectual who became a national figure as New Zealanders made the transition from colonials to a forthright nationhood. As a military leader, editor and author he was one of the prime movers in that process. His democratic style of leadership reflected the ethos of a new nation - active, competent and engaged in the world in its own right, no longer a dependency of Britain A second-generation New Zealander, born in 1897, his military career was probably unique in that he was a 19 year old private soldier in one war and emerged in the next as the commander of choice of what was in effect a national army - the 2nd NZ Division - whenever the British-born (and trained) Bernard Freyberg was absent. Kip was never a regular officer; a part-time Territorial soldier in peacetime, with no formal British staff training, he stood in the line of the New Zealand self-made man.Hard-boiled ordinary New Zealanders at war truly admired and respected him, not only for his mastery of the business of fighting but because he was known for a very real and deep rapport with his soldiers and concern for their welfare; he “made men realise that here was one who thought more of them than of himself.”

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