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Markham is a third generation New Zealander born in Tauranga in 1932, . When the family home burned down in 1934 Markham's parents decided to move to Maungawhai in the north of Auckland to buy a new farm; after that they shifted to Auckland because Markham's father needed further surgery for wounds sustained at the battle of Gallipoli during WW1.
Markham left school in 1947 and indentured as a cabinet making apprentice. Later he worked in carpentry and furniture making in both New Zealand and Australia.
After enlisting in the army in 1959, he went to Malaya from 1959 - 61 for military service. During this time he took part in the celebratory march through Kuala Lumpur at the end of the "Malayan Emergency".
Back in civvies life, he took training as a woodwork teacher after which he worked in Australian and New Zealand schools, serving a two-year contract at a trades training college in New Guinea. He left teaching in 1986 and set up a business to design and make hand crafted furniture.
With his wife Louise and poodle Princess Xena, he now lives on Waiheke Island, 30 minutes from Auckland and practices his art of writing in between taking care of their pet poodle, wine and beer making and a little wood carving. Markham and Louise also pursue their joint interest in travelling to exotic destinations.