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Peter on the cover of the third edition

All of the characters that appear in Journey to Tangiwai by David Hill.

Main characters[]

Peter Cotterill[]

Main article: Peter Cotterill

Peter Cotterill (born December 1939/January 1940)[1] was the only son of Bob and Molly Cotterill. He grew up in Napier.

Supporting characters[]

Barbara Mason[]

Barbara Mason was the only child of Clive and Mrs Mason. She grew up with certain privileges, such as a nice house and car, due to her father being a doctor.

Bob Cotterill[]

Bob[2] Cotterill ("Dad") was the father of Peter, and husband of Molly Cotterill. After the war, he worked at a wool store.

Hugh Marshall[]

Hugh Marshall[3] (died December 24, 1953)[4] was the youngest brother of Molly. He fought during World War II and was considered a "hero" for his participation in the battle of Crete.

Molly Cotterill[]

Molly[2] Cotterill ("Mum")

Tom Sanders[]

Tom Sanders was Peter's best friend.

Minor characters[]

  • Adam Cotterill was the younger brother of Bob. He was an officer in the New Zealand Navy and fought during the Korean War.
  • Clive[5] Mason
  • Dick Finlay
  • Ethel was the great-aunt of Peter Cotterill. She sent Peter a diary for his thirteenth birthday and another the next year.
  • Gael Sanders
  • Mrs Mason
  • Mr and Mrs Sanders


  1. Peter mentions his thirteenth birthday at the beginning of the book, but the exact date is not stated. It most likely falls somewhere in December or January.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Journey to Tangiwai, David Hill, pages 9-10
  3. Journey to Tangiwai, David Hill, pages 152, 154
  4. Journey to Tangiwai, David Hill, pages 169-175
  5. Journey to Tangiwai, David Hill, page 150

See also[]

My New Zealand Story characters
Main characters

William Donahue | Atapo | Mary Brogan | Emilie Ritter | James Collier | Amy Phelps | Tommy Carter
Reuben Radcliffe | Samuel Clark | Freda Rose | Laura Ann Findlay | Ivana Ivanovich | Katie Bourke
Amy McDonald | Tom Mitchell | Frances Sutherland | Silvey Chan | Lillian Glenmore | Peter Cotterill
Simon Campbell | Debbie Atherton | Estelle "Starshine" Penney | Sofia Savea | Erica Tito | Jackie Simms
Martin Daly | Rowan Webb | Amy Dyer | Mike Lucas | Maddy

Lists of characters by book

Land of Promise | A New Song in the Land | Finding Father | Escape from Sarau | Fire in the Sky | Be Counted!
"The Mine's Afire!" | Poor Man's Gold | Castaway | Pandemic | Kauri in My Blood | A Better Life | Earthquake!
Below the Mountains | Quarantine | Lighthouse Family | Chinatown Girl | A Long Way from Home
Journey to Tangiwai | Harbour Bridge | Abandon Ship! | Aquarius, My Ohu Year | Dawn Raid | Bastion Point
No Survivors | Sitting on the Fence | Sabotage! | Cyclone Bola | Cup Magic | Canterbury Quake