Eric and Joyce Andersen 

Kathy's parents, Eric and Joyce Andersen, met in London during the Second World War.  Eric was then in the New Zealand Army and Joyce in the British Army.  Eric was in the NZEF Forestry Company.  He joined the army in March 1940 where after initial training he was sent to England. There his company felled trees for anti-tank barriers along the coast. Eventually most of the company was sent to Italy, but Eric was posted to London to work in the Servicemen's Club. He was also a fire-watcher working for the Westminster Fire Brigade. In London much of Eric's socialising was done at New Zealand House and it was there that he met Joyce (Kathy's Mum).  Eric talked about bomb raids and losing friends but not much more than that.  He was obviously affected by what he saw and he expressed that in poetry and in drawing.

Eric and Joyce married on the 7th September 1943. Eric returned to New Zealand in June 1944, via Egypt, leaving a month before Eric and Joyce's first daughter, Patsy, was born. He arrived in New Zealand in September 1944 and was officially discharged from the New Zealand Army on the 19th December 1944.

Joyce was left in England, and Patsy was born in Tonbridge, Kent. Joyce got a place on one of the first ships taking war brides to Australia and New Zealand, aboard the Rimutaka. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were also on board, as the Duke was to serve as the Governor General of Australia. A flotilla accompanied them all the way to Sydney and the trip took eight and a half weeks.

Eric and Joyce settled in Hamilton and had six children: Patsy (Burton); Sue (Andersen); Mike (Andersen); Karen (Dawson); John (Andersen), and Kathy (Callaghan).  See The Andersen family


You can listen to interviews with Eric and Joyce  by clicking on the links below, then clicking 'Download' on the page that opens up. 

Eric Andersen   Kathy's father gave a detailed overview of his life in this interview. It was recorded in 1987 not long before Eric died.  Click here to read a transcript of this interview.

Joyce Andersen  We also recorded Kathy's mother, Joyce, in 1987. Joyce describes her life in England and New Zealand.  Click here to read a transcript of this interview.


                               Joyce, Eric and Patsy 1947                            Eric Andersen


                                                                             Joyce Andersen

                                                      Kathy, Mike, Sue, Joyce, John and Karen, 1971.


                    Joyce with Debbie 1976                              Joyce and and Eric with Sarah and Debbie, 1979

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