He worked as a farm laborer and sometimes was homeless. In 1938 he had a baby by a young woman and they lived together until he volunteered for the Army in 1940. He was taken prisoner and spent three years as a POW in Greece before escaping and being rehabilitated in a British hospital.
After the war he studied at Loughborough College, Leicester, England, married an Estonian woman, Emilie Tökke, and returned to New Zealand in 1947. He went into the civil service and his wife became a college lecturer in Dunedin. He later became a university professor of physical education and athletics coach, training a number of famous New Zealand athletes, until he resigned in disgust after learning that one of his athletes had been using performance-enhancing drugs. In 1984 he was awarded an MBE for services to sports. After his wife died in 1987 his health began to deteriorate, and he died in a war veterans' home in Auckland.
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