One of New Zealand’s greatest yet lesser known World War II heroes

His war-time story of leadership and courage endures as an inspirational, timeless and empowering model for people of all ages.

The Phil Lamason Heritage Centre Trust Incorporated is committed to preserving and sharing Phil Lamason’s unique wartime story with a wider audience.

The first initiative undertaken by the Trust is the writing and publication of the Phil Lamason biography, “I Would Not Step Back…”

Hardcover ($64.99 NZD) on sale now.
eBook available from reputable distributors.

I Would Not Step Back... Phil Lamason
Mike Dorsey

Foreword by Mike Dorsey

When the 168 Allied airmen arrived at Buchenwald Concentration Camp, they didn’t know what they were dealing with yet. And in Phil Lamason, the Germans didn’t know what they were dealing with yet, either.

Even in his 90s I found Phil to be an intimidating figure. I couldn’t imagine disagreeing with him or doing anything else that could put us at odds. The last time I saw him, he gave me a bit of old school advice. As I walked with him to his car to say goodbye for what would be the last time, he told me that he had always done what he said he was going to do. If he said he’d be up working on the farm at 4 o’clock in the morning, then that’s exactly where you would find him. We’ve probably all received such advice throughout our own lives, but it meant so much more coming from Phil. Context is everything.

I didn’t know Phil for the first 90 years of his life. I don’t know what shaped the man who came to stand on that train platform outside the Buchenwald gates in 1944, surrounded by guards and snarling German Shepherds; possibly the only man in the middle of that chaos who immediately recognised where they were and what needed to be done. I tell people that Phil’s actions over those next two months were a lesson in leadership. His story should be required reading for everyone from the military to the corporate boardroom. And we must remember: he did this in his 20s!

Mike Dorsey, US film and documentary maker, ("The Lost Airmen of Buchenwald") and grandson of 1944 Buchenwald survivor, "Easy" Freeman.
Mike Dorsey
“I would be more than happy to support this tribute (The Phil Lamason Biography) to a wonderful man who should have received far more recognition in his lifetime.”

“I Would Not Step Back…”

by Hilary Pedersen and Associated Writers
2017, Published by Phil Lamason Heritage Centre Trust

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