John Laffin

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John Laffin
Born (1922-09-21) 21 September 1922 (age 94)
Occupation military historian and journalist
Language English
Nationality Australian
Genre Military history, travel and description
Subject World War I, World War II
Spouse Hazelle Laffin

John Laffin (21 September 1922 – 2000) was an Australian military historian and journalist.

Early life[edit]

Laffin was born in Mosman, Sydney. Both of his parents served during World War I: his father served as infantry officer and his mother served as a nurse.[1]

World War II[edit]

In 1941, having worked with Smith's Weekly, one of Australia's most patriotic newspaper-style magazines, and the Wagga Wagga Advertiser. He enlisted in the 2nd Australian Imperial Force. He trained as an infantryman and later completed an officer course before serving in New Guinea, the world's second largest island.[2]

While convalescing in Sydney in 1943, he met his future wife Hazelle, a Red Cross nurse.[3]

Writing career[edit]

After the war, Laffin worked for a number of newspapers and magazines, wrote short novels, and began his own feature service and editing unit.

With his family, he left for England in 1956 where he resided for nearly 40 years. He wrote articles for Australian newspapers and taught English, history and geography in secondary colleges. One of these was Mayfield College in East Sussex where he taught English and History in the 1960s, while living in nearby Herstmonceux.

Laffin travelled extensively in Europe, especially the Western Front areas of World War I and in the Middle East.

He returned to Australia in 1995. Hazelle Laffin died in early 2000 of heart disease.

Selected works[edit]


John Laffin died in Canberra in 2000 after a long illness. He was survived by two daughters (Bronwen and Pirenne) and son (Craig).[4]


  1. ^ "John Laffin". 
  2. ^ "John Laffin". 
  3. ^ Laffin, John. On the Western Front: Soldiers Stories from France and Flanders, 1914–1918. Gloucester [Gloucestershire]: A. Sutton, 1985, dust jacket.
  4. ^ "Obituary: John Laffin – 1922–2000.". 

External links[edit]