Author(s): Dr Francis Bennett
In A Canterbury Tale Bennett again reveals his deep attachment to that province of New Zealand as he records the story of his own life. He spent most of his childhood in South Canterbury, including some years at Fairview. Later in his life he made a silver birch panel inlaid with native woods, representing the homestead at Fairview and this is shown on the paper jacket of the book.
His was a full and varied life, including his service in the Pacific during World War One, but his failing to get to France before the war ended. He enlisted again in World War Two and his medical skills were again used in the Pacific.
He held many important posts and finally became the senior medical officer in the hospital ship Manganui in which he took a major part in rescuing enslaved war prisoners from Japanese forces while still not certain that those forces really understood that the war was over.
But the autobiography is far more than a vivid record of military services. It is a modest record quietly revealing the character of a great man, from his birth at the beginning of the last century until just before his death in 1976. It is a life story vividly and often amusingly told, created in Canterbury, and contributing to the welfare of a vast number of people in that province. His concluding sentence sums up his great spirit perfectly. "This has been my place, my home, in whose freedom I have thankfully dwelt a space, filled my days, and written my lines."
Very good copy with crease on cover.