Starting his research with the purchase of a Sony Handycam in September 2003, as each day of interviewing his grandparents completed he verified the accounts. Grant slowly unravelled the story of his grandparents’ war as he collected copies of books and then shared his research with Mary and Charlie. Over time, Grant travelled to Sparrow Force reunions in Australia and other places that Charlie visited during the war.
“With each place I visited, I was fortunate to meet people who remembered Charlie. Charlie was the barber who was the central figure in the camps and he also had a remarkable story of survival.”
The prologue describes Grant’s journey to research and write Sparrow.
Grant McLachlan is the grandson of Charlie and Mary McLachlan - the central characters of Sparrow. Born on the 30th anniversary of his grandfather's liberation, Grant interviewed over 100 war veterans and travelled throughout twelve countries to research a true story told in the way the veterans of Sparrow Force wanted them told.
A former hearings commissioner, barrister, and solicitor, Grant has worked in Parliament as a researcher and advisor. His columns in New Zealand newspapers and his pro-bono work has assisted many people involved in disputes with central and local government authorities.
Grant McLachlan in the Yokohama War Crimes Tribunal.
Above are badges from (top clockwise) the 2/2 Commando Association, Royal Artillery Association, Clan MacLachlan Society, Far East Prisoners of War Association, and the 2/40 Battalion AIF Old Comrades Association.
“Sparrow was a life changing experience that filled gaps in my life and my family’s.”
Remington Portable No. 2 typewriter belonging to Damien Parer, Paramount News.